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Team Gushue's path to gold at the LGT World Men's Curling Championship


After Rachel Homan and her historically dominant Ottawa foursome ended Canada’s drought at the World Women’s Curling Championship, Team Brad Gushue is now tasked with doing the same on the men’s side.

The final leg of TSN’s Season of Champions is here as Schaffhausen, Switzerland is set to host the 65th version of the World Men’s Curling Championship.

You can watch all of Canada's game throughout the week as well as every playoff game on TSN and streaming on or the TSN App. 

Gushue will skip Canada at the worlds for the fifth time since 2017 after capturing his recording-tying sixth Brier Tankard earlier this month in Reinga.

The 43-year-old Gushue and his St. John’s, Nfld., foursome of third Mark Nichols, second E.J. Harnden and lead Geoff Walker will look to win one more game this year after being blown out by Scotland’s Team Bruce Mouat in the 2023 gold-medal final, 9-3, in Ottawa.

Gushue at the Men's Worlds

It marked Gushue’s third silver-medal finish at the worlds after dropping two final clashes against Sweden’s Niklas Edin in 2018 and 2022, both of which occurred in Las Vegas.

The last time Canada struck gold at this event was in 2017, when Team Gushue, playing with second Brett Gallant, went a perfect 13-0 in Edmonton, capped with a win over Team Edin in the final.

Gushue and company will be the road team this time around as they’ll represent the Red and White at a worlds outside of North America for the first time.

Schaffhausen’s KSS Sports Complex will serve as the event’s venue.

Team Gushue's 2023-24 Season

Switzerland last hosted the men’s worlds in 2016 in Basel when Canada’s Team Kevin Koe stood atop the podium.

Team Gushue has posted a 43-16 record with three wins in 11 events played in 2023-24.

This year’s field sees many familiar faces returning, including five of the top 10 teams in the world.

Team Gushue (sixth), Scotland’s Team Mouat (second), Sweden’s Team Edin (seventh), Switzerland’s Team Yannick Schwaller (fifth) and Team John Shuster of the United States (15th), all have a good chance at nabbing a medal.

Field for World Men's Curling Championship

However, the most dominant team in men’s curling this year has been the Italians, led by veteran skip Joel Retornaz.

They come into the tournament as the top-ranked team on the planet and will be looking to capture the country’s first gold medal at the World Men’s Curling Championship.

Nine of the 13 teams from last year's field are returning for the 2024 tournament. 

The teams will compete in a 12-game round-robin, with the top two rinks advancing straight to the semis. In the qualification round, the third-seeded team will take on No. 6, while No. 4 will play No. 5 with spots to the semifinals on the line.

Canada has won a tournament-best 36 gold and 56 total medals over the 64-year history of the men’s worlds. Sweden has won the second most gold medals with 11, while Scotland has stood on the podium 36 times, which is the second most behind Canada.

Let’s take a closer look at Canada’s path to gold in Switzerland.  


Top Contenders

Italy (Team Joel Retornaz)

Mattia Giovanella and Joel Retornaz

The team to beat in Switzerland may be the Italians.

Joel Retornaz, the team’s 40-year-old skipper, has come a long way since leading Italy to a 4-5 record at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

Over the past few years, Team Retornaz, also featuring third Amos Mosaner, second Sebastiano Arman, lead Mattia Giovanella and Canadian coach Ryan Fry, has emerged as one of the most dominant teams in men’s curling.

The foursome from Trentino has stepped up their game to another level in 2023-24 and that has earned them a world No. 1 ranking.

They own a 63-13 record on the season with five wins in 11 events played, including three Grand Slam victories. They’ve also in qualified in every event. However, aside from Italian nationals in February, Team Retornaz hasn't won an event since mid-December.

Team Joel Retornaz's Season

Team Retornaz dropped their only game against Team Gushue in January. In fact, Gushue holds a 10-1 record all-time against Retornaz, with the Italian’s only win coming in their first matchup at the 2006 Olympics. Four of those 10 wins have been at the men’s worlds.

Retornaz led Italy to a bronze medal in 2022, the country’s lone medal at the World Men’s Curling Championship.

There’s a good chance Italy is back on the podium again this year. It just depends on which step.

With the Winter Olympics returning to Italy in 2026, it will be interesting to see how Team Retornaz handles the pressure of being the top ranked team at an event of this magnitude.


Scotland (Team Bruce Mouat)

Bruce Mouat

Team Mouat will be the defending champions at this year’s World Men’s Curling Championship.

The Scots, featuring skip Bruce Mouat, third Grant Hardie, second Bobby Lammie and lead Hammy McMillan Jr., posted a 10-2 round-robin record last year in Ottawa before eliminating Italy in the semifinal and routing Canada’s Team Gushue in the gold-medal game, 9-3.

It marked the first world title for Stirling’s Team Mouat and the first for Scotland since 2009 when David Murdoch, now Curling Canada’s high performance director, defeated Kevin Martin in Moncton, N.B.

The 2022 Olympic silver medallists haven’t missed a beat in 2023-24 as they come into this tournament ranked second in the world.

Team Mouat is 59-20 with an impressive six wins on Tour, including the European Curling Championships in November and the Canadian Open in January.

One surprising bump on the road came at the Scottish Curling Championship in early February when they were blasted 9-1 in the semifinal by Team James Craik.

Despite not winning nationals, Scottish Curling still selected Team Mouat over Team Ross Whyte, the national champs who rank fourth in the world, to represent the country at worlds.

Gushue and Mouat have not played each other this season.

This will be Team Mouat’s fifth appearance at the World Men’s Curling Championship and will look to reach the podium for a fourth time.


Sweden (Team Niklas Edin)

Niklas Edin

Six-time world champion Niklas Edin will make his ninth straight appearance at this event.

The 38-year-old skip, alongside third Oskar Eriksson, second Rasmus Wrana and lead Christoffer Sundgren, fell in the semifinal qualifier last year, ending their four-year run as world champions.

At least he gave us the greatness of the “super spinner.”

Ranked seventh on the planet, Team Edin haven’t had a particularly strong season – at least by their standards.

The foursome from Karlstad is 44-27 with no wins on Tour and three final losses.

Edin is 1-1 against Gushue this season. The St. John’s skipper has the all-time head-to-head advantage at 27-16, including 5-4 at worlds. However, Edin is 2-1 against Gushue in gold-medal games and also beat him twice at the 2022 Winter Olympics, including in the semifinal, on his way to capturing the gold.

Gushue and Edin have been international curling rivals for years and their clash (or clashes) in Schaffhausen should be some of the best curling of the week.

Expect the Swedes to be back in the playoffs and making a run for the top step of the podium once again.


Switzerland (Team Yannick Schwaller)

Team Yannick Schwaller

The Swiss will have home-ice advantage at this year’s World Men’s Curling Championship as Team Yannick Schwaller is seeking the country’s first gold medal since 1992 when Markus Eggler accomplished the feat in Germany.

Team Schwaller, who claimed bronze last year in the nation’s capital, is 52-21 and qualified in all 11 of their events, including going 15-7 over four Grand Slam events. They won Western Showdown in December and finished third at the European Championship.

Gushue and Schwaller have played each other four times this season, each winning twice.

Schwaller, 28, took over for Peter De Cruz ahead of last season and will be making his third appearance at the men’s worlds.

The team is rounded out by fourth Benoit Schwarz, second Sven Michel and lead Pablo Lachat.

It will be the eighth appearance for 32-year-old last-rock thrower Schwarz. The Geneva native has an incredible five bronze medals at this event, so you can imagine he’s interested in changing the colour of the medal on home soil this year.


Who else could make some noise?

United States (Team John Shuster)

John Shuster and Chris Plys

American John Shuster, the 2018 Olympic champion, hasn’t won a medal at the World Men’s Curling Championship since 2016 in Basel, the last time Switzerland hosted the event.

Shuster, 41, will make his 11th appearance at the men’s worlds this week and will look to improve on his 5-7 record from last year in Ottawa.

Duluth’s Team Shuster, featuring third Christopher Plys, second Matt Hamilton and lead John Landsteiner, are 45-21 in 2023-24 with their lone win coming at the USA Curling National Championships, beating Team Korey Dropkin in the final.

The foursome is playing some good curling as of late, making the finals in four of their past five events.

Sitting 15th in the world coming in, Team Shuster is the sixth highest-ranked team at the men’s worlds and should be in contention for one of the last playoff spots by the end of the round-robin.


Norway (Team Magnus Ramsfjell)

Magnus Ramsfjell

Magnus Ramsfjell and his Norwegian rink might be the biggest dark horse at this year’s world championship.

The 26-year-old led his team of third Martin Sesaker, second Bendik Ramsfjell and lead Gaute Nepstad to an impressive 10-2 record at last year’s tournament before dropping the semifinal qualifier to Italy’s Team Retornaz.

Ramsfjell finished second last (2-10) in his first worlds appearance in 2019 and then went 5-7 in his second appearance in 2022.

In 2023-24, Team Ramsfjell has posted a 39-24 record with seven qualifications in 11 events, but no victories. They are ranked 17th in the world.

Ramsfjell is 1-2 against Gushue this season.

Norway has 18 total medals at the World Men’s Curling Championship, including four gold, most recently won by the late Thomas Ulsrud in 2014.

Can Ramsfjell cause some upsets and get his Nordic country back in the playoffs and maybe even on the podium?


The Rest of the Field

Korea (Team Park Jong-duk)

Skip Park Jong-duk, 38, has one prior appearance at the worlds, playing second for Kim Soo-hyuk in 2016. They finished with a 2-9 record that year.

Team Park, ranked 26th, holds a 38-28 record this season.

They split their two matchups against Team Gushue at the Pan-Continental Curling Championships in November. The Canadians dropped the round-robin opener to this Korean team, but faced them again in the final, winning 8-3.

Korea has never medalled at the World Men’s Curling Championship.


Netherlands (Team Wouter Gösgens)

Wouter Gösgens, 25, will represent the Dutch for a sixth time at the men’s worlds in Switzerland.

As a last rock thrower, Gösgens and company went 2-11 in 2021 before going 3-9 as a full skip in 2022.

Netherland has never made the playoffs at the World Men’s Curling Championship.


Germany (Team Marc Muskatewitz)

The 32nd ranked Germans are led by 28-year-old Marc Muskatewitz.

The rink out of Fuessen are 35-23 this season with just three qualifications in 11 events, winning a bonspiel in early December.

Team Muskatewitz is coming off a 1-4 performance at the Aberdeen International Curling Championship in mid-March.

Germany hasn’t reached the podium since 2007 and will be in tough to qualify for the playoffs in Switzerland.


Japan (Team Shinya Abe)

Just one year older than Gushue, Japan’s Shinya Abe will be the oldest skip at this year’s world championship at age 44.

Abe played for the Japanese rink that finished fourth in 2019 and went 6-7 in 2021.

He will now skip a team that is ranked 48th in the world after posting a 27-17 record so far this season.

Abe calls the game and throws third stones while Tetsuro Shimizu is the last rock thrower.


Czech Republic (Team Lukáš Klíma)

The Czechs will be skipped by 33-year-old Lukáš Klíma for a third straight year.

Klíma went 5-7 in 2022 and 3-9 last year in Ottawa.

Team Klima, ranked 63rd in the world, is 24-23 this season and have a combined 1-6 record against Schwaller, Mouat, Edin and Retornaz.


New Zealand (Team Anton Hood)

At No. 131, New Zealand’s Team Anton Hood is the lowest-ranked team in the field.

They’re 16-21 in 2023-24 and have not qualified in any of their seven Tour events.

Hood, 24, and New Zealand posted an 1-11 record at last year’s worlds in Ottawa.

The Kiwis probably won’t be in contention in Schaffhausen, but you can bet they will have one group of people in Western Canada cheering them on.

In an effort to cut costs while training in Canada, Team Hood have been living in a retirement home in Calgary since September.

The senior residents of Chartwell Colonel Belcher Retirement Residence have quickly become fans of the New Zealand curlers and vice vera.