Canada downs Italy as Kevin Koe gets pursuit of curling gold off to winning start

Canucks continue podium pursuit Wednesday morning at 6 a.m ET against Great Britain

Canada downs Italy as Kevin Koe gets pursuit of curling gold off to winning start
Canada skip Kevin Koe, centre, delivers a stone during his team's 5-3 win over Italy in Draw 1 of men's curling action on Wednesday in Pyeongchang. © Michael Burns/Canadian Press

The Canadian Press

Calgary's Kevin Koe led Canada to a 5-3 win over Italy on Wednesday in the first draw of the men's curling tournament at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Canada scored a deuce in the eighth end to break a 2-2 tie but the Italians came right back with a double takeout to earn a single in the ninth. 

VIDEO | Koe leads Canada past Italy

Holding hammer in the 10th, Koe earned an easy point with his final stone for the game's decisive score.

"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."

The Canadians will play Britain in the day's second draw (Wednesday, 6:05 a.m. ET).

The top four teams in the 10-nation round robin advance to the semifinals.

Video | Bruce Rainnie, Joan McCusker and Mike Harris preview Olympic men's curling

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