Martin undefeated after 2 draws in Vancouver

Kevin Martin’s rink finished the first day of men’s curling atop the standings and undefeated after defeating Germany’s Andy Kapp 9-4 at the Vancouver Olympic Centre on Tuesday night.

Martin and his team of third John Morris, second Marc Kennedy and lead Ben Hebert were perfect on day one, improving their record to 2-0.

It took both teams nearly half the game to figure out the inconsistent ice conditions, with each team claiming a deuce through the first four ends.

Canada broke the tie in the fifth as Kapp wrecked on his own guard, leaving Martin an easy open draw for two.

Kapp responded with a great draw of his own and closed the gap to one after six ends, but Martin proved he was finally comfortable with the ice and scored three points on a beautiful angle raise to put the game out of reach.

Canada finished strong, scoring another two points in the ninth to seal the deal.

Mrtin’s rink will have the day off on Wednesday and put its perfect record on the line on Thursday against Sweden.

Elsewhere in the rink, France’s Thomas Dufour gave up three points in the seventh end but still managed to outlast China’s Fengchun Wang 6-5.

Dufour found himself down by one heading into the final end but came through with two points in the tenth end to steal the game from Wang, who is now 0-1 in the tournament.

In the battle of dark horse medal contenders, Thomas Ulsrud evened his 2010 Olympic record to 1-1 as his Norwegian rink defeated the United States’ John Shuster 6-5 in 11 ends.

Shuster appeared to be in control as he had last-rock advantage in the extra end.

Ulsrud’s solid defensive strategy paid off as he stole a single point in the 11th end to finish a forgettable day for Shuster, who dropped his second straight match.