Let’s face it: Brazil was never going to beat Canada in a best-of-five curling series. It was never really about that, anyway.
In the first end of the competition, Canada scored seven points against Brazil and never looked back. The Canadian rink, led by Glenn Howard, swept the Brazilians off the ice 15-1, 8-3 and 6-3 in three straight games.
The series win clinched Canada’s spot at the men’s world championship at the beginning of April in Las Vegas.
“I’ll be honest with you, it’s a huge relief,” Howard said after the victory. “I knew how massive this challenge was because the entire country was riding on this series. We had to win this thing and we did.”
Howard’s team was asked by Curling Canada to take on this endeavour. While it seemed like an easy answer, Howard, winner of four Brier titles and four world championships, says he hesitated to say yes.
“I was nervous when I was first asked…Canada has never missed a world championship. It would have been a shame after my career for that to happen.”
Why did series happen?
The big question: How did Canada and Brazil end up in this curling series anyway — especially considering Canada is the reigning world champion?
With the world championship being held in Las Vegas, the host country, USA, gets the automatic entry.
The Americas zone is guaranteed two spots. Canada would get that second spot because of its world ranking — but that’s where Brazil comes in. The Brazilians challenged Canada for their spot in this year’s world championship. Game on? Not really.
This challenge was always going to be about growing the sport in Brazil and putting curling in the spotlight of the soccer-crazed country.
“If I don’t keep going until next generations can play, curling will die in Brazil,” skip Marcelo Mello said. “We have been putting a lot of efforts in the last ten years so it’s known in our country.”
Fun moment at the end of the game as some curlers from both sides swap Canada-Brazil jerseys. <a…