Homan improves to 5-0 with pair of wins

Canadians opened day with 7-5 win over the United States

BEIJING — Rachel Homan and her Canada rink gave themselves a major confidence boost Monday in their quest for gold at the women’s world curling championship, handing Switzerland its first loss to and taking sole possession of first place in the round-robin standings.

Canada improved to 5-0 and with an 8-6 win over the Swiss rink skipped by Alina Paetz, a two-time world champion. The Canadians opened the day with a 7-5 win over the United States.

Homan is looking to lead Canada to its first world title since 2008 while Swiss teams have won the last three gold medals.

It was more than just a routine round-robin win for Canada, said second Joanne Courtney.

“Absolutely,” she said. “I think the Swiss are very strong at the worlds, and you can see that in their previous championships. So we take them very seriously. We always have a good game with them.”

The loss dropped the Swiss into a second-place tie with Sweden at 4-1. The Czechs and Scotland are tied for fourth at 3-2.

Courtney called the Swiss an “agressive team.”

“They’re all great shooters,” she said. “So that’s a big win for us, to come out, start off strong and be able to keep that lead. We’re happy with how we played, and we’re getting more comfortable with the ice.”

It was a tight game in the early going, but it was broken open in the fourth end on a well-executed raise takeout from Homan to score three and make it 4-1.

An end later, Canada stole two more when Paetz’s raise double-takeout attempt was unsuccessful. The Canadians were able to put it in cruise control the rest of the way.

Homan is in top form, her second said.

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