USA wins second straight at 2009 Women's World Championship

March 24, 2009, 4:37 p.m. (ET)
GANGNEUNG, South Korea - A strong start helped Team USA propel to a second straight win Tuesday morning at the 2009 Mount Titlis World Women's Curling Championship at the Gangneung International Ice Rink.

Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.) and teammates Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Madison, Wis.) and Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.) held off a late rally by Norway's Marianne Roervik rink to cruise to the 12-7 win and improve to 2-4 in the standings. With five games remaining in the round robin, the Americans are now uncomfortably sitting in seventh place. The top four teams at the conclusion of the round robin advance to Friday's page playoffs.

"We said yesterday that everything is completely in our control," said Pottinger, who won the world championship in 2003 with McCormick and Tracy Sachtjen (Lodi, Wis.), the team's alternate. "We're not hoping for someone to lose. We're just focusing on getting the wins."

After scoring a deuce in the opening end, the Americans had a good opportunity to steal when Nicholson set up the center guard and a stone fully buried behind it on the button in the second. By the time Roervik went to throw her final stone, the U.S. ladies had four rocks in the house and there were no Norwegian rocks to be found. Roervik opted to attempt an in-off shot using the U.S. rock on the side of the house instead of the draw. She'd make contact but spin across the house and out the door to give up a steal of three.

Norway would get on the board in the third, however, when Roervik drew to the button for two. Two key misses by Joraanstad and Pottinger in the fourth end gave Norway shot rock on the four-foot but McCormick would softly tap it out with her first stone to put the Americans closest to the button. Roervik made a nice draw down to the opposite side of the four-foot. McCormick tried to follow down to the button but was a bit heavy and rolled out the side. After a measurement the Americans earned the single to take a 6-2 lead. Roervik would pull within two points after drawing the eight-foot for a deuce after five ends.

"We had a little lull there," Pottinger said. "It was just rock placement, and we had a couple slip behind the tee line that they played well on."

McCormick converted a tough tap on her own stone sitting just off the button to push back the Norwegian rock for two points in the sixth end to extend the lead to 8-4. The Americans got a bit of a break in the seventh then. McCormick jammed her double takeout attempt allowing Norway to draw for two. However, Roervik had too much steam on it and sailed to the back of the house.

What looked to be a solid end in the eighth fell apart in the last few stones. Pottinger made two takeouts through a port that resulted in the U.S. having four rocks in the house. Roervik would make the hit on the U.S. stone in the four-foot but it was left in the open. With her first stone, McCormick made contact but it jammed onto the U.S. stone in the eight-foot and her shooter rolled out giving Norway shot stone. Roervik used her final rock to draw to the opposite side of the four foot to sit two. Norway would pull within one point as McCormick wrecked on the guard and handed Norway two points.

Frustrated, the U.S. the quickly sealed the win with a draw for four points in the ninth end. The Americans return to action tonight to take on the home team - Korea (1-4).

"We just need to keep paying attention to the rocks and believing in them," Pottinger said. "We got a little sloppy today and need to keep working hard."

Game scores: USA 12, Norway 7; China 8, Denmark 5; Switzerland 8, Russia 4; Canada 8, Germany 7

Team USA line score:
USA* 230 102 004 12
Norway 002 020 120 7
*last rock in first end

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

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).