U.S. earns third playoff seed at 2013 World Wheelchair Championship in RussiaTeam USA is back in the playoffs and will continue its quest for gold at the 2013 World Wheelchair Championship in Sochi, Russia. Patrick McDonald (Madison, Wis.) and teammates David Palmer (Mashpee, Mass.), Jimmy Joseph (New Hartford, N.Y.), Penny Greely (Green Bay, Wis.), and Meghan Lino (East Falmouth, Mass.) finished the round robin with a 7-2 record and will be the No. 3 seed for the Page playoffs, which get underway at 2:30 (local time) Friday.
Sweden (8-1) is the No. 1 seed and will play No. 2 Canada (8-1) in the Page 1-2 game, also at 2:30 p.m. Friday. The Americans will have to wait to find out who their playoff opponent is as China, Russia and Scotland finished the round robin tied for fourth place with 4-5 records and will have to play tiebreaker games to determine the No. 4 seed.
The Americans split today's games at the Ice Cube Curling Center. In the morning game, the U.S. defeated Russia's defending champions led by Andrey Smirnov, 5-4, in an extra end. Greely's second stone of overtime was a perfect freeze to cover the button that withstood the end and was the scoring point as Smirnov was unable to remove it with his promotion takeout attempt. In the afternoon game, the Americans bowed to Scotland's Gregor Ewan, 7-5. The win helped the Scots stay in playoff contention.
"I am quite ecstatic about how things are going," said Steve Brown (Madison, Wis.), Team USA's head coach. "It's very impressive. We had good expectations coming into the event, but there were still a lot of unknowns. Our goal was to get to the final four ...I like the chemistry of the team; I love their attitude and work ethic. Everything they've done this year has been 'A' quality. I would like to add compliments to the icemakers for their work here. They have done a tremendous job."
The Americans have only medalled once at this event, back in 2008 when the team won bronze. The USA's last playoff appearance at this event was in 2009 when the team finished fourth. They also finished fourth at the 2010 Paralympic Games in Vancouver.
Follow live scores and shot-by-shot at http://wwhcc2013.curlingevents.com/livescores.
Live coverage of all games on Sheet C can be viewed worldwide at http://russiasport.ru. The next live game won't be until the semifinals and then the medal games as the Page games are on sheets where cameras are not situated.
Video highlights can be found at http://wwhcc2013.curlingevents.com/video. Results, news and photos from the 2013 World Wheelchair Curling Championship can be found at http://wwhcc2013.curlingevents.com.