Road To The Olympic Games

Canada downs Italy as Kevin Koe gets pursuit of curling gold off to winning start

Canada got its men’s curling title defence off to a winning start with a 5-3 win against Italy in Draw 1 on Wednesday in Pyeongchang.

Canucks continue podium pursuit Wednesday morning at 6 a.m ET against Great Britain

Canada skip Kevin Koe, centre, delivers a stone during his team's 5-3 win over Italy in Draw 1 of men's curling action on Wednesday in Pyeongchang. (Michael Burns/Canadian Press )

The Canadian Press

Calgary's Kevin Koe led Canada to a 5-3 win over Italy on Wednesday in the first draw of the men's curling tournament at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Canada scored a deuce in the eighth end to break a 2-2 tie but the Italians came right back with a double takeout to earn a single in the ninth. 

VIDEO | Koe leads Canada past Italy

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Holding hammer in the 10th, Koe earned an easy point with his final stone for the game's decisive score.

"I think we knew we were going to get a good test," said vice skip Marc Kennedy. "That [Italy] is a good team. Joel Retornaz has been around a while. He's beaten Canadian teams before.

"That game could have gone the other way. It's just one shot here or there."

The Canadians will play Britain in the day's second draw (Wednesday, 6:05 a.m. ET).

The top four teams in the 10-nation round robin advance to the semifinals.

Video | Bruce Rainnie, Joan McCusker and Mike Harris preview Olympic men's curling

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