Canada’s Gushu has won the World Men’s Curling Championship for the third time in a row

LAS VEGAS – Challenging snow conditions on Sunday at the World Men’s Curling Championships have left players’ confidence at a premium.

Brad Gushu’s Canada team (3-0) was able to overcome the hurdle and used three steals to give the Netherlands’ Wauter Goesgens a 9-6 victory in the eighth over.

“According to the standings, we are really happy,” Gushu said. “We’re not that sharp in terms of the game.”

The first half of the St. Johns-based squad of Gushu, Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker had to be forgotten, which ended with a pre-game end-stone draw of 199.1 cm, the worst of the tournament.

Gusuye nodded in a hit-and-roll attempt to steal the Dutch at the other end. On the fifth end he dropped another deuce when his stone crashed into a guard.

“I threw two really good stones and it made me feel like I was a nightclub curler on Monday,” Gushu said. “But the ice is just like that and it came back to bite them on the eighth end as well.”

With a percentage reduction and a Dutch Rink 5-2 up, Gushua’s side had some say in the fifth-end break. Canada was determined to put more pressure in the second half and it worked.

“There’s going to be misses but let’s try to limit them and try to fight,” Walker said. “The big thing is believing that we’re going to make the next one.”

Gusuye scored two goals in the sixth over and stole in the seventh to tie the game. Goesgens’ first-half pace disappeared and his light throw against three in the eighth over turned the game around.

“We’re throwing some really nice rock and we look like we haven’t curled up before,” Gushu said. “But it has to do with the ice. It’s frustrating for the World Championships.”

The warm temperatures outside the 9,500-seat field hosted the event in 2018 did not help the quality of the ice. There have been lots of curls but overall consistency has been a problem.

“It’s going to be a long week,” Gushu says. “We will have many more games like today where you have to limit your losses.”

Four Canadians have brought their shooting percentage down to at least 80 percent. But their trademark confidence was not always there.

Asked later if he finally felt comfortable on the ice, Gushu deadpanned: “When I got off it.”

Towards the end of the draw, Canada was to meet Yannick Schwaller of Switzerland.

Elsewhere in the afternoon, Denmark’s Tobias Thun defeated South Korea’s Su-Huk Kim 6-7 in extra time and American Corey Dropkin defeated Czech Republic’s Lucas Klimor 6-5.

Joel Retornaz of Italy scored four goals in the 10th over for a 10-8 win over three-time defending champion Nicolas Edin of Sweden, who lost twice a day.

“It’s hard there and it’s not just us,” Gushu said. “You look around and see that Nicholas is one of the best teams in the world today, and he was 69 percent. You don’t see that.”

Gushu has won four national men’s titles in his career. His only world title came in 2017 in Edmonton.

The round robin game will continue until Friday. The top six teams from 13 teams will advance to the playoffs.

The medal game is scheduled for April 10.

Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland won the women’s world title at Prince George last week, while Kerry Ainerson of Canada took the bronze.

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