France edges USA ladies at 2009 World Juniors

March 09, 2009, 3:54 p.m. (ET)
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - With the push for playoff berths nearing fruition, the American women fell short Monday morning to France 7-6 at the 2009 World Junior Championships at the Vancouver Olympic Centre.

With today's loss, Alexandra Carlson (Wayzata, Minn.) and teammates Tabitha Peterson (Eagan, Minn.), Tara Peterson (Eagan, Minn.) and Sophie Brorson (Duluth, Minn.) are now 3-3 in the round robin standings in a tie with France for fifth place with a key game tonight against Canada (4-1).

"I think we're having a hard time getting used to the ice," said Brorson, 18. "Most of us aren't used to playing on ice as swingy as this."

Needing to set up a steal in the 10th end, the American front-end players got two stones in the house and looked in good shape until French vice skip Solene Coulot made a raise double takeout. Tabitha Peterson drew in behind the guard and Carlson would replace the guard with her first stone to keep the pressure on France. After Marie Coulot peeled the guard with her first stone, Carlson wasn't able to position her final stone well enough to hide the potential game-tying stone lying in the top of the eight-foot. Coulot, who handed Canada its first loss yesterday, coolly chipped out the American shot rock for the victory.

"We just have to execute better," Brorson said. "It seems like when we have the easy shots we miss them by a little. Maybe we need the hard ones?"

The U.S. women built a 2-0 lead after stealing a single in the second end when Coulot missed a raise takeout. The French would tie the game in the third, however, with a draw for two. The Americans momentarily grabbed the game's momentum in the fourth end when Carlson made a takeout for three points. In the fifth though, Carlson wrecked on a guard with her final stone, allowing Coulot to draw in for two more points.

Unsure if she had her draw weight down, Carlson curiously opted for a hit and roll instead of drawing the four foot in the sixth end, and gave up a steal of two. Another steal in the eighth end when Carlson was heavy, left the Americans trailing heading into the final two ends.

"I think sometimes it's hard for us to keep a lead," Brorson said but couldn't put her finger on why that is. "We get breaks here and there and Alex will make a great shot. We don't play a lot of junior events so we're used to playing at the women's level and leading games and then losing."

The USA men have the day off but return to action tomorrow with games against Switzerland (2-3) and Russia (1-4).
The top four teams at the conclusion of the round robin in each division advance to the page system of playoffs beginning Friday night. The gold medal games are set for 4 p.m. PT Sunday.

Game scores: France 7, USA 6; Switzerland 8, Sweden 7; Scotland 9, Japan 8; Russia 10, Denmark 1

Line score:
USA women* 110 300 001 0 6
France 002 022 010 0 7
*last stone in first end

Women's standings:
Scotland 5-1
Canada 4-1
Russia 4-1
Switzerland 4-1
France 3-3
USA 3-3
Denmark 2-4
Czech Rep. 1-4
Japan 1-5
Sweden 1-5

Men's standings:
Canada 5-0
Denmark 4-1
Norway 3-2
Sweden 3-2
USA 3-2
China 2-2
Switzerland 2-3
Scotland 1-3
Russia 1-4
Germany 0-5

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