Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg downed Canada’s Rachel Homan 8-3 on Thursday night at the Continental Cup. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Team World sweeps opening day against Team North America at Continental Cup

LAS VEGAS — Team North America has some serious ground to make up after only one day of play at the Continental Cup.

Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg downed Canada’s Rachel Homan 8-3 on Thursday night as Team World swept the women’s evening draws to take a 9-0 lead on Day 1 of the tournament.

Canadian Jennifer Jones fell 5-3 to Scotland’s Eve Muirhead and Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni toppled American Jamie Sinclair 6-5 after Team World already swept mixed doubles earlier in the day.

“We just need to play better,” said Team North America coach Jeff Stoughton.

“It’s as simple as that. They have just outplayed us. I thought we were going to get on the board this evening, but it just didn’t work out. But tomorrow is another day and there’s still a lot of points on the table.”

Team World won the first three morning mixed doubles matchups and took three more points in the afternoon draw in a race to the 30.5 points needed to win the competition, which involves several different disciplines.

In the afternoon, Sweden’s Agnes Knochenhauer and Rasmus Wrana earned an 8-3 win over Canada’s Kaitlyn Lawes and Geoff Walker. The U.S. tandem of Monica Walker and John Shuster fell 6-4 against another Swedish duo, Anna Hasselborg and Oskar Eriksson. And Alina Patz and Sven Michel of Switzerland beat Canadians Jones and Mark Nichols 8-4.

“You never want to be behind the 8-ball,” said Shuster after his defeat. “So yeah, there’s concern.”

In the day’s opening draw, Jennifer Dodds and Bruce Mouat of Scotland crushed Canada’s Homan and Kevin Koe 12-3.

Koe said he was bothered by a knee injury.

“I just tweaked my knee a little bit,” he said. “It was giving me a bit of a problem. It will be fine.”

Scotland’s Vicki Chalmers and Hammy McMillan cruised to a 9-3 victory over Canada’s Jocelyn Peterman and Brett Gallant, while Switzerland’s Esther Neuenschwander and Peter de Cruz beat Canadians Lisa Weagle and Brad Gushue 10-7.

“We said before (playing Homan), ‘what was better than 6-0?’ And we said ‘9-0’,” said Hasselborg. “We did that and we’re super happy and everyone is playing great and having tons of fun.”

Team World is looking to win the annual event for the first time since 2012.

Day 2 goes Friday and will feature two more mixed doubles draws and men’s singles.

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