LONDON, Ont. — American skip John Shuster scored an 8-3 win in front of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for Team North America's only victory Friday evening, giving his squad a 10.5 to 7.5 advantage in the race to 30.5 points at the Continental Cup.
"That was cool, man, really cool that your prime minister would show up for our curling event," Shuster said after his victory and long after Trudeau had departed. "It's a once in a lifetime chance to meet a country's leader for the players on the bench."
With Trudeau watching from the Team North America players' bench, Shuster scored two in the first end and stole singles in the next three for a 5-0 lead they nursed home to victory.
"When you're snowed in, why not check out the action on the ice? No flying out of London tonight, but we saw some great action instead at the #ContCup2018. Thanks @CurlingCanada for the welcome," tweeted Trudeau.
Brad Gushue of St. John's, N.L., fell to Sweden's Niklas Edin 5-3 while Ottawa's Rachel Homan played Sweden's Anna Hasselborg to a 6-6 tie in Friday night's other two draws.
Each game in the team play is worth one point in the overall standings to the winning team. A total of 60 points are available over the four days of competition, which features traditional team games, mixed doubles games and skins games, with the first team to reach 30.5 points declared the winner.
Edin scored deuces in the first and sixth ends to nip Gushue while Hasselborg scored twos in the second, sixth and eight ends to tie Homan and split the point available in their game.
Meanwhile, Glenn Howard completed a three-game sweep of the Americas challenge against Marcelo Mello of Brazil with a 6-3 win that gave Canada a spot in the 2018 world men's championship.
"To be honest with you, a huge relief," Howard said. "I knew how massive this challenge was. Really the whole country was riding on this series, so we had to come out guns a blazing and we had to win it. Think about it, if Brazil beats us Canada doesn't go, first time in history Canada doesn't go to the world championship."
The Continental Cup continues Saturday with three draws, including teams and mixed doubles.