Canada's Rachel Homan gets 1st win at curling worlds
Canada will play Denmark in the evening draw
Canada's Rachel Homan recorded her first win at the world women's curling championship on Sunday with a 7-5 victory over Latvia's Iveta Stasa-Sarsune at the Volvo Sports Center.
Canada led 5-1 after four ends and was never really threatened the rest of the way.
"It's really good to get that first one under your belt," Homan said. "The team is doing much better today than we were yesterday but we knew it was going to come.
"We're just learning from our mistakes and it's just going to get better and better as the week goes on."
Homan opened the tournament Saturday with a 6-4 loss to four-time world junior champion Eve Muirhead of Scotland.
"We've put in the practice, we've put in the work and yesterday wasn't really us," Homan said. "We knew we'd come out playing really well today and just believing in our ability."
On Sunday, the Canadian players displayed the form that has been their trademark this season. They used consistent, effective shot-making and made aggressive plays at the right time.
With the debut jitters out of the way, Homan and crew appeared more settled against Latvia. They were cracking smiles and enjoying the atmosphere in the cosy venue.
Canada opened the scoring with a pair in the second end. Latvia cut the lead in half in the third before Homan broke things open with three points in the fourth.
The win was all but assured after Canada posted two more points in the sixth end.
Most of the 250 fans in attendance at the 1,000-seat arena were trying their best to cheer on the underdog hosts. A few cowbells rang out on occasion and flags hung from the railing of the small upper section.
The intimate venue is similar in size to a community centre hockey rink with a few rows of seating on each side of the ice.
Big names like Germany's Andrea Schopp, Sweden's Margaretha Sigfridsson and Muirhead are in the field this year. For the spectators, it's the curling equivalent of seeing a top-flight concert in a small theatre.
Latvia's only previous appearance at this event came in 2010 and the host team was determined to soak up the experience.
Even after giving up three points in the fourth, Stasa-Sarsune and her teammates high-fived and smiled. They weren't going to let the score affect their enjoyment of playing a curling powerhouse like Canada on home ice.
It was a respectable showing by the Latvians, who picked up a couple of steals late in the game before conceding in the 10th end. Stasa-Sarsune hit 73 per cent of her shots to 84 per cent for Homan.
Canada shot 85 per cent as a team while Latvia was at 77 per cent.
In morning play, Schopp edged American Erika Brown 6-5 and Japan's Satsuki Fujisawa beat Denmark's Lene Nielsen 6-4.
Switzerland's Silvana Tirinzoni led the round-robin standings at 3-0 after an 8-5 win over China's Bingyu Wang in the afternoon. Sweden's Margaretha Sigfridsson crushed Scotland 11-2 and Russia's Anna Sidorova topped Diana Gaspari of Italy 9-4.
After four draws, Germany and Sweden were the other unbeaten rinks at 2-0.
Canada was tied with Scotland, Denmark, the United States and Japan at 1-1. Latvia (0-2), Italy (0-3) and China (0-3) were still looking for their first win.
Round-robin play continues through Thursday and the medal games are scheduled for March 24.