USA men earn first win in Switzerland

By Terry Kolesar | Feb. 27, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
Feb. 27, 2014

USA ladies 2-1, men 1-2 at 2014 World Junior Championships in Switzerland

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - USA's Jake Vukich led the American men to their first victory at the 2014 World Junior Championships in Flims, Switzerland, with a 6-4 defeat of China this afternoon at Waldhaus Arena. 

Vukich (Seattle) and teammates Evan McAuley (Sammamish, Wash.), Luc Violette (Granite Falls, Wash.), Kyle Lorvick (Seattle), and Alex Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) lost their first two games but took the lead in the second half against the Zhilin Shao rink and held on for the win.

 "It's definitely good to get a win under your belt, especially at the Worlds," said Violette, 14. "It's key to get a win early and get off that losing streak and that gives us a huge confidence boost for sure."  

Leading 5-3 after six ends, the American men held China to a single in the seventh and then scored a point in the ninth to control the match.

"I think our chemistry improved today, we just came out a little flat in the first two games. Today we seemed to get a few things better. It was hard to say what went wrong yesterday - perhaps our communication was a little down and something didn't feel quite right," Violette said. "Today, something definitely felt right. It's been great fun though. We had a tough first day, but we've got over that and it's only going to get better from here."

Cory Christensen and the U.S. ladies earned their second straight win as they defeated the Czech Republic's Iveta Janatova rink, 9-4, earlier today.

Christensen (Duluth, Minn.) and teammates Mackenzie Lank (Lewiston, N.Y.), Anna Bauman (Duluth, Minn.), Anna Hopkins (Bismarck, N.D.), and Tina Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska) improve to 2-1 in the round robin standings.

"We played very well today; I'm really happy with my team," said Christensen, 19, a college student. "We've had a great time so far and have really enjoyed ourselves. The ice is great here, and we've done well to adjust to it."

The U.S. ladies controlled the match with solid offense that included three ends where the Americans scored two points. A key steal late in the game put the game away for the U.S.

"In that game, the steal of three points in the ninth end definitely helped us win. It was a really tough game though - that Czech team has played in a few World Juniors as well so they have a lot of experience themselves," Christensen said. "Having played in the last two World Juniors, Ostersund and Sochi (as alternate), it has helped a lot. The experience is vital, not only when we're playing in international curling competitions but also when we go back to play U.S. nationals. The standard of competition at the World Juniors is so high and it's good to test ourselves against all of these really strong teams."

The U.S. ladies play Denmark (0-3) tonight while the U.S. men return to the ice tomorrow morning to take on Italy (3-0).

A complete game schedule is posted at You can watch the action via the World Curling Federation's YouTube channel at Live scores, standings and photos also is posted at the WCF website. You can also follow along on Twitter via USA Curling's Twitter feed (@terry_usacurl) as well as the WCF's (@worldcurling or @WCFmedia) using the hashtags #WJCC2014 or #curling. 

Line scores:
USA men 010 202 001 x - 6
*China 001 020 100 x - 4

*Czech Rep. 200 101 000 x - 4 
USA women 002 020 023 x - 9
*last stone in first end

Women's Standings:
Russia 3-0
Canada 2-1
Korea 2-1
Sweden 2-1
Switzerland 2-1
USA 2-1
Italy 1-2
Scotland 1-2
Czech Republic 0-3
Denmark 0-3

Men's Standings:
Norway 3-0
Italy 2-1
Russia 2-1
Scotland 2-1
Switzerland 2-1
Austria 1-2
Canada 1-2
Sweden 1-2
USA 1-2
China 0-3

Upcoming round robin games for Team USA (all times local, CET):

Thursday: USA v. Czech Republic, 9 a.m. (live on webstream); USA v. Denmark, 7 p.m.
Friday: USA v. Scotland, 12 p.m.; USA v. Italy, 8 p.m.
Saturday: USA v. Canada, 2 p.m.
Sunday: USA v. Sweden, 8 a.m.; USA v. Russia, 4 p.m. (live on webstream)

Friday: USA v. Italy, 8 a.m.; USA v. Austria, 4 p.m.
Saturday: USA v. Sweden, 9 a.m.; USA v. Norway, 7 p.m.
Sunday: USA v. Canada, 12 p.m.; USA v. Russia, 8 p.m.

Monday: Tiebreaker games, if needed (9 a.m./2 p.m.); Women's Page playoffs, 7 p.m.

Tuesday: Men's Page playoffs, 12 p.m.; Women's/Men's semifinal, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, March 5: Women's gold & bronze games, 9 a.m.; Men's gold and bronze games, 1 p.m.

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

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For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling,, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).