CURLING: USA drops first game at 2008 World Women's Championship

March 22, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 23, 2008 USA drops opening game at 2008 World Women's Championship (VERNON, British Columbia) - Debbie McCormick's Team USA struggled in its opening game as they fell victim to last year's silver medalists from Denmark, 8-7, Saturday afternoon at the 2008 Ford World Women's Championship at the Greater Vernon Multiplex. Angelina Jensen's Denmark rink had never defeated McCormick's team until this afternoon. "We're really happy we won this game," the Danish skip said. "We knew we had a chance, but this is the first time we beat them. We waited for the perfect time." McCormick (Rio, Wis.) and teammates Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Madison, Wis.) and alternate Tracy Sachtjen (Lodi, Wis.), who is filling in for Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.), who has been ill, started strong but faded slowly. "Tracy hasn't thrown a lot of rocks or played much this season, but I'm comfortable with her," McCormick said of her 2003 world champion teammate. The Americans got an opening-end deuce after getting a stone buried in the four-foot behind a guard early in the end that allowed McCormick to draw in for two. The Danish ladies answered with three in the second end after it looked like the U.S. ladies might have a steal set up. Pottinger made a soft takeout to put five U.S. stones in scoring position but Denise Dupont made a hit and roll to bury a Danish stone in the middle of the house which eventually contributed toward three points for Denmark. After the teams exchanged singles, McCormick was forced to make a takeout for one point in the fifth end to tie the game at 4-4. Denmark scored a deuce and the American ladies had a chance to duplicate but McCormick came up just short with her draw shot in the seventh. "We didn't make enough shots," said McCormick, who is making her sixth appearance at Worlds. "We certainly had our chances, but I missed a lot of shots. A lot of my hits rolled out, I had a draw for two and a tap-back for two that I missed. So we're definitely struggling with execution." Denmark popped the Americans for another deuce in the eighth end when McCormick rolled her shooter stone out after making a takeout. This allowed Madeleine Dupont to draw in for two. McCormick's final stone in the ninth end over-curled as she tried to chip out a Danish stone in the back of the house, resulting in just one point for the U.S. Needing to steal two to force an extra end, Joraanstad got her first stone buried in the four-foot behind a U.S. guard that the Danish ladies couldn't ever remove. McCormick tried to draw behind that guard with her final stone as well but it just nicked the guard and rolled into the top 12-foot but was fully exposed. Madeleine Dupont nearly gave the U.S. a chance as she made the hit on that stone but it almost didn't go through the back of the house. "We've had some good practices here, and I think that helped a lot," Jensen said. "We're hoping to play as well as we did last year." The U.S. women return to the ice at 6 p.m. PT against Japan's Moe Meguro (1-0). Game scores: Scotland 8, Russia 7; Denmark 8, USA 7; Japan 9, Italy 8; China 11, Sweden 5 USA line score: Denmark 030 102 020 0 8 USA* 201 010 101 1 7 *last stone in first end Standings: China 1-0 Denmark 1-0 Japan 1-0 Scotland 1-0 Canada 0-0 Czech Republic 0-0 Germany 0-0 Switzerland 0-0 Italy 0-1 Russia 0-1 Sweden 0-1 USA 0-1 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).