Canada overpowers Sweden to remain perfect

Kevin Martin kept his perfect record intact as Team Canada defeated Team Sweden 7-3 after nine ends in men’s Olympic curling action at the Vancouver Olympic Centre on Thursday afternoon.

Martin’s rink, which consists of third John Morris, second Marc Kennedy, lead Ben Hebert and alternate Adam Enright, scored two in the first end and then tightened up defensively, only allowing a single through the next four ends.

Swedish skip Niklas Edin missed a difficult takeout in the fifth end, allowing Martin a wide open draw to the twelve-foot to score three points and take a commanding 5-1 lead from which the Swedes would not recover.

The win over Sweden marks the third straight for Canada who will once again put their perfect record on the line Thursday night when they take on France’s Thomas Dufour.

Switzerland’s Markus Eggler continued his surprising play as he defeated defending world champ David Murdoch of Great Britain 4-3 to match Martin’s perfect 3-0 record.

Eggler managed to hold Murdoch off the board for the last six ends of the game and stole a single point in the tenth end to push Murdoch’s record to 1-2.

Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud has won two straight and is back in the hunt, after defeating Germany’s Andy Kapp 7-4.

Kapp, who is struggling to find his game after twice winning the silver medal at the World Curling Championship, struggled defensively against Ulsrud, who scored two deuces in three ends and allowed only singles to lead Norway to victory.

Denmark’s Ulrik Schmidt narrowly defeated John Shuster’s American rink 7-6 in 11 ends in the battle of the two remaining winless teams.

Shuster was in the driver’s seat after six ends leading 5-4 but allowed a steal of one in the seventh end to give the Danes a chance.

The Americans had the hammer in the eleventh end and once again gave up a steal of one, this time to end the game.

The loss gives Shuster’s rink the dubious distinction of being the only team in men’s curling yet to record a win at these Olympics.