Americans pick up first win at 2009 World Mixed Doubles

April 20, 2009, 10:28 a.m. (ET)

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Seattle's Brady and Cristin Clark picked up their first win at the 2009 World Mixed Doubles Championship Monday at the Olympic Ice Stadium in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.

The Clarks, from the Granite Curling Club in Seattle, took down Norway's team of Ole Nicolai Hauge and Hilde Stenseth, 9-2, by virtue of multiple steals.

"We had a good practice last night. We played well today. It's always good to get the first win," Brady Clark said. "We got a lot of position stones early... that makes a world of difference. Next we have Spain, and they beat Sweden... it looks like anybody can beat anybody in this game." 

The Americans never had the last-rock advantage in this shortened six-end match but managed to steal the first five ends to build a commanding 9-0 lead. When the Norwegians (0-4) finally got on the board with a deuce in the sixth, they opted to concede the match. 

"It's nice ice, really nice conditions," Cristin Clark commented.

The Clarks return to round robin action Tuesday with games against Spain (1-2) and China (2-1).

Game scores: USA 9, Norway 2; Finland 9, Australia 3; Italy 10, Bulgaria 5; Canada 7, Russia 6 (extra end)

Line score:
*Norway 000 002 xx 2
USA 122 220 xx 9
*last stone in first end

Standings:
Green Group:
Denmark 3-0
China 2-1
Estonia 2-1
Hungary 2-1
Korea 1-1
Sweden 1-1
Spain 1-2
USA 1-2
Norway 0-4

Blue Group:
Latvia 3-0
Switzerland 3-0
Poland 2-1
Czech Rep. 2-2
France 2-2
Austria 1-1
Japan 1-2
Slovakia 1-3
Wales 0-4

Red Group:
Canada 4-0
Russia 3-1
Finland 2-1
New Zealand 2-1
Scotland 2-1
England 1-3
Italy 1-3
Australia 0-3
Bulgaria 0-3

Results and standings from the competition can be found online at http://www.curlingcortina.dolomiti.org/eng/Event/results.htm

Mixed doubles features two players per team as opposed to the traditional four-person curling teams. Each game consists of eight ends with variations from the regular game. Each team delivers five stones per end with one player delivering the first and fifth stones and the other team member throwing the stones in between. 

Prior to the start of each end, one team shall instruct the game umpire to place their team's stationary stone and the opposing team's stationary stone either as a guard outside the house bisecting the center line or on the back half of the button. The positioned stones cannot be removed until the fourth stone. Sweeping is allowed but with just two players that means either the thrower will sweep their own stone or the other team member will leave the house to sweep.

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