Two of the juggernauts of men’s curling faced off in Pyeongchang on Thursday, with Norway facing off against Canada in an intense round robin showdown between two giants of the sport. The two teams are renowned for their prowess, with Canada ranking first and Norway ranking third globally in the World Curling Federation’s performance-based rank system.
Please note that this story was published before the primetime presentation on NBC, and as a result does contain spoilers.
Ultimately, Canada edged out a win against Norway by beating them 7-4, placing them in strong position for the upcoming semi-final rounds.
“It’s a great start for us in the competition; we haven’t played our best yet and we’re 3-and-0, so that’s a great sign,” Canada team member Brent Liang said in a post-game blog entry. “We’re finding ways to win, we’re staying in games and making shots when we need to. We’ll just keep building on that.”
During the same round robin series of games, Italy beat the United States 10-9, Great Britain beat Japan 6-5, and Switzerland beat Denmark 9-7. Round robin sessions will continue until February 22, when the semi-final will be held.
The two teams put up a formidable challenge in the face of the big moment. The Norway team counted Thomas Ulsrud, Torger Nergaard, Christoffer Svae, Haavard Vad Petersson, and Makus Hoeiberg. Canada counted Kevin Koe, Marc Kennedy, Brent Laing, Ben Herbert, and Scott Pfeifer among its ranks.
“That was the usual grind we always have when we play Thomas and the boys from Norway,” Liang said. “In the end, though, Kevin made some great shots down the stretch to get us the win.”
Beyond their skill, the Norway team has made a name for itself with their colorful outfits. In a Wednesday game against Japan, the team members wore pink trousers covered in love hearts to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, the pants were not enough as Norway lost to Japan 6-4. At the Sochi games two years ago, the team donned full suits with zig-zag lines in the country’s flag colors.
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