Universiade: Canadians drop opener
HARBIN, China (CIS) - Sweden's Niklas Edin scored four in the
third end and never trailed as Canada opened the Men's Curling
competition at the 24th Winter Universiade with an 8-5 defeat to
their Scandinavian opponents.
Skipped by Laurier's Mike Anderson, the Canadian entry at the games rallied after coughing the four-spot with single point steals in the fifth and sixth ends, but could not overcome the 5-1 lead they'd spotted their opponents in the early stages of the game.
"To be honest, we just came out a little bit flat," said Anderson. "We had a whole bunch of opportunities to score points throughout the game, but just weren't able to take advantage of any of them. Really, we only had the one timely miss, but they took advantage of it and we weren't able to turn it around on them when we had the chance."
The Canadians struggled to find their draw weight in the early stages of the game, while the Swedes seemed to have a better handle on the conditions at the Heilongjiang Skating Gym. The Swedes took a 5-3 lead into the fifth end break, and responded to the Canadian steal in the sixth with a pair in the seventh end to re-take a two-point spread. The teams traded singles in the following two ends before Sweden ran the Canadians out of stones in the tenth.
"We identified Sweden as probably the number two team in the field when we arrived, so we knew it was going to be a tough draw out of the gate." Said Anderson. "You never want to drop a game early, because you'll never know along the way when you might need that one back but we're certainly not worried about what this one means for us for the rest of the week.
The round robin portion of the men's competition has the guys taking to the ice in the afternoon draw, they'll play two games on Friday - Japan in the morning and Norway in the evening draw.
"Yeah - it'll be interesting to see what those teams throw at us," said Anderson. "Both opened their weeks with completely opposing results. Norway had a big win on their sheet (11-1 over Finland) while Japan had a bit of a tough go in their game (a 10-2 loss to China). It doesn't really matter either way for us though, we just know that we have to get off to a better start and not spot any of these teams a lead like we did today."
2009 Winter Universiade website: www.harbin2009.org