Team World takes early lead at 2018 Continental Cup

By Terry L. Davis | Jan. 11, 2018, 12:54 p.m. (ET)

For Immediate Release

Jan. 11, 2018

 

2018 WFG Continental Cup underway in Ontario

 

(LONDON, Ontario) – The first round of team competition at the 2018 WFG Continental Cup of Curling is in the books with John Shuster’s American squad contributing the lone point for Team North America this morning at the Sports Centre at Western Fair District.

 

Shuster’s team of Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), and John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.) defeated Team World’s Niklas Edin rink, 9-5, fueled by two big scoring ends.

 

“Anytime you can get a win against the No. 1 team in the world is definitely good for your confidence – and to do it in convincing fashion is definitely good for our psyche heading into the Olympics. If we can play well and beat one of the top teams in the world, we feel we can beat anyone,” said Shuster, 35, who will make his fourth Olympic appearance next month in PyeongChang.

 

The 9-5 win over the Swedish Olympic men’s team was the lone triumph for Team North America as the Canadian rinks skipped by Rachel Homan and Michelle Englot suffered losses in women’s team competition. Homan’s team fell behind quickly to Team World’s Silvana Tirinzoni rink, the Swiss women’s Olympic team, and took a 9-3 loss. Englot’s Canadian squad lost to Team World’s Anna Hasselborg rink, 6-3. Hasselborg’s team is the Swedish women’s Olympic team for the upcoming Olympic Games.

 

In the opening end, sharp shooting by Shuster’s team forced Edin to play a soft tap to score a point while facing three American stones. Sweden would force the U.S. squad into a draw for a single point in the following end to knot the game 1-1. After holding Sweden to another single in the third end, the U.S. team piled granite into the four-foot and scored four with a precise draw with the final stone.

 

“It was just a draw for four – my team made great shots to get us into that position,” Shuster said about the final throw of the fourth end when the Americans scored four points. “It was a great sweep. I was a little tight on it and Matt swept it from the time I let it go until the time it got past that guard. If I don’t have a horse on the broom right there, we definitely only get three so it was a heck of a scrub there by Matt to get us the four.”

 

The Swedish team tried to battle back thereafter but would come up short in the end.

 

“We started the game well but rolled off with that hit for two in the third end and I think that changed the momentum a little bit,” said Edin, who will lead his Swedish team at the upcoming Olympics. “Then they had a really well-played end in the fourth. We’re not sitting well at any point in that end so losing two was for sure; we were hoping not to give up three and then it was four. It was pretty much game over.”

 

A great hit and roll from Shuster in the fifth end couldn’t hold back the Swedes as Edin converted a tap-back to remove the American stone to score three in the fifth end to tie the game. A precise takeout through a port with George’s first vice skip stone put the Americans in strong position to score multiple points in the sixth end. When Edin was unable to fully remove the U.S. shot stone, Shuster had a takeout opportunity for another four points but settled for three after his stone rolled out of play after the takeout was successful. The Swedes missed their final shot of the seventh end to give the U.S. team another point and then ran out of rocks in the final end as Shuster prevailed, 9-5.

 

There are point values assigned to each match, with a total of 60 points available, meaning the first side to hit 30.5 points wins the WFG Continental Cup. Team World leads North America, 2-1, after this morning’s action.

 

“We’ve seen in past years that a team with a big lead heading into the big point day on Sunday generally comes out on top so it’s important to get points early in this event and keep it close or try to get a lead because we know how important it is to get a lead at this event,” said Shuster, who is playing in his fourth Continental Cup.

 

The U.S. Olympic mixed doubles team of Matt Hamilton and sister Becca Hamilton will take the ice this afternoon against Team World’s Niklas Edin and Sofia Mabergs (both of Sweden). In the evening draw, Nina Roth and the U.S. ladies will take on Japan’s Fujisawa rink as the Cup action returns to team competition. ESPN is carrying all of the Cup action on its live streaming app. Go to www.espn.com/watch to follow along. Live scores from the event are posted at www.curling.ca/2018continentalcup/.

 

USA line score:

North America (Shuster)              010 403 1x – 9

*World (Edin)                                 101 030 0x – 5

*last rock in first end

 

Other game scores: Team World (Tirinzoni) 9, Team North America (Homan) 3; Team World (Hasselborg) 6, Team North America (Englot) 3

 

Overall points standings:

                                           Team    Mixed Doubles Skins     Total

North America                1                                                       1

World                                2                                                       2

 

2:30 p.m., Mixed Doubles
Sheet A —Neuenschwander/Pätz (World) vs. Homan/Gallant (North America)
Sheet B — Mabergs/Edin (World) vs. Hamilton/Hamilton (North America)
Sheet C — Eriksson/Hasselborg (World) vs. Weagle/Gushue (North America)

 

7 p.m., Team
Sheet A — Team Ulsrud (World) vs. Team Koe (North America)
Sheet B —Team Fujisawa (World) vs. Team Roth (North America)
Sheet C — Team De Cruz (World) vs. Team Gushue (North America)

 

Friday
9:30 a.m., Team
Sheet A — Team Fujisawa (World) vs. Team Englot (North America)
Sheet B — Team De Cruz (World) vs. Team Koe (North America)
Sheet C — Team Tirinzoni (World) vs. Team Roth (North America)

 

2:30 p.m., Mixed Doubles
Sheet A — Fujisawa/Svae (World) vs. Cameron/Kennedy (North America)
Sheet B — McManus/Sundgren (World) vs. Miskew/Hebert (North America)
Sheet C — Tirinzoni/Tanner (World) vs. Courtney/Shuster (North America)

 

7 p.m., Team
Sheet A — Team Edin (World) vs. Team Gushue (North America)
Sheet B — Team Hasselborg (World) vs. Team Homan (North America)
Sheet C — Team Ulsrud (World) vs. Team Shuster (North America)

 

Saturday
9:30 a.m., Mixed Doubles
(Note — teams will change following the fourth-end break in each game)
Sheet A — Albrecht/De Cruz (World) vs. Englot/Laing (North America)
Sheet B — Knochenhauer/Wranå (World) vs. Peterson/George (North America) 
Sheet C — Yurika Yoshida/Ulsrud (World) vs. Geving/Walker (North America)

 

2:30 p.m., Team
Sheet A — Team Hasselborg (World) vs. Team Roth (North America)
Sheet B — Team Ulsrud (World) vs. Team Gushue (North America)
Sheet C —Team Fujisawa (World) vs. Team Homan (North America)

 

7 p.m., Team
Sheet A — Team De Cruz (World) vs. Team Shuster (North America)
Sheet B — Team Tirinzoni (World) vs. Team Englot (North America)
Sheet C — Team Edin (World) vs. Team Koe (North America)

 

What’s at stake:

Each side has three men’s and three women’s teams; the winning side receives $52,000 Cdn ($2,000 per member, including captain and coach), while the losing side gets $26,000 ($1,000 per member, including captain and coach). As well, the side that generates the highest points total from the six skins games will receive an additional $13,000 ($500 per player, plus captain and coach).

 

About the event:

The Continental Cup is similar to golf’s Ryder Cup and features six teams from Canada and the U.S. taking on six teams from Team World in traditional team competition, mixed doubles, and skins with the chance to win $52,000 (Cdn) and the Cup title. North America is on a five-year win streak after capturing the title once again in Las Vegas last January.

 

It will be the 14th edition of the World Financial Group Continental Cup. North America has won the Cup in 2002 in Regina, 2004 and 2007 in Medicine Hat, Alta., 2011 in St. Albert, Alta., 2013 in Penticton, B.C., 2014 in Las Vegas, 2015 in Calgary and back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017 in Las Vegas. Team World emerged victorious in 2003 in Thunder Bay, Ont., 2006 in Chilliwack, B.C., 2008 in Camrose, Alta., and 2012 in Langley, B.C.

 

To learn more about the Continental Cup, go to http://www.curling.ca/2018continentalcup/.

 

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 Systems), and Brakebush, 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).