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USA Curling

USA women help North America take back Continental Cup lead

By Terry Kolesar | Jan. 17, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 17, 2014

North America takes back lead 2014 Continental Cup

(LAS VEGAS) - USA's Erika Brown rink helped Team North America take back the 2014 World Financial Group Continental Cup lead after surrendering it for a mere six hours. 

In tonight's team competition at the Orleans Arena, Brown (Oakville, Ontario/Madison, Wis.) and teammates Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.), Jessica Schultz (Minneapolis, Minn.), and Ann Swisshelm (Chicago) held reigning world champion Eve Muirhead of Scotland to a single point in the final end to have the game result in a tie. At the Continental Cup, games ending in ties result in the two sides splitting the available point(s). That tie, coupled with two wins by Canada's men's teams put North America up 11-10 in the Cup standings.  

"Points are points and we knew going into that final end, after having a struggle with putting up guards in the seventh, that going into the eighth we'd be happy with the push for a tie," said Schultz, 29, who is playing in her first Continental Cup. "She [Muirhead] had to make a pretty good shot with that one to get that tie and we're pretty pleased with that end."

Team World dominated this afternoon's singles competition taking five of six available points and had a slight lead coming into tonight's team competition, which featured a crowd of more than 4,500 fans.

"It was so intense when the crowd was so loud doing the wave... I just took it all in," said McCormick, 40, who is set to make her fourth Olympic appearance in Sochi next month. "I wanted to enjoy the moment. It was so much fun and there was so much energy."

The U.S. ladies gave up an early steal to Sweden but tied the game in the second as Brown placed her final stone into the four-foot for a single point. 

After Scotland scored a point in the third end, the American ladies got a productive end set up in the fourth with two stones partially hidden in the four-foot, until Muirhead doubled them out with her final stone. That left Brown with a draw shot into the four-foot for a single point to tie the game at 2-2.

The U.S. took a one-point lead when Muirhead missed her hit and roll attempt in the sixth end. Scotland blanked the seventh end to retain the last rock going into the final end. A missed peel allowed McCormick to tap an American stone into the rings to place three rocks in scoring position. Muirhead used the final shot to tap a stone in the top of the house into the four-foot to score a single point. The end result was a tie so the sides split the available point. 

"That's why we called the timeout right before the eighth end. We knew that we were down in points and it's a different situation because ties count," McCormick said. "We didn't know how hard Eve would be going [for the win] or how hard we should be going."

In tomorrow morning's competition, the final round of mixed doubles will be played. USA's John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.) and Jessica Schultz (Minneapolis, Minn.) will team up to take on Team World's Thomas Ulsrud (Norway) and Miyo Ichikawa (Japan). 

"I've been trying to get pointers about what would be ideal in different situations. I'm looking forward to it. It should be a lot of fun," said Schultz, who has never played the mixed doubles format before. 

The final women's team competition will take place at 1:30 with the American ladies taking on Sweden. The U.S. men will face Norway in the 6:30 match-up. The final day of competition will feature mixed, women's and men's skins at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. PT.

Live scoring can be found at http://www.curling.ca/2014continentalcup-en/results/. 

Line scores:
World (Murdoch) 020 010 10 - 4 
*North America (Stoughton) 100 101 02 - 5 

World (Muirhead) 101 000 01 - 3 
*North America (Brown) 010 101 00 - 3 

*World (Ulsrud) 100 100 10 - 3 
North America (Jacobs) 010 001 02 - 4 
*last rock in first end

Competition World North America
Team-Round 1 2 1
Mixed Doubles, Rd1 1 2
Team-Round 2 0 3
Team-Round 3 1.5 1.5
Singles 5 1
Mixed Doubles, Rd2 0.5 2.5
Team-Round 4
Team-Round 5
Skins-Round 1
Skins-Round2
Grand Total 10 11

Here is a look at the matchups through Saturday (Sunday matchups TBA), all times PT:

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)

Saturday, 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)

Saturday, 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)

Sunday, 1 p.m., Skins competition (mixed, women, men)
Sunday, 6 p.m., Skins competition (mixed, women, men)

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.

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, http://www.youtube.com/user/WorldCurlingTV. 

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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