USA men come up one point short in singles event at 2008 ConCup

Dec. 23, 2008, 3:38 p.m. (ET)

Dec. 20, 2008

(CAMROSE, Alberta) - USA's Craig Brown rink ended their rookie appearance at the 2008 Continental Cup coming up one point short of Norway's Thomas Ulsrud rink in the men's singles competition Saturday afternoon at the Edgeworth Center.

"When we won the nationals and people said this would be the icing on the cake, they were right," Pete Annis said about the event. "I really hope they keep it going."

North America continues to trail Team World, 119-81, with two skins competitions left. Three "B" skins events, worth 30 points a piece, could make or break Team North America. The competition concludes with the "A" skins tomorrow.

"We thought we did our part," Pete Annis said of the team's performance. "We won some key games for our side." 

All six shooters would score zero points in the first event of the men's singles - the run through. USA's John Dunlop (Milwaukee, Wis.) made contact with the guard but couldn't run it back. His opponent, Norway's Torger Nergard would mimic his attempt.

Up next was vice skip Rich Ruohonen (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) scoring a perfect five with a draw to the button to skip Thomas Ulsrud's four points. The two would switch scores in the draw through the port as Ruohonen's stone slid to the back of the four-foot to earn just four points.

Tied 9-9, next up was the raise and USA lead Annis (Owatonna, Minn.) needed no sweeping as he perfectly made contact and raised his stone to the button. Not to be out-done, Norway's lead Harvard Vad Petersson scored five points of his own to keep the game knotted up.

"I hadn't made one in practice and actually threw it with a little more weight than I wanted, but it worked out," Annis said.

American skip Craig Brown handled the last two rocks - the hit and roll to the button and the double takeout. Brown (Madison, Wis.) earned three points on his first toss but wasn't able to convert the double, which gave Norway the 18-17 win for four points.

Thanks to the hot shooting of Kevin Martin, North America earned four points when Martin's squad defeated Scotland's David Murdoch rink, 19-16. China's Fengchun Wang rink put four more points on the scoreboard for Team World with a 20-15 win over North America's Kevin Koe rink. 

The aggregate scores of the men's and women's singles competition was 95-93 in favor of Team World, awarding eight bonus points to bring the overall tally to 119-81 for the visiting side.

In tonight's match-up, North America's Stefanie Lawton will tangle with Switzerland's Mirjam Ott in the women's "B" skins while Kevin Koe battles David Murdoch. In the mixed "B" skins, Kevin Martin, Jennifer Jones, Marc Kennedy and Dawn Askin will take on the mixed world team of Thomas Ulsrud, Anette Norberg, Fengchun Wang and Bingyu Wang.

Tomorrow's "A" skins match-ups are Jennifer Jones versus Anette Norberg and Kevin Martin against Thomas Ulsrud.

Standings (after eight events):
Team North America 81
Team World 119

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS (all times local)
Saturday, December 20
Draw 9 - 7:30 p.m. - Skins games (men's, women's and mixed B)

Sunday, December 21
Draw 10 - 8:30 a.m. - Final women's skins game 
Draw 11 - 2 p.m. - Final men's skins game 
Closing ceremonies - 4:15 p.m.