VANCOUVER, British Columbia (March 15, 2009) -
Minnesotans Chris Plys, Aanders Brorson and Matt Perushek capped off their final year of junior eligibility with another medal as the Americans defeated Sweden 9-4 to win the bronze medal Sunday afternoon at the 2009 World Junior Championships at the Vancouver Olympic Centre.
"It feels good to go out playing like I know we can. It's a good way to cap our team's career, no complaints," Plys said. Shuster now heads to Moncton, New Brunswick, for the 2009 Men's Worlds in April to play fifth for John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.), whose team won the U.S. Olympic Team Trials last month and will represent the U.S. at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
As the most successful junior curler in U.S. history, Plys (Duluth, Minn.) won five junior titles and the last four in a row. In his appearances at the Junior Worlds he led his team to gold in 2008 and now bronze in 2009.
"It was my last game ever as a junior...it meant a lot to play like we can," Plys said. "It was a good way to cap it off, we can't ask for anything more. It was awesome playing with the guys for three years. We finished our junior career in style. It would have been nice to get one more but...We set a goal for ourselves at a camp at the beginning of the season to get to the semis of the World Juniors. We did that, but it didn't work out for one more (gold)."
Team lead Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) has one year of junior eligibility remaining. Perushek heads off to law school in the fall at George Mason University.
"It's been a great three years for us with winning the gold last year and now this. I plan to take a few years off. At the beginning of the season we agreed that we would sit down at the end of season and decide what was next, but for me, I need to take a few years off," Perushek said.
Denmark's Rasmus Stjerne denied Canada's Brett Gallant of the men's gold medal, 9-4. Earlier today, Scotland's Eve Muirhead won her third straight world junior title by defeating Canada's Kaitlyn Lawes, 8-6. Switzerland defeated Russia to win the women's bronze.
The Americans got off to a great start today, scoring two points in the opening end and capitalizing on a steal of three points for a 5-0 jump-start. They'd steal two more in the fourth end before Oskar Erikkson's rink would get on the scoreboard with a deuce in the fifth end. The USA men would score two more after that leaving the Swedes derailed. Line score:
Sweden 000 020 02x x 4
USA men* 230 202 00x x 9
*last stone in first end
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