USA records back to back wins to stay in playoff hunt

By Terry L. Davis | April 06, 2018, 12:03 a.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 5, 2018

 

USA picks up third win at 361° World Men’s Championship

 

(LAS VEGAS) – Greg Persinger led Team USA to back-to-back victories after stealing the 10th end today to defeat Italy at the 361° World Men’s Curling Championship.

 

Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska) and teammates Rich Ruohonen (Brooklyn Park, Minn.), Colin Hufman (St. Paul, Minn.), and Phil Tilker (Seattle) forced Italy’s Joel Retornaz rink into a very difficult shot with the final stone and stole a point – and the win – to improve to 3-6 in the 12-game round robin.

 

“I feel like I’ve been playing good most of the week. I’ve had a few off games here and there but all in all it was just an inch here, an inch there, it wasn’t anything drastic that needed to be changed,” Persinger said after the win.

 

The U.S. is still mathematically in the playoff hunt but will need to continue to push the win streak at the Orleans Arena.

 

“I haven’t done the math. I know before this game I know it was a possibility. I’m not sure after all those games happened. We’re just going to keep playing like it is,” Persinger said.

 

The U.S. team will have a quick turnaround to tonight’s North American showdown against playoff-bound Canada at 6:30 p.m. PDT. Brad Gushue’s Canadian team (8-1) got past China today, 7-4. The game will be streamed live on the Olympic Channel app and then aired on NBCSN at 7:30 p.m. (one-hour delay).

 

“We knew we wanted to win a couple of games going into that one,” Hufman said about tonight’s matchup against Canada. “It’s good to have a little momentum on our side. We got a couple of wins on a few games we knew we could play better than that, too. If we put a really good game together, we’ll see what can happen tonight. If we pull that one out then there’s a ton of momentum going into the end of the week. Either way, we put ourselves in the best spot we could possibly be in and will let the chips fall the way they might tonight.”

 

Today’s game against Italy was a low-scoring battle as the teams traded singles. Italy, with Amos Mosaner throwing last stones, converted a nice double takeout in the second end to limit the U.S. to a single point. The Americans returned the favor in the third and Italy, facing three U.S. stones, had to draw full four-foot to collect a point.

 

The U.S. took advantage of a heavy draw with Mosaner’s final stone of the fifth end to make a takeout they hoped would be for two. After the measure, however, the U.S. had only earned a single. In the sixth end, Italy had a really nice end building until the U.S. thwarted the end with great shooting from Ruohonen and Persinger.

 

Italy had a steal set up in the seventh end until Persinger placed his final stone on the button to score one. A fantastic double takeout from Mosaner saved the eighth end for the Italians as they score one to knot the game at 3-3.

 

The Americans were then forced to take a single in the ninth end while facing two Italian stones in the rings. The U.S. executed a very solid 10th end and had Italy chasing until the 16th stone. Mosaner’s only chance to score was a difficult in-off using a guard to spin off of in hopes of removing the buried American stone in the back of the four-foot. The shot was unsuccessful, awarding the point to the Americans for a final score of 5-3 in favor of the U.S.

 

The remaining round robin schedule for the U.S. after tonight includes China (2-7) and Switzerland (5-4). The top six teams will qualify to Saturday’s playoffs with Sweden (9-1), Canada (8-1) and Scotland (8-1) already securing spots. The two teams with the best round robin performance will earn direct berths to the semifinals. The other four teams will play in qualification games (#3 vs #6 and #4 vs. #5) on Saturday morning with the winners moving on to the semifinals.

 

Line score:

Italy       001 001 010 0 – 3

*USA     010 010 101 1 – 5

*last stone in first end (hammer)

 

Other draw results: Sweden 7, Russia 3; Canada 7, China 4; Japan 8, Germany 3

 

Standings:

Sweden              9-1 Q

Canada               8-1 Q

Scotland             8-1 Q

Norway               6-4

Russia                 5-4

Switzerland        5-4

Korea                  5-5

Netherlands      3-6

USA                     3-6

China                  3-7

Italy                     3-7

Japan                  3-7

Germany            1-9

Q=Qualified to playoffs

 

Here is a look at Team USA’s round robin & TV schedule (all times local, PDT):

Friday, April 6:

8:30 a.m., USA vs. China (Deija Zou) – Live on the Olympic Channel

6:30 p.m., USA vs. Switzerland (Marc Pfister) – Live on the Olympic Channel

 

Playoff schedule:

Saturday, April 7:

8:30 a.m., Qualification games (#3 vs. #6; #4 vs. #5) – Live on the Olympic Channel app

1:30 p.m., Semifinal #1 – Live on the Olympic Channel

5 p.m., Autograph session with 2018 Olympic Gold Medalists (John Shuster, Tyler George, Matt Hamilton, John Landsteiner, Joe Polo, Coach Phill Drobnick)

6:25 p.m., World Curling Hall of Fame induction, USA’s Elmer Freytag

6:30 p.m., Semifinal #2 – Live on the Olympic Channel

 

Sunday, April 8:

12 p.m., Bronze-medal game – Live on the Olympic Channel

5 p.m., Gold-medal game – Live on NBCSN

 

USA round robin results:

USA 6, Japan 5

Netherlands 6, USA 4

Korea 7, USA 5

Norway 7, USA 5

Scotland 7, USA 6

Sweden 7, USA 2

Russia 7, USA 6

USA 8, Germany 5

 

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

 

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For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, terry.davis@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile).