CURLING: USA men inch closer to playoffs at 2008 World Juniors

March 05, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 5, 2008 USA men inch closer to playoffs at 2008 World Juniors (STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - The U.S. men shook off a rough first half to defeat Switzerland's Manuel Ruch rink, 9-5, Wednesday night to put themselves in a three-way tie for second place at the 2008 World Junior Championships in Ostersund, Sweden. Plys (Duluth, Minn.) and teammates Aanders Brorson (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Perushek (Eveleth, Minn.) and Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) improved to 5-2 with two games remaining in the round robin. Canada's William Dion rink secured a playoff berth with an 8-7 win over Sweden in an extra end. After the conclusion of the round robin, the top four teams advance to the Page Playoffs, whereby the first and second place teams meet in one game (winner to final, loser to semi-final) while the third and fourth place finishers meet in another game (winner to semi-final, loser to bronze medal game this year). The Americans spotted the Swiss two points as they allowed an opening-end steal. The Swiss got three stones in the house and three guards in front of the house forcing Plys to draw the four foot but he come up narrow and nudged a Swiss stone in the top of the house. The woes continued as the U.S. gave up a steal of one in the second end when Plys couldn't convert on a takeout. The Swiss continued to control the match with Plys being forced to draw for one in the third end to get on the scoreboard. The fourth end was played fairly open with the Swiss skipper converting a takeout for one point. The U.S. added another single in the fifth end with Plys drawing the four foot. The tide changed for the Americans after the fifth-end break as the Swiss got into trouble early and their skip was looking at four American stones scattered around the rings when he got into the hack to throw his final stone. He would end up throwing it through the house allowing the U.S. to steal a game-changing four points to take their first lead. The Americans kept the pressure on in the seventh end forcing Ruch to draw the four foot for one point after Plys made a great draw behind the center guard to sit in the top of the eight foot. The U.S. men added another point in the eighth end with Plys making a nose hit on the Swiss stone in the side of the eight-foot to take a two-point advantage into the ninth end. In the ninth, Hamilton froze his two lead stones together in the four-foot to keep the Swiss on their toes throughout the end with the Swiss skipper's final stone hitting a guard to give up a steal of two and the win to the Americans. The U.S. men return to the ice tomorrow to play Germany (3-4) in the 2 p.m. (7 a.m. CT) match. They finish the round robin against China (3-4) on Friday morning. The round robin continues through Friday morning. Live scoring and a webcam to watch the action can be found at The USA-Germany women's game will be featured on the live camera at 7 p.m. Thursday (noon CT). Game scores: USA 9, Switzerland 5; Germany 7, Norway 2; China 8, Czech Republic 4; Denmark 6, Scotland 3; Canada 8, Sweden 7 (extra end) Line score: USA men* 001 014 012 X 9 Switzerland 210 100 100 X 5 * last rock in first end Standings: Men: *Canada 6-1 Sweden 5-2 USA 5-2 Switzerland 5-2 Norway 3-4 China 3-4 Denmark 3-4 Germany 3-4 Czech Republic 1-6 Scotland 1-6 *clinched playoff berth Women: Russia 5-2 Scotland 5-2 Sweden 5-2 Denmark 4-3 Canada 3-4 Japan 3-4 Norway 3-4 Switzerland 3-4 Germany 2-5 USA 2-5 USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, AmerAust Technologies and Nike as well as by AT,T 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).