USA teams sweep into playoffs in Scotland

By Terry Kolesar | April 28, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
April 28, 2014

USA senior teams sweep into playoffs in Scotland

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - The U.S. had advanced both of its teams to the playoffs at the 2014 World Senior Curling Championships in Dumfries, Scotland. 

Teams skipped by Margie Smith (St. Paul, Minn.) and Jeff Wright (Libertyville, Ill.) have both secured spots in this week's playoffs. USA's mixed doubles duo of Joyance Meechai (New York City) and Steve Gebauer (Mendota Heights, Minn.) finished with a 3-4 record and will not advance further in their international debut at the Dumfries Ice Bowl. 

With one round robin game left to play tomorrow against the Czech Republic (3-3), the U.S. ladies are already qualified for the semifinals on Wednesday morning. At the conclusion of the women's round robin, the top team in each pool advances to the semifinals. The second- and third-place teams in each pool will compete for the final two semifinal spots. At 6-0, the worst the U.S. team can finish is 6-1, which would keep them in first place in their pool. 

Smith (St. Paul, Minn.) and teammates Norma O'Leary (Silver Bay, Minn.), Debbie Dexter (St. Paul, Minn.), and Shelly Kosal (Edgerton, Wis.) found themselves trailing by two points in the eighth end against Slovakia's Elena Jancarikova rink (4-2) but scored three points with the last stone for the win. That victory pushes the American record to 6-0. In the women's B group, Canada leads the way at 5-0 and has not lost a game at this event since the gold-medal game in 2007. 

The U.S. men finished the round robin today with two wins for a 6-1 record. This morning, Wright and teammates Russ Armstrong (Lake Bluff, Ill.), Jim Wilson (Chicago), Nils Johansson (Highland Park, Ill.), and Russ Brown (Lake Forest, Ill.) defeated Scotland's Keith Prentice, who won the title back in 2007, by a score of 8-2. The Americans scored three points to start the game and then stole three over the next two ends to create an uphill battle for the Scots.  

"I'd say we were a little bit nervous at the start of the game," Wilson said. "After losing to England there was a lot of pressure, we had to win this game as we didn't want to rely on the draw shot average. It started a bit dicey but as it went on we gained control and fortunately we had the hammer."

The win keeps the U.S. men in a tie for first place with England in Group B and places them in Tuesday night's quarterfinals. When the men's round robin ends, the top two teams from each pool advance to the quarterfinals, along with the third-place team with the best Draw Shot Challenge average. The other two third-place teams will play a qualification game for the final quarterfinal berth to bring the playoff field to eight teams.

"We came out tonight and played very positively against the Czechs - it was a good game. We feel great - we are very happy to have a six and one record and make the play-offs. We just have to carry on our good form,” Armstrong said.  

In the early evening session, the American men topped Czech Republic's Pavel Malek, 7-2, after once again getting off to a solid start.

USA's doubles team of Meechai and Gebauer struggled to put points on the scoreboard in a 7-1 loss to Spain's Irantzu Garcia and Sergio Vez (5-2).

USA line scores, Seniors:
*USA men 321 010 1x - 8
Scotland 000 101 0x - 2 

*Slovakia 310 100 20 - 7 
USA women 002 012 03 - 8 

Czech Republic 000 200 xx - 2 
*USA men 121 012 xx - 7 

USA line scores, mixed doubles:
Spain 111 201 1x - 7 
*USA 000 010 0x - 1 
*last rock in first end

Senior Women, Group A:
USA 6-0*
Slovakia 4-2
Sweden 4-2
Czech Rep. 3-3
England 3-3
New Zealand 2-4
Austria 1-5
Japan 1-5
*qualified to semifinals

Senior Women, Group B:
Canada 5-0
Switzerland 4-1
Scotland 4-1
Finland 2-3
Australia 2-3
Italy 1-5
Russia 0-5

Senior Men, Group A:
Canada 7-0*
Australia 7-1*
Norway 6-2
Germany 5-2
Latvia 4-4
Slovakia 2-6
Japan 1-6
Poland 1-6
France 1-7

Senior Men, Group B:
England 6-1*
USA 6-1*
Scotland 5-2
Finland 4-3
Czech Rep. 3-4
Hungary 1-4
New Zealand 1-4
Russia 0-6

Senior Men, Group C:
Sweden 6-1*
Ireland 6-1*
Netherlands 5-2
Denmark 4-3
Wales 3-4
Switzerland 3-4
Italy 1-6
Austria 0-7
*qualified to quarterfinals

Mixed Doubles, Group A:
Russia 7-0*
Hungary 7-1**
Korea 5-2
Austria 4-3
Wales 3-4
Denmark 2-5
Italy 2-5
Belarus 1-6
England 1-6

Mixed Doubles, Group B:
Sweden 6-0**
Canada 6-1**
Scotland 5-2
Finland 3-3
Estonia 3-4
Latvia 3-4
Kazakhstan 2-5
Slovenia 1-5
Brazil 1-6

Mixed Doubles, Group C:
Czech Rep. 6-1**
Switzerland 6-1**
Australia 5-2**
Poland 4-3
Japan 3-4
Netherlands 2-4
Romania 1-5
Slovakia 0-7

Mixed Doubles, Group D:
Norway 6-0*
Spain 5-2
France 4-2
China 4-2
USA 3-4
New Zealand 2-5
Germany 1-5
Ireland 1-6
*qualified to quarterfinals
**qualified to quarterfinal qualification round

Event information links: 

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