Howard bounces back from Kiwi defeat

Canada vice-skip Wayne Middaugh and skip Glenn Howard (L) play against New Zealand at the World...

Canada vice-skip Wayne Middaugh and skip Glenn Howard (L) play against New Zealand at the World Men's Curling Championship 2012 in Basel April 5, 2012. (REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:39 PM ET

Glenn Howard bounced back from his first loss at the World Curling Championship with an 8-7 win over China in the final round-robin draw Thursday in Basel, Switzerland.

In the grand scheme of things, Howard's 9-7 loss to New Zealand in extra ends earlier in the day meant nothing other than to spoil his chance at running the table in the round robin. Howard clinched a spot in the Page playoff 1-2 game with a pair of wins Wednesday.

After losing to New Zealand -- the first time Canada has lost to the Kiwis -- in his first game of the day, the Coldwater, Ont., skip got back on the winning track against China in a game that wasn't as close as it appeared.

China scored two in each of the final two ends to make it respectable.

"If you'd told me before we got here we'd have been 10-1, I'd have locked that in," Howard said. "We finished on a winning note. We got off to a nice start, 5-1 after three, and were able to cruise after that. Hopefully we'll play better and get the job done."

Canada will face Scotland (8-3) in the 1-2 playoff game Saturday, with the winner moving on to Sunday's final. The loser will go to the semifinal.

Norway (8-3) qualified for the 3-4 playoff game against the winner of the tiebreaker between New Zealand and Sweden, both of whom finished at 7-4.

In the loss to New Zealand, Howard scored two to force an extra end. But Kiwi skip Peter de Boer tallied two of his own in the 11th end to make history.

"It doesn't get any better than that," deBoer said. "We just continued from how we played this morning. The front end set up the ends really well and we just had to stay with them in the first few ends. It's pretty exciting.

"That's the first time New Zealand has had a winning record (in a World Championship). So we're ticking off some boxes, and the next box we'd like to tick is a playoff."

 

 


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