Canada and Norway improve to 3-0 at world men's curling championship

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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MONCTON, N.B. - Canada's Kevin Martin lived up to the pre-tournament hype Sunday, crushing two opponents to earn a share of first place along at the Ford world men's curling championship.

Martin took apart Thomas Dufour of France 7-2 in the afternoon draw and then dropped Fengchun Wang of China 9-4 in the evening to run his record to 3-0.

"It's all good so far ... the guys are playing well," said Martin, the defending world champion. "So far, so good."

Martin broke open his showdown with Wang with three points in the third end and another three in the fifth end.

"It's nice see to the ice coming back," said Martin "There was no frost tonight at all so it's all under control."

Players were forced to battle through high humidity and heavy frost on opening day Saturday because of higher than normal temperatures in Moncton.

Martin, who played a more tentative style in his first two games, changed his strategy against China.

"We were more aggressive tonight and hopefully if the ice stays like this we'll be able to be very aggressive," he said.

Canada is tied with Thomas Ulsrud of Norway, who won his third straight in Sunday's afternoon draw. Ulsrud stole six points in the first six ends in an 8-2 win over Czech Jiri Snitil.

"It's a good start for us," said Ulsrud. "To be honest, when I saw the draw for the worlds I pretty much hoped we would win the first three, but you're never sure.

"On paper I think we are a better team than the three we have met so far but this is perfect to get off to a good start."

John Shuster of the U.S., shook off a poor showing on Sunday's morning draw with an impressive 10-3 victory over Switzerland's Ralph Stoeckli.

The win came after the U.S. gave up a six-point end in a 12-6 loss to Scotland's David Murdoch earlier in the day.

"We really just regrouped after that," said Shuster. "During the trials this year we lost the one-two game and that could have devastated us and we were able to rally back from that.

"Today after we gave up that huge end to end our game we kind of went back and said we can put it in our past like we did then and we did a great job today. The guys played great."

Stoeckli, who is being coached by two-time Canadian and world champion Russ Howard ,is now 1-2 but said there is still lots of time to turn things around.

"There are so many good teams out there you can win and lose any given day," he said. "I think we can turn around if not then there is something wrong."

Dufour and Murdoch also improved to 2-1 in the evening draw.

Dufour defeated Japan's Yusuke Morozumi 8-2 while Murdoch won an 11-8 shootout with Andy Kapp of Germany.

Six teams were sitting at 1-2 after two days of competition: the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Finland and Switzerland.

Total attendance for Sunday's evening draw was 3,591, bringing the two-day total to 18,213.

Organizations: Ford

Geographic location: Canada, Norway, MONCTON U.S. Switzerland China Japan Germany Scotland Czech Republic Denmark Finland

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