Colin Kurz and his Winnipeg-based team are a long way from home during the Thanksgiving weekend, but have plenty to be thankful for at the 2019 World Mixed Curling Championship.
While the team remains unbeaten with a 3-0 record after another win on Monday, it is perhaps most thankful for the contingent of friends and family who made the trip to Aberdeen, Scotland.
“We’re really lucky that we have ten or twelve family members and close family friends who came out to join us here. I think this experience this weekend wouldn’t be quite as fun if they hadn’t been able to make the trip over, so we’re very grateful for them coming. It’s really fun to have a big group here cheering us on,” Kurz said.
Kurz, vice-skip Meghan Walter, second Brendan Bilawka and lead Sara Oliver of the Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club, along with national coach Jim Waite, treated the Canadian fans to a 7-4 victory against Slovakia’s Juraj Gallo (1-2).
Slovakia started the game with hammer, but Canada stuck to an aggressive gameplan for a steal of three. From that point on, Canada controlled the game and maintained any type of Slovakian comeback. Slovakia blanked the second end and took one point in the third. Canada entered the fourth-end break with a 5-1 lead after scoring two and once again forced Slovakia to one in the fifth. The teams exchanges deuces over the following two ends before the game ended.
“I think we played well today. It was one of those games where we just kept learning more. More about the ice, more about each other, our tendencies and the way we throw,” Kurz said.
Canada will hit the halfway point of its seven-game round-robin schedule when it takes on Jason Chang of Hong Kong (2-1) at 3 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday.
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.