CURLING: Czech Republic hands USA its first loss at 2008 World Men's Championship

April 06, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 6, 2008 Czechs hand USA first loss at 2008 World Men's Championship (GRAND FORKS, N.D.) - Jiri Snitil called Czech mate on the USA's Craig Brown team Sunday morning at the 2008 World Men's Curling Championship as the rookie team handed the U.S. a 7-6 loss. Snitil's Czech Republic team upset the 2006 world champion from Scotland yesterday and now improves to 2-0 with the defeat of the Americans. Brown (Madison, Wis.) and teammates Rich Ruohonen (Brooklyn Park, Minn.), John Dunlop (Milwaukee, Wis.), Pete Annis (Owatonna, Minn.) and Kevin Kakela (Rolla, N.D.) had decent ends set up but had trouble closing things out. "It's not like we played terrible...we just didn't finish the ends," said Ruohonen, who is playing in his first world championship. "Their skip played great." Trailing 3-1, Brown tried to draw for a single in the fourth end but came up short resulting in a steal of two. The Americans were poised for a big end in the fifth but things fell apart in the final four stones as Brown inadvertently removed his own stone with his first toss and rolled too far with his second to give up a steal of one. "They played really well," Ruohonen said of his opponent. "They made some really good shots to keep us chasing." Brown was forced to draw for one in the sixth end after he was heavy with his first stone as the U.S. tried to set up the deuce. The Americans waited for the Czechs to make a mistake in the seventh end but it would be a long wait as the world curling newcomers held shot stone for the entire end. Snitil had a chance for two but rolled his shooter out on his takeout to take a 7-2 advantage. The U.S. got its lone deuce in the eighth end as Brown made a hit and kept his stone in the house to cut the lead to 7-4. After the Czechs blanked the ninth end, the U.S. got three stones in the house but Snitil converted an open takeout on one of the stones to clinch the victory. "I didn't feel like we shot that bad," said Ruohonen, an attorney by day and curler by night. "I felt like we controlled most of the ends. It just came down to a few shots." The U.S. returns to action to take on Scotland's David Murdoch rink, 10-6 winners this morning over Norway. Both teams are 1-1 in the standings. "We just have to come out tonight and get another win," Ruohonen said. "It's a long week, and we got a lot of games left." Game scores: Czech Republic 7, USA 6; Scotland 10, Norway 6 USA line score: *Czech Republic 102 210 100 0 7 USA 010 001 020 2 6 *last stone in first end Standings: Czech Republic 2-0 France 2-0 Germany 2-0 Canada 1-0 Sweden 1-0 Scotland 1-1 USA 1-1 Australia 0-1 Denmark 0-1 Norway 0-2 China 0-2 Switzerland 0-2 USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, AmerAust Technologies and Nike. (30) For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling,, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).