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Canada defeats Lithuania to remain unbeaten at world mixed curling championship

Felix Asselin Felix Asselin - The Canadian Press

ABERDEEN, United Kingdom — Canada remained undefeated halfway through round-robin play at the 2023 World Mixed Curling Championship with a 9-5 win over Lithuania on Monday.

The Canadians, skipped by Montreal's Felix Asselin, took a 9-4 lead after scoring two in the fifth end and following with a steal of one in the sixth.

Lithuania conceded after being limited to one point in the seventh.

“We were really able to capitalize on misses during the game,” said second Émile Asselin. “We felt like we were the ones putting the pressure on and just had to be patient.”

The win moved Canada, which also includes vice-skip Laurie St-Georges and lead Emily Riley, atop Pool B at 4-0 heading into games Tuesday against Poland and New Zealand.

New Zealand is one of three teams right behind Canada at 3-1, along with Slovenia and Taiwan. The Kiwis, who had a chance to move into a tie for first with Canada before a 5-4 loss to Taiwan in Monday's late draw, play Lithuania earlier Tuesday before facing Canada.

“I think we are all doing a good job not thinking too far ahead and staying in the moment,” Émile Asselin said. “We want to think of this one game at a time and get as many wins as we can."

Lithuania gave Canada a scare early, scoring three points with the hammer in the second end and taking a 3-2 lead.

Canada responded with four points in the third, then held Lithuania skip Paulius Rymeikis to a single in the fourth.

"After the second end, we all made sure we were still confident," Émile Asselin said. "We had two bad misses late in the end that cost us, but we knew that we had played 14 good shots out of 16.

"We just wanted to stay focused on the process and got good breaks in the third end."

The four group winners at the end of the round robin advance directly to the quarterfinals, while teams who place second and third in each group will play qualification games to determine the other four quarterfinalists.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 16, 2023.