North America sweeps Thursday night

By Terry Kolesar | Jan. 16, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 16, 2014

USA men help Team North America sweep Thursday night's competition

(LAS VEGAS) - Team North America swept tonight's competition to take a 6-3 lead after the first day of action at the 2014 World Financial Group Continental Cup at the Orleans Arena.

USA's John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.) led the charge with a 5-3 victory over Team World's David Murdoch rink from Scotland. 

"Any time you can go out there and get a win it feels great," said Shuster, who is poised to make his third straight Olympic appearance. "It's amazing how different it feels when you're winning for a whole team of 24 instead of four." 

Shuster and teammates Jeff Isaacson (Virginia, Minn.), Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.), and John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.) scored first as they stole a single point when Murdoch's final takeout didn't go as planned. Team World was forced to a single point in the third end to tie the game at 1-1. After the American men secured the deuce in the fourth, Team World was forced again to one point as the U.S. applied the pressure. After a measure in the sixth end, the U.S. men secured a single point and took a 4-2 advantage. 

Scotland, facing three U.S. stones, placed Murdoch's first stone in the back of the eight-foot behind a corner guard. Shuster played a tap-back to position an American stone in a better spot to potentially steal a point. Scotland used the final stone of the seventh end to play a double takeout but it only earned a single. 

With the last rock and a one-point lead, the U.S. did not have to throw its final stone as Murdoch missed his final shot as the American men had the winning point in position already. 

"We're coming out here and trying to play well against the other teams we'll see in Sochi. To see what they got and for them to see what we have is good," Shuster said. "It was a great finish to the day."

The win by the American men, coupled with victories from Team North America's Rachel Homan and Brad Jacobs, padded the North American lead. 

The Continental Cup continues tomorrow with team competition at 8:30 a.m. PT. Shuster's team will take on Sweden's Niklas Edin rink. Both U.S. teams will the compete in the singles competition at 1 p.m. Erika Brown and the American ladies will play Eve Muirhead's Scottish ladies at 7 p.m. to conclude day two.

The teams are competing in traditional games, mixed doubles, singles, mixed skins and standard skins games. Each segment awards points for wins (or ties). The first side to accumulate more than 30 points is declared the winner. There will be 18 team games (nine men's and nine women's) played, each worth one point for a win and a half-point for a tie. All games are eight ends and there are no extra ends.  There will also be six skins games (matchups to be announced Saturday), with each game worth a total of five points to the winner.

Line scores:
World (Murdoch) 001 010 10 - 3 
North America (Shuster) 010 201 01 - 5 

World (Edin) 010 011 00 - 3 
North America (Jacobs) 000 300 01 - 4 

World (Sigfridsson) 103 000 00 - 4 
North America (Homan) 010 022 01 - 6 

Competition World North America
Team-Round 1 2 1
Mixed Doubles, Rd1 1 2
Team-Round 2 0 3
Singles
Mixed Doubles, Rd2
Team-Round 5
Team-Round 5
Skins-Round 1
Skinds-Round2
Grand Total 3 6

Here is a look at the matchups through Saturday (Sunday matchups TBA):

Friday, 8:30 a.m.
Team
Sheet A - Satsuki Fujisawa (World) vs. Rachel Homan (North America)
Sheet B - Niklas Edin (World) vs. John Shuster (North America)
Sheet C - Margaretha Sigfridsson (World) vs. Jennifer Jones (North America)

1 p.m., Singles
Women
Sheet A - Eve Muirhead (World) vs. Jennifer Jones (North America)
Sheet B - Margaretha Sigfridsson (World) vs. Rachel Homan (North America)
Sheet C - Satsuki Fujisawa (World) vs. Erika Brown (North America)
Men
Sheet A - Niklas Edin (World) vs. Brad Jacobs (North America
Sheet B - Thomas Ulsrud (World) vs. Jeff Stoughton (North America)
Sheet C - David Murdoch (World) vs. John Shuster (North America)

7 p.m.
Team
Sheet A - David Murdoch (World) vs. Jeff Stoughton (North America)
Sheet B - Eve Muirhead (World) vs. Erika Brown (North America)
Sheet C - Thomas Ulsrud (World) vs. Brad Jacobs (North America)

Saturday, 9 a.m.
Mixed Doubles
Sheet A - Greg Drummond/Anna Sloan (World) vs. Ryan Fry/Emma Miskew (North America)
Sheet B - Thomas Ulsrud/Miyo Ichikawa (World) vs. John Shuster/Jessica Schultz (North America)
Sheet C - David Murdoch/Eve Muirhead (World) vs. E.J. Harnden/Rachel Homan (North America)

1:30 p.m.
Team
Sheet A - Margaretha Sigfridsson (World) vs. Erika Brown (North America)
Sheet B - David Murdoch (World) vs. Brad Jacobs (North America)
Sheet C - Eve Muirhead (World) vs. Rachel Homan (North America)

6:30 p.m.
Team
Sheet A - Thomas Ulsrud (World) vs. John Shuster (North America)
Sheet B - Satsuki Fujisawa (World) vs. Jennifer Jones (North America)
Sheet C - Niklas Edin (World) vs. Jeff Stoughton (North America)

The Cup is a joint collaboration of USA Curling, the World Curling Federation, and the Canadian Curling Association, and is being staged outside of Canada for the first time.

To view the complete competition schedule, visit http://www.curling.ca/2014continentalcup-en/draw-schedule/. Match-ups will be announced throughout the competition. 

NBC Sports Network will televise two games. The U.S. women's team competition from Saturday will air on NBCSN from 1:30-3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday. The U.S. men's team competition from Jan. 18, will air from 8-10 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 26.

In addition, Universal Sports Network will televise two of the Jan. 19 skins matches from the Cup. The first game will air from 5-7:30 p.m. ET on Jan. 20, followed by the second skins match from 5-7:30 p.m. ET on Jan. 21.

NBC Sports Live Extra - NBC Sports Group's live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets - will stream NBCSN's coverage of curling on Sunday, Jan. 19 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. ET and Sunday, Jan. 26 from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. ET.   

Coverage will be streamed via "TV Everywhere," the media industry's effort to make quality content available to authenticated customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.

Coverage airing on NBCSN will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra, and to the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, and telco services, via "TV Everywhere," which is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of participating MVPDs. 

Live coverage will also be available on the World Curling Federation's YouTube Channel World Curling TV.

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

Visit the USA Curling website at www.usacurl.org and connect with USA Curling on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Foursquare.

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

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