CURLING: USA forces tiebreaker game at 2008 World Wheelchair Championship

Feb. 06, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Feb. 6, 2008 USA heads to tiebreaker game at 2008 World Wheelchair Championship (SURSEE, Switzerland) - Team USA did what it needed to do today and got a little help from Russia to force a tiebreaker game for the remaining playoff berth at the 2008 World Wheelchair Championship. Augusto Perez (East Syracuse, N.Y.) and teammates James Pierce (North Syracuse, N.Y.), James Joseph (New Hartford, N.Y) and Jacqueline Kapinowski (Point Pleasant, N.J.) meant business with a convincing 9-2 win over Switzerland's Manfred Bollinger rink. They will now play Italy's Andrea Tabanelli rink, a team they lost to 7-5 in the round robin, in Thursday's tiebreaker match. The Italians fell to Russia 5-4. "We're back to the same thing we did last year," Perez said. "I personally started slow this week, but I picked my game up." Norway secured the No. 3 playoff seed with a dramatic 5-3 extra end win over Korea. Despite losing to Scotland, 5-2, in the round robin finale, Canada will be the No. 2 seed while Korea retains the No. 1 spot. Those two teams will meet in the Page Playoff 1-2 game on Friday with the winner advancing to the championship final Saturday. The losing team from that game will play the winner of the 3-4 game between Norway and the winner of the Italy-USA tiebreaker match. The U.S. scored three points out of the gates with the last-rock advantage and then proceeded to steal four more points over the next two ends to put the game out of reach for the Swiss. Joseph shot a scorching 90 percent in today's game before USA fifth-man Bob Prenoveau (Chittenango, N.Y.) replaced him in the sixth end. "When everybody is relaxed out there, the shots just come, and it's easier for everybody to make good shots," said Perez, who is playing in his second world championship and also competed in the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games. The U.S. has earned a spot in the 2009 World Wheelchair Championship based on their fourth-place finish in the round robin. The U.S. is hoping to win its first-ever medal at a world wheelchair championship where the Americans have finished no better than fifth place since the inaugural event in 2002. Game scores: Russia 5, Italy 4; Norway 5, Korea 3 (extra end); USA 9, Switzerland 2; Scotland 5, Canada 2 Line score: Switzerland 000 110 2 USA* 313 002 9 *last stone in first end Standings: *Korea 7-2 *Canada 6-3 *Norway 6-3 Italy 5-4 USA 5-4 Sweden 4-5 Scotland 3-6 Switzerland 3-6 Japan 3-6 Russia 3-6 *playoff berth USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, AmerAust Technologies and Nike as well as by AT,T, General Motors, The Home Depot, and Bank of America through a joint marketing program with the U.S. Olympic Committee. (30) For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling,, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).