LAS VEGAS — A late comeback from North America's Kevin Koe prevented a World sweep in Thursday's opening draw of the Continental Cup of Curling.
The Calgary skip scored two points in the eighth and final end to battle to a 5-5 draw with Norway's Thomas Ulsrud.
The half-point Koe earned ended up being big for North America after Winnipeg's Jennifer Jones and Jamie Sinclair of the United States both fell in their opening matches.
"It is huge, especially with us losing a couple," said Koe, the reigning world men's curling champion. "We played well — tie game against a good team, we have to take it. Obviously we've been struggling a bit as a team lately, but we've been putting in a lot of hard work. This was one of our better games in a while, and it should be good if we can play that way the rest of the week."
Jones fell 5-3 to Switzerland's Binia Feltscher, who scored two points in what turned out to be the decisive seventh end.
Sinclair was defeated 6-4 by Sweden's Anna Hasselborg.
Those results gave Team World an early 2.5-0.5 lead over Team North America at the Ryder Cup-style curling event. The first team to 30.5 points wins.
Two draws were scheduled to follow on Thursday — a mixed-doubles afternoon draw and then another round of traditional matches.