USA cruises to third straight at 2009 Women's World Championship

March 24, 2009, 4:28 p.m. (ET)
GANGNEUNG, South Korea - USA's Debbie McCormick rink dominated the host Koreans tonight to continue the arduous upward climb off the bottom of the standings at the 2009 Mount Titlis World Women's Curling Championship.

McCormick (Rio, Wis.) and teammates Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Madison, Wis.) and Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.) have admittedly gained better knowledge of the rocks being used here at the Gangneung International Ice Rink, which has resulted in them playing more comfortably - and confidently.

"The rocks can still move differently, but we're throwing a lot of draws and using practice times to test them more. I feel like we're getting it figured out," Nicholson said.

With tonight's 9-2 win over Korea's Mi-Yeon Kim rink, the U.S. improves to 3-4 with four games remaining in the round robin and the playoff picture still murky.

"We can't look too far into the future because we know we have tough teams left to play and another loss will hurt us," Nicholson said. "I think it's always a work in progress. We still know our abilities and believe we can keep winning."

After missing an opportunity for two points in the opening end, the U.S. scored in the next two ends as they capitalized on key mistakes by the inexperienced Koreans, who are playing in just their second world championship.

A steal of two points in next end gave the U.S. breathing room to continue to put the pressure on. Korea was facing three American rocks when Kim went to throw her final stone in the third end. She'd come up short, giving the U.S. one more. After Kim finally got her team on the board with a deuce in the fourth, the Americans would reciprocate when McCormick made a draw for two points to take a 6-2 advantage at the half-way mark.

Korea's team found themselves in a bit of a jam in the sixth end when vice skip Mi-Sung Shin flashed a takeout attempt. McCormick would then put up the center guard to protect the plentiful assortment of U.S. rocks in the house. Kim, shooting 50 percent at this point, missed her final shot again and gave the Americans another point. Korea's front-end would over-sweep Kim's final rock and give up one more to the U.S. in the seventh.

Trying in earnest to set up a decent end, the Koreans flashed their final takeout attempt in the eighth to give the U.S. one more to end the game.

Game scores: USA 9, Korea 2; China 9, Italy 3; Sweden 7, Canada 4; Russia 6, Scotland 4

Team USA line score:
Korea 000 200 00x x 2
USA* 121 021 11x x 9
*last rock in first end

Canada 6-1
China 6-1
Denmark 6-1
Sweden 5-2
Scotland 4-3
Switzerland 4-3
USA 3-4
Germany 3-4
Korea 2-5
Russia 2-5
Italy 1-6
Norway 0-7

Live end-by-end scoring from the World Women's Championship is available online at All times posted are local (13 hours ahead of Eastern Time Zone; GMT + 9 hours).