Calgary's Kevin Koe, North America maintain lead at Continental Cup of Curling

LAS VEGAS — Calgary's Kevin Koe has Team North America in the lead at the halfway point of the 2017 Continental Cup.

Koe, backed up by vice-skip Marc Kennedy, second Brent Laing and lead Ben Hebert put together a 6-3 victory over Team World's Rasmus Stjerne of Denmark. It was the lone North American win on Friday night in traditional team play.

"You don't want to ever lose to Team World, so it's nice to put a couple good games together and hopefully it's the start of something good for us to get on a roll," said Laing. 

"We know we're still capable, we just haven't played our best very often this year. We know what we have to do to get better and we're doing those things."

Team World prevailed in the other men's game, with Norway's Thomas Ulsrud beating Heath McCormick of the United Staes 7-3, while the other game was halved — Sweden's Anna Hasselborg stole a point in the eighth and final end to pull out a 6-6 tie with Team North America's Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg.

Team North America maintained its narrow 10-8 lead in the four-day competition in which the first team to surpass the 30.5-point mark takes home the Continental Cup.

Jones had an open hit for a win against Hasselborg in her draw but rolled out her shooter to gift a half-point to Team World.

"You can't count on that, but the ice was a little bit tricky and we were struggling in the beginning," said Hasselborg, who surrendered a stolen point to Jones in the fourth end to put the Canadians up 4-1.

"But we managed to take two deuces with the hammer (in the fifth and seventh ends), and when it comes down to the last end, anything can happen."

Ulsrud, meanwhile, was able to bounce back from giving up a first-end deuce to McCormick by scoring singles in the second and third ends, and then stealing three in the fifth, helping Team World's bid to snap a four-year losing streak at the Continental Cup.

"We're keeping it close, at least, so we have a shot at the end," said Ulsrud.

The Continental Cup continues Saturday with the final two rounds of traditional team play, as well as mixed doubles play.


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