USA Curling

North America wins Continental Cup

By Terry Kolesar | Jan. 19, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 19, 2014

North America wins back-to-back Cup titles

(LAS VEGAS) - Team North America retained the World Financial Group Continental Cup title with a 36-24 win over Team World tonight at the Orleans Arena.

A new attendance record was set at the Continental Cup with total attendance for the four-day event featuring 11 draws of action coming in at 51,215. This marks the second highest curling event hosted in the U.S. The Grand Forks Men's World Championship in 2008, which had 23 draws, came in with 51,731.

"We've loved hosting the 2014 WFG Continental Cup - the first time out of Canada - in Las Vegas. Great curling, great fans, great volunteers - and an historic achievement, breaking all Continental Cup attendance records," said Anne Warner Cribbs, event co-chair. "We appreciate our partnership with USA Curling, the CCA, and the WCF. It takes a great team to produce an event like this ... so congrats to all."

This is the 10th time that the Cup has been staged with North America now boasting six title wins. This was the fourth Cup title for American skip Erika Brown, who won titles in 2014, 2011, 2004, and 2002. Brown is the only athlete to win four Cup titles. "I knew secretly that it would be four wins for me if we ended up on top so that was pretty awesome," said Brown, who will lead Team USA at the upcoming Olympic Winter Games. 

Brown's team helped North America's cause by earning three points tonight in the women's skins competition against Team World's Eve Muirhead. 

"We wanted to come back and being able to play here in the U.S. and with my dad and do great as team - both Team Brown and big Team North America - is a sweet way to finish," Brown said. 

Team North America's team includes USA's Brown (Oakville, Ontario), Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.), Jessica Schultz (Minneapolis, Minn.), Ann Swisshelm (Chicago), John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.), Jeff Isaacson (Virginia, Minn.), Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.), and John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.). The team also included Canada's Brad Jacobs, Ryan Fry, EJ Harnden, Ryan Harnden, Jennifer Jones, Kaitlyn Lawes, Jill Officer, Dawn McEwen, Jeff Stoughton, Jon Mead, Reid Carruthers, Mark Nichols, Rachel Homan, Emma Miskew, Alison Kreviazuk, and Lisa Weagle. 

Fifteen points were available in tonight's skins finale as Team North America came into the game with a three-point lead. Stoughton's Canadian team swept Team World's David Murdoch, 5-0. The Cup was clinched by the Jacobs rink in the seventh end en route to an eventual 4-1 defeat of Norway's Thomas Ulsrud.

"After a couple of slip-ups earlier today, I knew our team was really eager to go out there and show that we can play and bring back the same attitude we had the Trials. We did today. And we can't wait for Sochi after playing the way we did tonight," said Jacobs, who will be the skip for Team Canada at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. 

In skins competition, the side with the last rock must earn more than two points in order to secure the skin. The first six ends were valued at a half-point. If the skin is not secured, the point value carries over into the next end, which builds drama. USA started with the last rock but gave up a steal when Brown's final draw was heavy and Scotland took the skin. After Scotland secured the skin the second end, they captured another one with a steal as Brown's final shot didn't remove enough stones.

The U.S. ladies collected a skin in the fifth end when Muirhead's final stone rubbed on a guard and the Americans completed the steal. In the sixth, Brown used her first stone to guard an American rock in the side of the four-foot. Muirhead used the final stone to convert a raise takeout and finally chip it out to collect the half-point skin. 

The seventh end resulted in a carry-over. Team North America had a stone buried in the top of the four-foot. Brown used her last stone to clog the path to the four-foot. Scotland wrecked on the guard with the final stone of the game and the U.S. stole the two-point skin to take the game. 

"It's really so much fun to play under those conditions," said Brown, 40, about the large crowd at the Orleans Arena. "There is so much energy and intensity that it really gets your adrenalin going."

With the victory, Team North America earned $52,000 CDN ($2,000 per member, including captain and coach), while Team World gets $26,000 ($1,000 per member, including captain and coach). In addition, North America earned a bonus $13,000 for generating the highest points total from the six skins games.

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 1 2
Team-Round 5 .5 2.5
Skins-Round 1 8.5 6.5
Skins-Round2 3 12
Grand Total 24 36

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

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.

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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