MONCTON, N.B. — Canada’s Kevin Martin displayed the killer instinct Tuesday that has served him so well throughout his curling career, crushing Switzerland 8-3 and Norway 9-2 to remain perfect at the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship.
As expected, Martin has dominated here, only playing in the 10th end once. He has yet to throw his final stone.
Switzerland’s Ralph Stoeckli, the 2003 world silver medallist, was the first victim of the day. Stoeckli struggled early and Martin pounced – scoring two points in the first, third, fifth and seventh ends.
“When we saw a couple of misses early on we played a little more aggressive than we maybe would have,” said Martin.
“The thing is you become more aggressive — not less. You keep putting on the pressure and, if you see a little bit of oil leaking, boy, you want to go after it,” he said.
The dominance continued in the evening draw as Canada met its only serious challenger so far.
Thomas Ulsrud of Norway started the day tied with Canada at 5-0. But he lost a 3-2 decision to Switzerland’s Stoeckli rink in the afternoon draw and his misfortune continued into the evening against Canada.
Martin stole three points in the first end and took a 5-1 lead after three, and finished the game with four points in the sixth end to end the game 9-2 and improve to a 7-0 record.
“I think we’re playing better now than we did to start this event,” shrugged Martin.
“If somebody steps up and beats us that’s fine with me. As long as we’re still shooting good numbers I am more than happy to accept a loss if they outcurl us,” he added.
Ulsrud had expected to be in contention against Martin for a little bit longer than the first end.
“After giving up a steal in the first I told my guys, OK, we have to start taking some chances but it was tough after that,” Ulsrud said.
Norway remains in second place at 5-2.
“For us that’s still pretty good but the biggest upset for us today was Switzerland,” he said. “From our side it was bad tactics and not a sharp game.”
Stoeckli said nobody has a better killer instinct than Martin.
“Why wouldn’t he be No. 1 because he knows those kind of things?,” said Stoeckli. “He knows when it is the moment to take that opportunity.”
The Swiss (3-5) made a number of changes for the afternoon game against Norway, including moving second Markus Eggler to the skip position while Stoeckli still threw final stones.
“Something had to happen,” said Eggler, who skipped but threw third stones.
“It was a decision from the team and the coaches but it was the wish of Ralph especially.”
“I wasn’t comfortable with where to put the broom,” confirmed Stoeckli. “That was affecting my shooting.”