Howard takes a pair of close ones
By QMI Agency
|Glenn Howard delivers his stone during play against Switzerland at the World Men's Curling Championship in Basel on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. (Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters)
Canada chalked up two more wins Tuesday at the men's world curling championship, but Glenn Howard's unbeaten rink faced a bit more adversity than usual.
Canada survived an extra-end battle with Switzerland in the morning draw at Basel, Switzerland, then broke a 5-5 tie with three points in the final two ends to defeat Denmark 8-5 in the afternoon.
The Canadians were alone in first at 7-0 through 10 sessions of round-robin play. They had a bye in the 11th draw Tuesday night and gained further ground as both China and Sweden lost to fall into a three-way tie for second with Scotland at 5-2.
In Canada's afternoon match, Denmark skip Rasmus Stjerne played a hit and roll on to the button for one point, tying it 5-5. But Howard rebounded for two in the ninth and a steal of one in the 10th.
Canada won its morning match 7-6 against Switzerland.
In the 10th end, Switzerland's Benoit Schwarz, 20 -- who wasn't even born when Howard won his first world championship title in 1987 -- shrugged off the pressure to knock out two Canadian counters and scored one with under 10 seconds left on the clock, tying the game at 6-6 and forcing an extra end.
In the extra, Howard had a straightforward draw for one point.
Howard said he missed a couple of shots during the match. "I wasn't sharp and those were bone-head shots," he said.
At night, Scotland edged China 7-6 to create the second-place logjam. Norway and New Zealand improved to 4-3 -- the former defeating Sweden 8-3 and the latter beating the Czech Republic 8-5.
Denmark downed Switzerland 9-4 in the other match to move into as tie with France for seventh place at 3-4.