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Canada’s Gushue posts 11-3 win over Russia at world men’s curling playdowns

Team Canada skip Brad Gushue makes a shot during a draw against Switzerland at the Men's World Curling Championships in Edmonton, on April 1, 2017.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canada's Brad Gushue defeated Russia's Alexey Stukalskiy 11-3 in round-robin play Sunday morning at the world men's curling championship.

The St. John's, N.L., skip had hammer for the opening end and hit an open draw for a deuce. The rout was on in the second end as Stukalskiy wrecked on a guard to give Canada a steal of four.

Russia got on the board with two points in the third but Gushue answered with a pair in the fourth for an 8-2 lead.

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Gushue scored three more points in the sixth end and the teams shook hands.

Two more draws were scheduled for later Sunday at the Northlands Coliseum. Canada will play Sweden's Niklas Edin in the late draw.

Gushue and his team of vice-skip Mark Nichols, second Brett Gallant and lead Geoff Walker opened round-robin play Saturday with a 7-5 win over Switzerland's Peter de Cruz.

Round-robin play continues through Thursday and the medal games are set for next Sunday.

Kevin Koe skipped Canada to a gold medal at last year's world championship in Basel, Switzerland. Koe lost to Gushue in the Tim Hortons Brier final last month in St. John's.

Canada has won gold 35 times in the 58-year history of this event.

Gushue is trying to become the first skip to win gold at the world junior championship (2001), Olympic Games (2006) and world men's championship.

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A podium appearance would also give his team a berth in the Olympic Trials in December in Ottawa. Gushue is a virtual lock to qualify at the end of the season thanks via ranking points.

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