FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2018
U.S. teams suffer first losses at World Senior Championships
(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – Team USA’s Margie Smith collected another win today but also suffered the team’s first round robin loss at the 2018 World Senior Championships in Ostersund, Sweden.
Smith (Shoreview, Minn.) and teammates Norma O’Leary (Silver Bay, Minn.), Debbie Dexter (St. Paul, Minn.), and Shelly Kosal (Edgerton, Wis.) defeated Japan’s Miyuki Kawamura rink, 9-5, this morning. “Wins always feel good,” O’Leary said after the game against Japan. In the afternoon session, the U.S. took on Canada’s Sherry Anderson rink and gave up a steal in the eighth end to fall 8-4.
Jeff Wright and the American men suffered their first round-robin loss as well as Norway got past the U.S., 7-4, today at Ostersund Arena. Wright (Libertyville, Ill.) and his team of Russ Armstrong (Lake Bluff, Ill.), Sean Silver (Grosse Pointe, Mich.), Steve Waters (Evanston, Ill.), and Russ Brown (Lake Forest, Ill.) are now 1-1 in Group C of the men’s round robin after the loss to Kjell Berg’s team.
“We’re disappointed, that was not our best game,” Wright said. “I didn’t play as well as I could have, but to give them great credit, in the first three ends, they made some tremendous runbacks which negated some great shots that we had. It was a high-quality game. We could have played better, but they played magnificently – he made an angle run-back in the third end, a little tap-back for shot stone, so give them credit, they played well.”
The U.S. men were never able to take a lead over Norway, which leads the division at 3-0. “It’s not a disaster, not at all,” Wright said after the game. “If we lose a game we learn from it and we move forward.” The U.S. men will take on Russia (0-2) on Tuesday when they return to the ice.
The U.S. ladies held Japan to an opening-end single and then took command as they score five points in the third end. Japan countered with deuces in the fourth and sixth end as they tried to stay in the game, but the American ladies scored three in the seventh end to put the game away.
“You definitely have to keep the pressure on, especially against these ladies,” O’Leary said about the team’s game plan after scoring the five early on. “We know they draw so well and we know that’s what they want to play. We had a four-point lead, but it doesn’t feel safe. We were four up going home and we still had to play our last stone. You just never felt that you had the game in the bag until she threw that last stone … they’re good players.”
In the afternoon game against Canada, the teams exchanged deuces, but Canada took control in the third end when Anderson’s team scored three points. The American ladies patiently waited to set up a deuce and collected three ends later to cut into the Canadian lead at 5-4. After holding Canada to a single in the seventh, the U.S. team had a shot lined up to score two in the eighth end to force an extra end. Smith’s final double takeout attempt of two stones on the side of the house was not successful as Canada stole two points.
“I’m not sure that (last) shot was there, it was a tough one,” Smith said. “That loss is not a disaster, for sure. Our goal is the top two, even the top three is OK. We just need to pick it up a little. We made some really nice shots – for example, our shot for two in the sixth to draw the pin. Any time you draw the pin that’s a nice shot.”
The U.S. women (3-1) are idle on Tuesday as they were schedule to play Poland, which withdrew from the competition late. After that, the U.S. women have remaining round robin games against Australia (2-2) and Lithuania (0-3). Live scores and standings are posted at http://www.worldcurling.org/wscc2018.
USA women 020 002 00 – 4
*Canada 203 000 12 – 8
USA men 010 001 20 – 4
*Norway 201 120 01 – 7
USA women 005 010 3x – 9
*Japan 100 202 0x – 5
*last stone in first end
New Zealand 0-3
Czech Rep. 1-1
New Zealand 3-0
Hong Kong 0-2
USA schedule & playoffs (all times local, +6 ET):
4 p.m., USA men vs. Russia (Igor Minin)
USA women were to play Poland, which withdrew from competition
8 a.m., USA women vs. Australia (Sandy Gagnon)
12 p.m., USA men vs. Ireland (Johnjo Kenny)
8 p.m., USA men vs. Latvia (Ansis Regza)
4 p.m., USA women vs. Lithuania (Rasa Veronika Jasaitiene)
8 p.m., USA men vs. Croatia (Neven Pufnik)
12 p.m., Men’s (4) and women’s (1) playoff qualification games
6 p.m., Men’s quarterfinals and women’s (1) playoff qualification games
9 a.m., Men’s & women’s semi-finals
2 p.m., Gold- and bronze-medal games
After the round robin concludes, the winners of the women’s groups will advance directly to the semifinals. The teams finishing second and third in each group will compete in qualification games to advance to the semifinals. After the men’s round robin, the four first-place teams will advance to the quarterfinals while the second- and third-place teams in each group will compete in qualification games with the winners advancing to the quarterfinals. No tiebreaker games will be played.
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), and Brakebush, and is partnered with Laurie Artiss Ltd. – The Pin People, United Airlines, 12th End Sports Network, IHG, and CurlingZone.
For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile).