Team Canada, skipped by Russ Howard, is on the practice ice right now (photo) in Pinerolo. That's right... official reference to "Team Gushue" is now Team Canada, with Russ officially the skipper.
Brad, of course, gets a ton of press in his own right. Heading into tonight's match with Germany's Andy Kapp, who is returning to Olympic play following his first appearance in 1998, Gushue said:
Germany are a strong contender... the last time I played them, I was 14 years old and they won. But I've grown six inches since then.
Finland's Markku Uusipaavalniemi – we love typing that – struggled in his morning game loss to Switzerland's Ralph Stoeckli, and will need to pick it up against a fired-up Pete Fenson of the U.S. Naturally, at least half the practice rocks U-15 and his Finnish bombers throw are missiles, a constantly confounding sight... and this on ice which ran a lightning 25+ seconds in the afternoon draw with barely two feet of curl. Sigh.
To close today's earlier loop, Calgary's Shannon Kleibrink was simply overwhelmed by Sweden, in a modest 7-5 scoreline. Incidentally, Anette Norberg's squad are blogging from the Games – hopefully not in volation of a handful of IOC rules – at this site, for those who speak Swedish.