Team Canada skip Pat Simmons releases a rock as Nolan Thiessen

Canada wins twice to lock up spot in Page playoff 1-2 game

Canada’s Pat Simmons rebounded from his first loss at the Ford world men’s curling championship by winning a pair of games Wednesday, locking up a spot in the Page playoff 1-2 game in the process. Simmons beat Switzerland’s Marc Pfister 8-4 in the morning draw and topped Scotland’s Ewan MacDonald 7-1 in the evening at Scotiabank Centre.

Canada’s Pat Simmons rebounded from his first loss at the Ford world men’s curling championship by winning a pair of games Wednesday, locking up a spot in the Page playoff 1-2 game in the process.

Simmons beat Switzerland’s Marc Pfister 8-4 in the morning draw and topped Scotland’s Ewan MacDonald 7-1 in the evening at Scotiabank Centre. The Canadian team of Simmons, third John Morris, second Carter Rycroft and lead Nolan Thiessen will take an 8-1 record into the final day of round-robin play Thursday.

“I’d say we’re playing a good A game,” Morris said. “But we want to get to an A-plus game.”

Defending champion Thomas Ulsrud dumped Jiri Snitil of the Czech Republic 12-5 to join Canada in a first-place tie and secure the other 1-2 game berth. Ulsrud and Simmons will meet Friday night with a spot in the final on the line.

The third and fourth seeds will meet in Saturday’s 3-4 game with the winner to advance to the semifinal against the loser of the 1-2 game. The semifinal winner will play for gold and the loser will play for bronze.

The medal games are set for Sunday. The Canadians, who suffered their only loss to Ulsrud on Tuesday night, are hoping to return to the podium after settling for a fourth-place finish last year in Beijing.

“That’s a great team and they’re the defending world champions,” Thiessen said. “Was it (pro wrestler) Ric Flair who said, ’To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man?’ So that’s what we’ve got to do.”

Simmons was in form from the start against Scotland, picking up steals in the first three ends for an early 3-0 lead. MacDonald got one back in the fourth with an open hit but Simmons answered with another single in the fifth end.

Canada took a 5-1 lead in the sixth end and the teams blanked the seventh. MacDonald conceded after giving up a steal of two in the eighth end.

“You’re playing for pride out there when you’re playing Scotland,” Morris said. “It was just good to see us come away with the W and keep the pressure on Ewan most of the game, and eventually he showed a few cracks.”

Sweden’s Niklas Edin, the 2013 world champion, picked up two victories to move into sole possession of third place at 6-3 while Switzerland lost twice to fall into a fourth-place tie with Finland’s Aku Kauste at 5-4. Kauste edged China’s Jialiang Zang 8-7 in an extra end.

American John Shuster and Japan’s Yusuke Morozumi were next at 4-5. Canada will play Finland and Italy on Thursday.

In the morning victory, Simmons hit a takeout to score three in the fourth end and stole two more points in the fifth to put the game out of reach.

“I’m happy to see that we bounced back,” he said.

“We were ready to play this morning against a good team and managed to play pretty well.”

With the game well in hand, Canadian alternate Tom Sallows replaced Rycroft in the seventh end.

Canada opened the round robin with six straight victories before falling to Ulsrud. The Norwegian skip defeated Italy’s Joel Retornaz 9-2 in the minimum six ends in his morning game.

“We got a good start and picked up from where we left off yesterday against Canada,” Ulsrud said. “We have a lot of confidence in the ice and it’s really coming together right now.

“The only thing I’m worried about right now is the guys peaking too early in the week, so we just have to keep it going.”

Several groups of schoolkids watched the morning action from the upper level of seats. That helped boost attendance to 1,680 at the 10,500-seat venue.

Only 1,237 fans took in the afternoon action. Attendance rose to 3,052 for the evening draw with Canada back on the ice.

China, Italy, the Czechs and Scotland were tied at 3-6 after 14 draws. Russia was last at 2-7.

Glenn Howard was the last Canadian skip to win this event. He took the gold at the 2012 competition in Basel, Switzerland.

Just Posted

Rachel Notley is coming to Red Deer

Speaking at campaign office

Missing woman reported

Last seen in Red Deer

Allies of local LGBTQ community to speak at RDC on Tuesday

Red Deer College is starting a conversation about gender and sexual orientation… Continue reading

Case of Red Deer ex-teacher charged with child sex offences in court

Norman Joseph Howes accused of offences that occurred during 2018 Christmas break

RDSO goes to the movies for blockbuster concert Saturday at Red Deer’s Memorial Centre

‘Star Wars,’ ‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Star Trek’ music on the program

Canadian pair fifth after short program at figure skating worlds

SAITAMA, Japan — Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro are fifth after… Continue reading

Director Kim Nguyen tackles financial ‘madness’ in ‘The Hummingbird Project’

TORONTO — As Quebec filmmaker Kim Nguyen tells it, “The Hummingbird Project”… Continue reading

What Disney gets as its $71.3B buy of Fox assets closes

It’s finally complete. Disney closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment… Continue reading

Opinion: Let’s be heard ‘loud and clear’ during provincial election campaign

By David Marsden During the banquet for Sunday’s Boston Bruins alumni game,… Continue reading

Documentary on Colten Boushie case to open Toronto’s Hot Docs festival

TORONTO — A film examining the case of a young Indigenous man… Continue reading

Want to help bees? Plant flowering herbs

Herbs are among the most useful plants in nature. They can tantalize… Continue reading

UN: Gene editing for human reproduction is ‘irresponsible’

GENEVA — A panel convened by the World Health Organization said it… Continue reading

Photos: Three moose spotted in Red Deer Tuesday

Three moose were spotted in Red Deer Tuesday morning. Red Deer resident… Continue reading

Most Read