North America holds slight edge over World at Continental Cup

Team Koe skip Kevin Koe throws a rock during a draw against Team Laycock at the 2017 Roar of the Rings Canadian Olympic Curling Trials in Ottawa on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017. (Justin Tang/CP)

LONDON, Ont. — Team North America split the three points available in the three team games Saturday night to take a 15.5 to 14.5 lead over Team World at the Continental Cup curling tournament.

Kevin Koe, who will represent Canada at the Pyeongchang Olympics next month, skipped his Team North America squad to a 9-6 win over Team World’s Niklas Edin. In the other night games, Silvana Tirinzoni edged Team North America’s Michelle Englot 9-4, and United States skip John Shuster settled for a 7-7 tie with Team World’s Peter De Cruz.

Sunday’s final two sessions of skins games will decide the winner.

"Typically that’s the way these things go," said Koe. "It’s a little heavily weighted towards the skins and that’s fine, you want it to come down to the big games on Sunday.

"The more the pressure, the more the fun."

Team North America is looking for a sixth straight Continental Cup title.

There are 60 points available over four days of competition featuring traditional team games, mixed doubles and skins games but half of those points are to be won on Sunday. The first team to reach 30.5 points is declared the winner.

Team North America led by three points after Friday but Team World won two-of-three mixed doubles matches in Saturday morning’s draw and the teams split the three points available in the afternoon team games.

"It always comes down to Sunday," said Team World’s Thomas Ulsrud, who lost 7-2 to Brad Gushue on Saturday afternoon but gets a rematch with the reigning Brier and world champion Sunday night.

"That’s the fun part of this … there lots of points on the line and we’re playing these guys again so I’m looking forward to that."

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