Canada remains lone unbeaten team in pool at 2019 World Mixed

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World Mixed Curling Championship 2019, Aberdeen, Scotland

Canada has gained an edge on its competition and remains the only undefeated team in its pool at the 2019 World Mixed Curling Championship in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Winnipeg skip Colin Kurz, vice-skip Meghan Walter, second Brendan Bilawka, lead Sara Oliver and national coach Jim Waite earned their second victory at Curl Aberdeen with a 5-2 win against Alina Pavlyuchik of Belarus (1-1) on Sunday.

The team from the Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club began its slow and steady pursuit to victory with a score of one with hammer in the first end and single steals in the second through fourth ends for a 4-0 lead at the halfway point of the game.

Despite the hot start, Kurz thought there was a little more to be desired from their game.

“We definitely were a little sloppier than the first game. The ice was a little bit different and we didn’t catch on to it quickly. As it went on, we got a little bit better,” Kurz said. “We cleaned some things up and played solid. It was more one shot here or there that we’d miss in an end, but we managed to keep playing well. It was a fun game.”

Belarus scored one in the fifth and the teams exchanged single points over the following two ends. Belarus offered Canada handshakes, providing Canada with its second win early in the championship event, which runs until next Saturday.

Canada returns to the ice on Thanksgiving Monday against Slovakia’s Juraj Gallo (1-1) at 11 a.m. (all times ET). They’ll follow up later in the week against Hong Kong, Nigeria, Estonia and Kosovo – all nations the young Canadian squad has never played against.

“Our whole pool has really cool teams, so I’m excited for every game and to get to know new people,” Kurz said. “Belarus were another great team to play against and they were really nice. I don’t expect anything less from any of the teams, so we’re always excited to play new people.”

The top three teams from each of the five eight-team pools will advance to the single-elimination playoffs on Friday. The fourth-place team with the best Draw Shot Challenge accumulated throughout the event will earn the final spot in the 16-team playoff.

The semifinals and gold- and bronze-medal games will both be played on Saturday.