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USA Curling

USA gets back into win column

By Terry Kolesar | April 02, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2, 2014

USA gets back to winning ways in China

(BEIJING) - Team USA shrugged off its three-game losing skid to get back in the win column at the 2014 World Men's Curling Championship presented by Ford of Canada. Pete Fenson delivered a last rock win in an extra end as the U.S. defeated Denmark's Rasmus Stjerne rink, 6-5.

Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) and teammates Shawn Rojeski (Chisholm, Minn.), Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.), and Ryan Brunt (Portage, Wis.) got off to a slow start once again but settled in and took over control of the second half of the game against the Danish team that just recently competed in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. 

"The ice was a little different tonight than it was earlier today. It didn't have as much curl in it. It's been curling five, six feet but not tonight so we grinded through it," said Brunt, 28, who is competing in his second world championship. "Pete made a couple of really nice draws in six and seven and then we stole a couple and got our momentum back."

The U.S. team is not in contention to advance to the playoffs at this point in the round robin as the team's record is now 3-6. The Americans finish the competition with two games tomorrow against Norway (8-1) and Switzerland (6-3).

"We're still going to play our best. We usually have good games against Ulsrud and we play them (Norway) in the morning so that should be fun," Brunt said.

The Danish men got off to a productive start with a skip's deuce as the 25-year-old Stjerne, who won the world junior title in 2009, placed two draw shots perfectly where he needed them to score two points. After the second end was blanked, the U.S. got into a pickle in the third and Fenson had to attempt an in-off shot to bounce his stone onto the button. It ended up being too firm and Denmark stole a point. 

The U.S. was forced to play a raise in the fifth end to get on the scoreboard. Both of Stjerne's final draws in the sixth and seventh ends were heavy, resulting in single steals for the U.S. team. Denmark had an opportunity to break open the game in the eighth end with a takeout for three points but Stjerne hit it too thinly and the U.S. stone he was trying to remove jammed and stayed around in second position.

The U.S. caught a break in the ninth end as Stjerne narrowly missed removing the U.S. stone Fenson placed behind the corner guard. This set up an open draw for two points for the U.S. to take its first lead of the day. In the 10th end, Fenson placed his final stone perfectly behind the corner guard in a place that troubled Stjerne. The young skip moved some of the granite with the final shot but his shooter stone was swept to the back of the 12 foot by Brunt and Denmark merely tied the game.   

In the extra end, Denmark used its first skip stone to draw behind a corner guard that inadvertently got put in play after Rojeski's peel left his stone behind. Fenson drew down to the back four-foot with his first stone, which Stjerne promptly removed. Fenson, however, coolly made the takeout of Denmark's stone for the win. 

"At the end we thought we could get the force in 10 and go to the extra because we knew we could draw for the win if we had to," Brunt said. "We had our draw weight down and were confident in that."

Norway's Thomas Ulsrud rink kept its firm grasp on the top of the leaderboard with a decisive 11-2 victory over Russia in a game that featured a five-ender scored early on. The win improves Norway to 8-1 and clinches a playoff spot for the team. Japan continues to make history as the Yusuke Morozumi rink (7-2) earned an 8-7 victory over Germany to take over control of second place after Canada's Kevin Koe lost to Sweden, 6-2. 
 
USA line score:
 *Denmark 201 000 010 10 - 5 
USA 000 011 102 01 - 6 
*last rock in first end

Draw 14 scores: Norway 11, Russia 2; Sweden 6, Canada 2; Japan 8, Germany 7; USA 6, Denmark 5 (extra end)

Draw 13 scores: China 8, USA 4; Scotland 7, Russia 5; Czech Republic 8, Germany 4; Switzerland 8, Sweden 6

Draw 12 scores: Canada 8, Switzerland 4; China 6, Denmark 4; Norway 6, Scotland 4; Japan 7, Czech Republic 5

Standings:
1. Norway 8-1*
2. Japan 7-2
3. Canada 6-3 
3. Switzerland 6-3
5. China 5-4
5. Sweden 5-4
7. Germany 4-5
7. Czech Republic 4-5
9. Scotland 3-6
9. USA 3-6
11. Denmark 2-7
12. Russia 1-8
*qualified for Page playoffs

Here is a look at Team USA's round robin schedule (all game times listed as CST, China Standard Time):
* Thursday, April 3: USA v. Norway, 9 a.m.; USA v. Switzerland, 7 p.m.
* Friday, April 4: Tiebreaker games (9 a.m., 2 p.m.); Page playoff, 7 p.m.
* Saturday, April 5: Page playoff, 11 a.m.; 4 p.m., semifinal* (live on webstream, 4 a.m. ET; 4 p.m. ET on TV/Universal Sports)
* Sunday, April 6: Bronze-medal game, 10 a.m.* (live on webstream, 10 p.m. ET on April 5; on TV/Universal Sports, 9 a.m. ET April 6); Gold-medal game, 3 p.m.* (live on webstream, 3 a.m. ET; tape delay on TV/Universal Sports, 4 p.m. ET)
*TV & webstream information (http://universalsports.com/watch-live/ and www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV)

Event information links:
http://wmcc2014.curlingevents.com/
www.worldcurling.org
www.usacurl.org 

Social media:
Facebook, USA Curling: https://www.facebook.com/pages/USA-Curling/107975609011 
Facebook, event: https://www.facebook.com/WorldMensCurlingChampionship
Twitter Hashtags: #wmcc2014 #curling

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomAmpd, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Sitrin, and The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, BalancePlus, and is partnered with Hilton HHonors, United Airlines, RJM Licensing Inc., and CurlingZone.

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For more information: Terry Kolesar, press officer, Team USA, terry.kolesar@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900.

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