CURLING: Americans stay alive in the playoff hunt at 2008 Men's Worlds
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 9, 2008 American men win second straight at 2008 World Men's Championship (GRAND FORKS, N.D.) - Craig Brown's Team USA took a right turn on the Autobahn towards the playoffs with an 8-5 win over Germany's Andy Kapp rink Wednesday night at the 2008 World Men's Curling Championship. Brown (Madison, Wis.) and teammates Rich Ruohonen (Brooklyn Park, Minn.), John Dunlop (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Pete Annis (Owatonna, Minn.) handed the Germans their fifth straight loss after starting the tournament 4-0. The U.S. men improve to 5-4 and are fighting for a ticket to Friday's playoffs. "It was a big win for us," said Ruohonen, who has an 82 percent shooting percentage through nine games, ranked fourth among vice skips. "We played pretty good in both games today. If we played like that earlier we'd be in much better shape. It's going to be a rat race to the finish, and we'll be right in it." Canada leads the pack at 8-1 with Norway and Scotland tied for second place with 6-3 records. The American men are tied for fourth place with Australia, China and France with two games remaining in the round robin. The U.S. plays Switzerland (2-7) at 2 p.m. and Canada at 7 p.m. tomorrow. The U.S. had control of the game from the first end against last year's world silver medalists despite an early snafu that resulted in the only lead for Germany when the 2007 world silver medalists stole two points in the second end. Brown came up short with his first stone trying to draw down to the German stone in the back of the four-foot. After Kapp threw the wrong stone while placing a guard, Brown then used it to try to wick off his own stone in the house and roll into scoring position but didn't quite get the right angle to give Germany the steal. The Americans answered with a deuce in the third end as Brown drew through a port to the four-foot to take a 2-1 advantage. The U.S. benefited on a mistake by Kapp in the fourth end as the 41-year-old skip made a takeout and Ruohonen swept his stone to the side of the rings for an American steal of two. "We played great, and Craig made everything, which was big for us" Ruohonen said. "We just about controlled every end." Brown made a soft tap on the German stone in the back of the four-foot to earn another deuce and extend the lead to 6-2 in the sixth. The Americans then forced Kapp to take yet another single in the seventh end. The U.S. continued to put up points on the scoreboard in the eighth end as Brown drew a third U.S. rock into scoring position with his first stone. Kapp made a double takeout to leaving Brown with a takeout for two more. Germany would score a deuce in the ninth end but it wouldn't enough. Unlike some of the games earlier in the week, the U.S. was able to close out the game peeling guards and running Germany out of rocks in the 10th end for the win. "We certainly seem to play well with our backs against the wall," Ruohonen said. "One more win ... and we'd have been in pretty good shape, but we'll be right in the thick of things." The Page Playoffs get underway at 2 p.m. Friday. The No. 1 seed plays the No. 2 seed with the winner advancing to Sunday's gold-medal game. The No. 3 and No. 4 teams battle to play in the semifinal against the loser of the 1-2 game. The loser of the semifinal and the 3-4 game lock horns in the bronze medal game Saturday night. Live webstreaming of the 2008 World Men's Championship can be found at www.wcsn.com or www.curltv.com. CBS College Sports Network will air a two-hour program from the 2008 Men's Worlds from 8-10 p.m. ET on May 1. Game scores: USA 8, Germany 5; Norway 6, France 4; China 7, Czech Republic 3; Scotland 6, Switzerland 4 USA line score: *USA 002 202 020 x 8 Germany 010 010 102 x 5 *last stone in first end Standings: *Canada 8-1 Norway 6-3 Scotland 6-3 Australia 5-4 China 5-4 France 5-4 USA 5-4 Denmark 4-5 Germany 4-5 Czech Republic 2-7 Sweden 2-7 Switzerland 2-7 *clinched a playoff berth USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, AmerAust Technologies and Nike. (30) For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling, firstname.lastname@example.org, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).