USA women squash Czechs to improve to 3-2 at 2009 World Juniors

March 09, 2009, 11:04 a.m. (ET)
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (March 8, 2009) - In another high-scoring affair featuring the USA women, Alex Carlson led her team to a 13-5 smashing of the Czech Republic Sunday afternoon at the 2009 World Junior Championships at the Vancouver Olympic Centre.

After stealing eight points over the final three ends, the American ladies handed the Czech Republic's Anna Kubeskova rink its fourth loss.

"It's always a confidence builder to win a game," said Carlson, 20, a student at Marquette University in Milwaukee.

With today's win Carlson (Wayzata, Minn.) and teammates Tabitha Peterson (Eagan, Minn.), Tara Peterson (Eagan, Minn.) and Sophie Brorson (Duluth, Minn.) improve to 3-2 in the round robin with four games remaining. Canada, which suffered its first loss today at the hands of France, and Scotland are tied for first place at 4-1 with Russia and Switzerland not far behind at 3-1.

"We're playing good; we got the jitters out of the way in the first game. This team has played together for four years now so we feel comfortable here," Carlson said. "We try to play our game and what we think will be the weakness of our opponent... so we wanted to make them draw a lot."

Although the scoreboard doesn't really indicate it, the game was close in the early ends. Trying to blank the first end, Carlson made a nose hit with her final stone and got the U.S. on the scoreboard with a single. The Czechs had a chance for three points but rolled out on their final takeout in the second. Carlson tied the game in the third with a draw for two points. Facing two American stones in the fourth end, Kubeskova was forced to draw full four-foot with her final stone to score just one point. Carlson would miss her takeout on a Czech rock in the back of the house in the fifth to allow a steal of two at the half-way point.

"The sheet (of ice) is a lot different than the others," Carlson said. "It wasn't swinging as much and not curling when we thought it would."

However, the momentum swung back in favor of the U.S. ladies in the sixth end when Carlson made a takeout for two. They followed up with a steal of three in the seventh when Kubeskova went through the house on her draw attempt, allowing the U.S. to steal three and take an 8-5 advantage.

The woes for the Czech ladies would carry over into the eighth end when Kubeskova missed a takeout and gave up a steal of two. After missing her final shot in the ninth end to give up three more, Kubeskova and her Czech Republic teammates decided to call it a day.

"Our front-end can out-play anyone here so that's definitely a strength," Carlson concluded.

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 March 15.

Game scores: USA 13, Czech Republic 5; Scotland 8, Denmark 7; France 7, Canada 4; Japan 9, Sweden 4

Line score:
Czech Republic 020 120 000 x 5
USA women* 102 002 323 x 13
*last stone in first end

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

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

USA Curling is sponsored by Kodiak Technology Group, AIT Worldwide Logistics and Nike.