Team World takes early lead as Cup begins in Las Vegas

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

Team World takes early lead as Continental Cup gets underway

(LAS VEGAS) - Playing in front of a large morning crowd at the Orleans Arena, USA's Erika Brown rink defeated Japan, 5-3, to help Team North America get on the scoreboard as the 2014 World Financial Group Continental Cup got underway today. 

"It was a great big win. It's fun to play in front of 4-5,000 people and to play well," Brown said after the victory over Satsuki Fujisawa.  "It's great for U.S. curling and this event." The attendance number was 3,165 fans for this morning's opening draw. 

Brown (Oakville, Ontario/Madison, Wis.) and teammates Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.), Jessica Schultz (Minneapolis, Minn.), and Ann Swisshelm (Chicago) were the lone North American team to earn a win this morning in team competition. Canada's 2014 Olympic women's team, led by Manitoba's Jennifer Jones, lost to Team World's Eve Muirhead of Scotland, 12-2, and 2011 world champion Jeff Stoughton's rink fell to Team World's Thomas Ulsrud of Norway, 7-4. Each game was worth one point value so team World has a 2-1 advantage after one round of play at the Cup, which is similar to golf's Ryder Cup.

The USA-Japan game was the final one to be completed so extra pressure was on the America ladies to get North America on the scoreboard to avoid a Team World sweep. "I think that's the nature of this event. You're keeping an eye on everyone and looking around and want to win for your team," said Brown, who is 3-0 at Continental Cups with victories in 2011, 2004, and 2002. "I could sense that things weren't going so well on the other sheets so I'm happy we got a point today [for North America]

In the fifth end, the Americans took a narrow 3-2 lead as the U.S. ladies converted a tap back on a stone to secure the point. The U.S. added to the lead in the following end with a single steal after Fujisawa's final stone hit the guards as she tried to draw into the four-foot for a single. After holding Japan to a single in the seventh, the U.S. had a lead and the last rock to finish off the game with a win. Facing two Japan rocks in the back of the four-foot in scoring position, Brown drew around stones in the top of the eight foot to secure a point for the 5-3 win. 

A series of last-rock misses by Jones' team put the Canadians in a hole against the reigning world champions from Scotland. Meanwhile, Ulsrud's team never trailed in their game against Stoughton.

"I think we played pretty solid out there. We've been practicing pretty hard in preparation for the Olympics - it's good to get a good start for Team World," said Ulsrud, who skipped Norway to the silver-medal in Vancouver. "This is a big event for us - we get to play the Canadian Olympic team and the U.S. Olympic team, so we're looking forward to that, it will be good practice. Hopefully, we can send a message to them - I just hope they don't crush us!"

Up next will be mixed doubles competition at 1 p.m. PT today. Americans Jeff Isaacson (Virginia, Minn.) and McCormick (Rio, Wis.) will be teaming up to take on Team World's Christoffer Svae (Norway) and Fujisawa (Japan). In the evening round, USA's John Shuster rink will play against Team World's David Murdoch rink of Scotland in men's team competition.

Line score:
*Team World (Fujisawa) 010 100 10 - 3 
Team North America (Brown) 002 011 01 - 5
*last rock in first end 

Competition World North America
Team-Round 1 2 0
Mixed Doubles, Rd1
Team-Round 2
Mixed Doubles, Rd2
Team-Round 5
Team-Round 5
Skins-Round 1
Grand Total

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

1 p.m.
Mixed Doubles
Sheet A -Niklas Edin/Christina Bertrup (World) vs. Mark Nichols/Jennifer Jones (North America)
Sheet B - Sebastian Kraupp/Maria Prytz (World) vs. Jeff Stoughton/Kaitlyn Lawes (North America)
Sheet C - Christoffer Svae/Satsuki Fujisawa (World) vs. Jeff Isaacson/Debbie McCormick (North America)

7 p.m.
Sheet A - Niklas Edin (World) vs. Brad Jacobs (North America)
Sheet B - Margaretha Sigfridsson (World) vs. Rachel Homan (North America)
Sheet C - David Murdoch (World) vs. John Shuster (North America)

8:30 a.m.
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.
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)
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.
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)

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.
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.
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.

The teams will be 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.

To view the complete competition schedule, click here. 

NBC Sports Network will televise two games. The U.S. women's team competition from Saturday, Jan. 18, will air on NBCSN from 1:30-3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 19. The U.S. men's team competition from Saturday, 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 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. 

In Canada, TSN (RDS2 in French), will broadcast complete live coverage of the event. In Sweden live coverage will aired on the Viasat platform on Saturday 18 January. 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 and connect with USA Curling on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Foursquare.


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