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USA Curling

Playoff bound Norway knocks off Americans

By Terry Kolesar | April 03, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2014

Playoff-bound Norway knocks off USA as round robin nears close in China

(BEIJING) - On the final day of round robin competition, Team USA's weeklong battle with the ice continued to rear its ugly head as Norway defeated the Americans, 6-4, this morning at the 2014 World Men's Curling Championship presented by Ford of Canada. 

The loss drops Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) and teammates Shawn Rojeski (Chisholm, Minn.), Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.), Ryan Brunt (Portage, Wis.), and Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.) to 3-7 in the standings, which equates to 10th place for the moment. 

Today's game again didn't get off to an advantageous start for the American team and  once again Fenson's squad found themselves chasing Norway's Thomas Ulsrud rink. 

"We nosed a peel out in the first end and had to take the one. So we had the lead but we didn't put draws in very good spots in that second end and gave them three," said Polo, who is competing in his sixth men's world championship. "We've been struggling with the ice all week and that's the story of the whole week and the story of this game." 

The Norwegians are now 9-1, which places them in the Page 1-2 game. The team has been locked on to the first-place position all tournament.

"[Norway] made all the peels and really played great today. It's tough when the other guy's making all the peels and making all their shots," Polo said.

The U.S. ended up taking a single point in the opening end on a peel attempt to blank the end and then gave up three points in the next end to quickly fall behind. The U.S. went from sitting four in scoring position early in the end to giving Ulsrud an open draw for three after two key misses.

The Americans countered in the fourth end with a takeout for two points. After the fifth end was blanked, Norway patiently waited to set up a deuce in the sixth and sealed it with Ulsrud's draw to cover the button. 

Facing two Norwegian counters in the seventh end, the U.S. was forced to make a takeout to score a point. The U.S. team had two counters in the rings in the eighth as Ulsrud drew the four-foot with the final point to put Norway ahead for good.

Norway thwarted the U.S. attempt to score the deuce in the ninth after Fenson tucked his first stone behind a corner guard and Ulsrud got to it. In the 10th end, the U.S. wasn't able to set up an end to score multiple points and Norway ran them out of ammunition.

"We didn't quite get the guards in the right spots and they made another double peel against us ... and we were just chasing. We didn't have anything going," Polo said.

The U.S. men conclude their time in Beijing with a 7 p.m. meeting with Switzerland's Peter de Cruz rink (6-3).

USA line score:
*USA 100 200 100 x - 4 
Norway 030 002 010 x - 6 
*last rock in first end

Draw 15 scores: Canada 11, Germany 5; Sweden 11, Japan 4; Norway 6, USA 4; Russia 6, Denmark 4

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

Here is a look at Team USA's round robin schedule (all game times listed as CST, China Standard Time):
* Friday, April 4: Tiebreaker games, if needed (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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