Canada's Kevin Koe opens Olympic men's curling competition with two wins
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GANGNEUNG, Korea, Republic Of — Canada's Kevin Koe opened the Olympic men's curling competition Tuesday with two straight wins.
The Calgary skip earned a 5-3 victory over Italy's Joel Retornaz in the first draw before capturing a 6-4 decision over Great Britain's Kyle Smith in the second.
Despite the solid start, neither of Koe's wins were dominant.
Canada needed two in the eighth end to take 4-2 lead over Italy, which pulled to within 4-3 with one in the ninth.
Koe cemented the win with one in the 10th.
"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."
Canada opened its match against Great Britain impressively, storming out to a 4-1 lead through three ends.
Smith's rink countered with singles in the fifth and sixth ends before the Canadians scored one in the seventh.
Koe forced Smith to take one — and relinquish last rock — in the eighth before clinching the win when Smith's last shot in the final end rolled out of the rings, giving Canada one for the 6-4 decision.
Canada plays Norway on Thursday.