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Canada's Kevin Koe opens Olympic men's curling competition with two wins

Canada skip Kevin Koe follows his front end of second Brent Laing (left) and lead Ben Hebert after delivering his stone during his draw one match against Italy at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb.14, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ HO-WCF/Curling Canada/Michael Burns MANDATORY CREDIT

Canada skip Kevin Koe follows his front end of second Brent Laing (left) and lead Ben Hebert after delivering his stone during his draw one match against Italy at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb.14, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ HO-WCF/Curling Canada/Michael Burns MANDATORY CREDIT

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.

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