FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 17, 2014
North America still on top at 2014 Continental Cup
(LAS VEGAS) - USA's John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.) and Jessica Schultz (Minneapolis, Minn.) helped Team North America maintain its narrow 2014 World Financial Group Continental Cup lead over Team World with a dominating mixed doubles debut at the Orleans Arena this morning.
"It's a fun game, but man it gets crazy," Shuster, 31, said after the 10-2 win over Team World's Thomas Ulsrud (Norway) and Miyo Ichikawa (Japan). North America accumulated two points toward its total today in mixed doubles as the team of Canada's Emma Miskew and Ryan Fry defeated Team World's Anna Sloan and Greg Drummond, 10-4. Team World's David Murdoch and Eve Muirhead defeated Team North America's Rachel Homan and E.J. Harnden of Canada, 7-2. That puts Team North America at 13 points and brings Team World to 11. The first side to 30 will be declared the winner.
"Luckily, John and I both got our draw weight pretty quickly, and we were able to come around and make the freezes that we needed to and that's big," said Schultz, who was playing in her first mixed doubles game.
The American duo got off to a hot start against Ulsrud and Ichikawa with back-to-back double steals to build a quick 4-0 lead that Team World could not overcome.
"You get a good shot there to start and you get the momentum. Every shot during the end you just have to make sure you maintain that good position. We did a pretty good job with that. She got us great starts and I tried not to screw it up," Shuster said.
Team World got on the scoreboard with a deuce in the third end but wouldn't score again.
Six more points are up for grabs today as the final team competitions will play out, setting up a dramatic finish tomorrow when the skins games will be contested."It's close. Any draw can change. We just want to keep sharp and bring it home for North America," said Schultz, 29, who is set to compete in her second Olympic Games in Sochi next month.
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. Watch both USA games live on the World Curling Federation's YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/user/WorldCurlingTV.
The final day of competition will feature mixed, women's and men's skins at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. PT.
"Each draw is a little seesaw just now, one way or another, and you just have to hang in there up to the skins," said Murdoch, who will skip for Great Britain at the upcoming Olympic Games. "The skins will obviously decide it so if we're tight going into that we like our chances."
Live scoring can be found at http://www.curling.ca/2014continentalcup-en/results/.
World (Sloan/Drummond) 020 101 0x - 4
*North America (Fry/Miskew) 303 010 3x - 10
*World (Ulsrud/Ichikawa) 002 000 0x - 2
North America (Schultz/Shuster) 220 112 2x - 10
World (Murdoch/Muirhead) 111 002 2x - 7
*North America (Homan/Harnden) 000 110 0x - 2
*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
Grand Total 11 13
Here is a look at the matchups through Saturday (Sunday matchups TBA), all times PT:
Saturday, 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)
Saturday, 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)
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 Sunday, will air from 8-10 p.m. ET on Jan. 26. NBC Sports Live Extra - NBC Sports Group's live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets - will stream NBCSN's coverage at NBCSports.com/liveextra.
In addition, Universal Sports Network will televise two of Sunday's skins matches from the Cup. The first game will air from 5-7:30 p.m. ET on Monday, followed by the second skins match from 5-7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
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.
For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling, firstname.lastname@example.org, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).