FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2014
USA drops third straight at 2014 Women's World Championship
(SAINT JOHN, NB, Canada) - After jumping out to a quick 3-0 start at the 2014 Ford World Women's Curling Championship presented by Booster Juice, Team USA has hit a slump after losing its third straight game at the Harbour Station.
Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Verona, Wis.), Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.), and Tabitha Peterson (Eagan, Minn.) lost to Russia's Anna Sidorova, 8-5, on the last rock this afternoon.
"I still think it's really because of broom placement. That's one thing we're always struggling with to be quite honest," said Nicholson, who is making her eighth world championship appearance for Team USA. "For awhile there earlier it was weight. The draws weren't ending up where they needed to be and also rock placement. That game, there was no excuse for it, really."
The loss drops Team USA to 3-3 in the 11-game round robin. The win improves Russia to 5-2.
"Three losses probably isn't going to get you out so we just have to stay positive," said Nicholson, who played in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. "We just need to fine-tune things. Coming forward we have to stay positive and confident. We know we're a good team and that we belong here. That's the biggest thing is not to think about the three losses. That won't do anyone good."
The game was close throughout with the score being tied three times. After holding Russia to a single in the ninth end, the 10th end quickly unraveled.
"We just still struggle with brooming and icing. I think in that game, toward the end, I felt a time crunch. But, you know, we had time to finish it off, obviously," Nicholson said. "We just didn't make enough shots in that last end. Nic and I had back-to-back misses and Allison didn't really have much."
After the first end was blanked, Russia got stones scattered around the rings in the 12-foot, but the U.S. had a stone in the back eight-foot in scoring position. Pottinger used her final stone of the second end to draw around the center guard into the top of the four-foot, forcing Sidorova to play a soft-weight takeout for a single point.
After Sidorova placed her final stone behind a corner guard in the following end, the U.S. was forced to draw for a single point to tie the game 1-1. The teams then exchanged deuces over the next two ends with each side making final takeouts to earn two points apiece to keep the game tied at the halfway mark.
The U.S. got a stone buried in the side of the four-foot behind three stones early in the sixth end. Nicholson then drew through the port to place a second U.S. stone in front of their shot rock. The Russian ladies then spent the rest of the end trying to open up the top of the house as the U.S. guarded its steal. Sidorova used a runback to finally remove one stone with her first shot. Pottinger placed her final stone just above the rings to form a line of granite blocking entry to the house. Sidorova again tried the runback but it left the U.S. stone in the house and the Americans stole a point.
Russia countered in the seventh with Sidorova making an end-saving takeout to score two points as the U.S. looked poised to steal again. In contrast, the U.S. had to draw around several guards to out-count the Russian stone in the top of the house to earn a single in the eighth end and once again tie the game.
The U.S. got the force of one they set out to achieve in the ninth end as Sidorova converted a hit-and- stay for a single point as she stared down four U.S. counters from the hack.
A missed peel coupled with a missed takeout put the U.S. ladies in a perilous position in the 10th end as they sought to set up a deuce for the win. Pottinger's angle raise narrowly missed taking out two stones with her first rock and Russia was sitting three. Russia placed a fourth stone into the rings with Sidorova's final rock. USA had the option to draw to the side of the button on one side or attempt a difficult in-off on the opposite side to move a Russian stone out of the way and spill the American rock into the four-foot for the win. The U.S. opted for the in-off shot and it didn't go as planned as Russia ended up stealing two points for the win.
"I didn't slide that great but the routine just gets quickened up a little bit. We had less than seven minutes to play that end," Nicholson said about her missed peel in the 10th. "I know better to make sure I settle in and make a professional adjustment in terms of giving yourself enough time. It's just a bummer."
The U.S. women return to the ice at 7:30 tonight (ADT) to take on Switzerland's Binia Feltscher rink, which lost its first game of the championship this afternoon to Korea, 9-2. China bounced back from its loss earlier today to defeat Latvia, 9-5. Sweden improved to 6-1 for the top spot in the standings after sliding past Germany, 11-4.
"That was a really important win for us - even if we have the same points as USA we will be ahead of them now," Sidorova said. "We want to get to the playoffs but every team makes mistakes - that's the game. We just need to execute at the right time - that's always the key."
USA line score:
*Russia 010 200 201 2 - 8
USA 001 021 010 0 - 5
*last rock in first end
Draw 10 results: Korea 9, Switzerland 2; Sweden 11, Germany 4; Russia 8, USA 5; China 9, Latvia 5
Draw 9 results: Russia 10, Scotland 4; Sweden 7, Denmark 2; Korea 8, Czech Republic 5; Canada 8, Latvia 4
Sweden (Sigfridsson) 6-1
Canada (Homan) 5-1
Switzerland (Feltscher) 5-1
Korea (Kim) 5-2
Russia (Sidorova) 5-2
China (Liu) 4-2
USA (Pottinger) 3-3
Scotland (Barr) 2-4
Denmark (Dupont) 1-5
Germany (Lehman) 1-5
Latvia (Regza) 1-6
Czech Republic (Kubeskova) 0-6
After the round robin concludes, the top four teams will advance to the Page playoffs on Friday. In the Page playoff format, the top two teams face off in the 1-2 game with the winner advancing to the final and the loser playing the winner of the game between the teams ranked third and fourth in a single semifinal. The winner of the semifinal becomes the other contender for the gold medal on Sunday.
Here is a look at Team USA's round robin schedule (all times listed as ADT):
* Wednesday, March 19: USA v. Czech Republic, 9:30 a.m.; USA v. Latvia, 7:30 p.m.
* Thursday, March 20: USA v. Korea, 9:30 a.m.; USA v. Scotland, 2:30 p.m.
* Friday, March 21: Tiebreaker games, if needed, 9:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.; Page 1-2 game, 7:30 p.m.
* Saturday, March 22: Page 3-4 game, 9 a.m.; semifinal, 2 p.m.
* Sunday, March 23: Bronze-medal game, 12 p.m.; gold-medal game, 7:30 p.m.
2018 Olympic Qualification:
In addition, the 2014 World Curling Championships mark the start of a new qualification period for the next Olympic Winter Games in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. All WCF member associations competing in Saint John and at the 2014 World Men's Curling Championship in Beijing later this month will be eligible to enter the next WCF Olympic Qualification Event, which is scheduled to take place in December 2017 should they not make it to the 2018 Olympic Games on direct qualification.
TV & Webstream:
World Curling TV (WCTV), the television arm of the World Curling Federation, is providing extensive live and video-on-demand coverage to broadcasters around the world from Saint John. WCF broadcast partners for the event include TV4 in Sweden, Russia 2 in Russia, CCTV in China, Universal Sports Network in the USA, SporTV in Brazil, TSN in Canada (RDS in Quebec).
In addition, selected live coverage of the 2014 World Championship events is available via the World Curling Federation's YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV.
Event information links:
Facebook, USA Curling: https://www.facebook.com/pages/USA-Curling/107975609011
Facebook, event: www.facebook.com/WorldWomensCurlingChampionship
Twitter Hashtags: #FWWCC #curling
USA Curling is sponsored by AtomAmpd, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Sitrin, and The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, BalancePlus, and is partnered with Hilton HHonors, United Airlines, RJM Licensing Inc., and CurlingZone.
For more information: Terry Kolesar, press officer, Team USA, firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-338-9900.