REGINA — Relations between Canada and China weren’t any better after the Thursday morning draw at the world men’s curling championship.
Canadian lead Steve Gould called out the Chinese for their tactics in his team’s 5-4 win, saying they were, in essence, cheating.
“I was mad about them laying on the ice, and I was mad about how they were shovelling in front of rocks,” Gould said. “In my opinion it’s a form of cheating. They were defacing the ice when they’re diving around on the ice. Their sliders were scraping the ice.
“I shouldn’t have to sweep up after a guy and my broom is covered in snow. And there were hand prints.”
China, skipped by Yan Song Ji, finished out of the playoffs with a 4-7 record in its fourth appearance at the worlds. Gould hasn’t played much against the Chinese in his career, but he was not impressed with Ji’s team.
“They’re melting the ice. The pebble doesn’t ever come back. Flat spots occur,” Gould said. “We play the top teams, and none of them do that. I don’t ever have to tell Kevin Martin to get off the ice, you’re wrecking it, because he doesn’t want picks either. It’s just not right.”
Gould said the officials talked to the Chinese, but he doesn’t think they did enough.
“At the Masters this week, do you think if Phil’s got a putt and Tiger defaced the green prior to him putting that there wouldn’t be some action?” Gould said. “The difference is the officials actually might do something about it at a golf tournament.”
The Chinese also had Canadian skip Jeff Stoughton scratching his head. Ji, who didn’t have the hammer in a 4-4 game, decided to go into the house with his first stone in the ninth.
“That’s not a normal way of how you would play a ninth end, but they took us to 10,” Stoughton said. “I guess that was their goal.
“… You have to try. I would rather lose 10-2 and call the right game than lose 3-2 and call a bad game. It’s kind of disappointing that they would do that, but that was their goal.”
ABOUT TIME: Scotland is tied with Sweden for second place with five world men’s titles, so it’s not easy getting out of that country.
You don’t have to tell that to Tom Brewster, who finally made it to the worlds this year after nearly two decades of trying.
“That makes it even more sweeter, really, to have worked so hard and for so long,” he said. “The relief to finally win the men’s in Scotland was incredible.”
YOU FIRST: Stoughton and Brewster weren’t about to give any hints away when it came to their game plans for Friday’s 1-2 page playoff game.
Both skips were asked how they were going to attack the other.
“If I told you, then he would know,” Brewster said.
“They read papers. I’m not telling you anything,” Stoughton said.
AND WE QUOTE: Brewster, when asked again how to beat Canada, suggested following the game plan of China, which forced Stoughton to draw for the win in the 10th.
“Either that or keep Stevie in the Patch."