The European rinks are turning heads in the early going at the Masters Grand Slam of Curling in Abbotsford.
Through five draws at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre, five of the six teams who boast 2-0 records hail from across the pond.
All three undefeated rinks on the women’s side are Euros. Russia’s Anna Sidorova knocked off Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg, the 2008 world champ, by a score of 6-4 in the evening draw Wednesday, joining Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott and Sweden’s Margaretha Sigfridsson at 2-0.
On the men’s side, Glenn Howard’s Ontario rink is the only Canadian entry at 2-0 – he defeated Russia’s Andrey Drozdov 5-3 in the late draw.
The other two-win men’s teams are Rasmus Stjerne of Denmark, who wrapped up Wednesday’s action by edging Ontario’s John Epping 8-7, and Switzerland’s Sven Michel, who notched decisive wins over Drozdov (8-3) and Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen (7-3).
Among the highlights on Wednesday was Edmonton’s Kevin Martin and Thomas Ulsrud of Norway clashing in a rematch of the 2010 Olympic final. Martin, who also prevailed at the Vancouver Games, beat his Norwegian counterpart 6-4.
The Masters continues on Thursday at the AESC, with draws running at 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.