Team Canada skip Brendan Bottcher makes a shot against Switzerland at the Men's World Curling Championships in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, April 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Canada drops 6-4 decision to Switzerland at world men’s curling championship

CALGARY — Canada’s Brendan Bottcher dropped a 6-4 decision to Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz in an extra end on Sunday at the BKT Tires & OK Tire World Men’s Curling Championship.

Bottcher had a chance to win but he was light on an inturn draw to the four-foot ring with his final throw to give up a steal of two.

“We got to the situation we wanted to get to, tied with (hammer) in the extra,” Bottcher said. “We just didn’t make enough shots there in the extra end.”

De Cruz improved to 4-0 after seven draws of play at the Markin MacPhail Centre while Bottcher fell to 3-1. The Edmonton-based team will take on Jaap van Dorp of the Netherlands in the afternoon draw.

Bottcher gave up two early steals against De Cruz before pulling even with a deuce in the seventh end.

After a blanked end, Canada caught a break in the ninth when Swiss fourth Benoit Schwarz’s first stone picked. That shut down hope for a Swiss deuce and an angle-raise double attempt to blank was just wide, giving Canada a steal and a 4-3 lead.

Bottcher forced Switzerland to a single to get hammer in the extra end. For his last rock, Bottcher threw a little wider than usual to get around a stone on the centre line at the top of the four-foot.

“It’s always a little bit of a question mark when you’re taking that bit of extra ice,” Bottcher said. “Is it going to be a little faster or is it going to be a little bit slower out there?

“At the end of the day I think we knew the right time, I just threw it a little bit light.”

De Cruz and Norway’s Steffen Walstad (4-0) shared top spot in the standings. Canada was in a six-way tie for third place at 3-1.

“It was a very good game,” De Cruz said. “They’re a super strong team. Whenever you play Canada in the big events, you know it’s the fixture that’s going to pop out on the schedule when you look at it.

“We’re extremely happy and we’re going to enjoy this for a bit.”

Italy’s Joel Retornaz defeated Germany’s Sixten Totzek 9-3 and Sweden’s Niklas Edin edged Sergey Glukhov of the Russian Curling Federation 8-7 in an extra end. American John Shuster doubled Japan’s Yuta Matsumura 10-5 in the other early game.

An evening draw was also scheduled for Sunday. Round-robin play continues through Friday afternoon.

The top two finishers in the 14-team round-robin earn byes to the semifinals on Saturday. Teams sitting third through sixth will compete in qualification games with winners to reach the final four.

Medal games are set for April 11. The top six teams will also earn spots for their respective countries at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Edin beat Canada’s Kevin Koe in the 2019 world championship final in Lethbridge, Alta. The 2020 event was cancelled due to the pandemic.

No spectators are allowed in the WinSport Arena, which was also the case at the recent Canadian men’s, women’s and mixed doubles championships.

Two Grand Slams are next on the bubble calendar before the world women’s playdowns in late April.

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