Team USA is off to a perfect start at the 2013 World Wheelchair Championship at the Ice Cube Curling Center in Sochi, Russia.
Patrick McDonald (Madison, Wis.) led his team of David Palmer (Mashpee, Mass.), Jimmy Joseph (New Hartford, N.Y.) and Penny Greely (Green Bay, Wis.) to its second win today with a 10-2 victory over Norway's Lune Lorentsen. The win puts the Americans in a three-way tie with Canada and Sweden for first place in the round robin standings.
The U.S. took a 3-1 lead in the third end after scoring a deuce and grabbed the game's momentum. The game was broke open in the fourth end when McDonald drew to the button with his final stone to put four rocks in scoring position. Feeling the pressure, Lorentsen couldn't convert with the last rock and the U.S. stole four points. The Americans followed up with a steal of three in the following end and held Norway to a single in the sixth end.
On Saturday, the U.S. defeated China's Haitao Wang, 7-4, in the opening round of the competition. "It's good to have the first game under your belt. We've been dying to get over here and get on Olympic-quality ice. Now that the first game is over, the butterflies are gone," McDonald said after the win. "The Chinese team is always tough to play. My expectations coming into this event are a little better than last year. This year we've worked pretty hard. First couple of ends of this game were a bit rocky. But in our preparations for this, we worked on how not to panic and take things shot by shot. In the fourth end we ended up with two biters and I was able to draw for three. Having missed some of my draws, I took a deep breath and got right back into the game. China is a strong team; they've gotten tougher and more solid in their game. They are really good at forcing a take-out game and now they are better a doing raises and draws. They've developed finesse and weight control. I like playing them!"
The fourth session of the championship has been postponed due to a problem with the ice cooling plant. The U.S. was scheduled to play Korea (0-2) in the fourth session. The game will be rescheduled to a different time slot later in the week and announced soon by the World Curling Federation. U.S. team returns to the ice on Monday morning to play Sweden (2-0).
Further qualification points for the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia, will be awarded at the end of this year's world championship. Only ten teams will qualify for the Games. For more information visit: http://www.worldcurling.org/curling-at-the-paralympics. Results, news and photos from the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2013 can be seen here on the event website: http://wwhcc2013.curlingevents.com.
Follow live scores and shot-by-shot here: http://wwhcc2013.curlingevents.com/livescores
Live coverage of all games on SHEET C can be viewed worldwide here: http://russiasport.ru
The round robin continues through Thursday with the playoffs starting Friday afternoon. The U.S. is seeking its first-ever gold medal at the World Championship. The USA's best finish was bronze in 2008.
USA's alternate is Meghan Lino (East Falmouth, Mass.). They are coached by Steve Brown (Madison, Wis.) and Rusty Schieber (Portage, Wis.).
For more information contact Terry Kolesar, USA Curling, firstname.lastname@example.org, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900.