USA secures berths to 2017 World Championships by winning Americas Challenge

By Terry L. Davis | Jan. 28, 2017, 2:50 p.m. (ET)

For Immediate Release

Jan. 28, 2017

USA secures World Championship berths as Americas Challenge concludes in Duluth

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – Team USA will be represented at the upcoming World Women’s and World Men’s Championships after Nina Roth and John Shuster defeated Brazil in three straight games to win the Americas Challenge today at the Duluth Curling Club in Duluth, Minn.

Roth (McFarland, Wis.) and teammates Tabitha Peterson (Minneapolis, Minn.), Aileen Geving (Duluth, Minn.), and Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) got past Alina Goncalves, 8-7, while Shuster’s team defeated Marcelo Mello, 9-3, in the best-of-five series.

Goncalves and her team of Lucianna Barrella, Allassandra Barros, Anne Shibuya, and Isis Oliveira had their first ever lead against the U.S. when they stole a point in the opening end. The U.S. ladies countered with three in the second end to take back control. After holding Brazil to a point in the third, the U.S. had a draw for three points in the fourth end but had to settle for the deuce to take a 5-2 lead. The teams exchanged deuces in the following two ends. The U.S. ladies posted another deuce in the sixth end and did their job to hold Brazil to a single point in the seventh. Brazil had a great chance to steal in the eighth end as the Brazilian ladies clogged up the path to the rings while protecting their stone. The U.S. survived the end by playing a great in-off using their own guard stone to roll into scoring position. Brazil was forced to draw for a single point in the ninth end as they faced two American counters in the back of the house. Brazil needed a double takeout with its final stone to force the U.S. to make a shot for the win but didn’t have enough weight on the shot and the U.S. just had to throw its final stone through the house with the win already in hand.

Shuster (Superior, Wis.) and teammates Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.), Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.), John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.), and Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) got two stones covered up in the four-foot in scoring position in the first end. A beautiful hit and roll through a narrow port awarded the Americans three points as the end developed. After the next two ends were blanked, Mello and his team of Scott McMullan, Marcio Cerquinho, Sergio Mitsuo, and Filipe Nunes were forced to make a hit to take a point in the fourth end. The fifth end was open and the U.S. got two stones staggered across the house to set up a deuce to extend the lead to 5-1 at the halfway mark.

The American men stole a point in the next end when Brazil’s takeout attempt jammed and left the U.S. stone closer to the button. Brazil countered with a draw into the four-foot that tapped back an American stone just enough to score two points in the seventh end. Brazil was working hard throughout the eighth end for a steal until Mello’s guard attempt with his first stone didn’t cross the hogline, which opened the door for Shuster to run back an American stone into the Brazilian shot rock and send it out of the rings. Mello’s final rock – a freeze attempt – over-curled and allowed the U.S. to draw in for three points for the win as Brazil offered the handshakes to end the game.  

The 2017 World Women’s Curling Championship will take place March 18-26 in Beijing, China, while the 2017 World Men’s Curling Championship is scheduled for March 31-April 9 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The teams representing the U.S. will be determined next month at the 2017 USA Curling National Championships in Everett, Wash.

Line scores:

*USA (John Shuster)                     300 021 03x x – 9

Brazil (Marcelo Mello)                 000 100              20x x – 3

*USA (Nina Roth)                          030 202 010 0 – 8

Brazil (Aline Goncalves)              101 020 101 1 – 7

*last rock in first end

About the event:

Twelve teams compete at both the men’s and women’s world curling championships each year. Two countries from the Americas Zone, encompassing North and South America, can earn berths to the world championships (two per world championship). Since the inception of the world championships, the only two World Curling Federation (WCF) member associations to represent the Americas Zone have been Canada and the United States.

Canada has already qualified for the 2017 Ford World Championship in Edmonton by finishing higher than the U.S. at the 2016 World Men’s Championship last spring in Switzerland and also by virtue of hosting this year’s world event.  Canada (fourth) also finished higher than the U.S. (sixth) at the 2016 World Women’s Championship in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

Schedule & results:

Game 1: 2:30 p.m. CT Friday. USA women 16, Brazil 2; USA men 8, Brazil 6

Game 2: 7:30 p.m. CT Friday. USA women 12, Brazil 2; USA men 9, Brazil 4

Game 3: 11 a.m. CT Saturday. USA women 8, Brazil 7; USA men 9, Brazil 3

Final scores are available for all games via www.usacurl.org.

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomOS, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, CryoMAX 8-Hour Cold Pack, Sitrin, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, BalancePlus, Brakebush, Jet Ice, and Ki Mobility, and is partnered with Laurie Artiss Ltd. – The Pin People, United Airlines, 12th End Sports Network, and CurlingZone.

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For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, terry.davis@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile) or 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office).