American teams closing in on playoff berths

By Terry L. Davis | March 08, 2018, 1:25 a.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 7, 2018

 

American teams closing in on playoff berths at 2018 World Juniors

 

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – The U.S. teams skipped by Madison Bear and Andrew Stopera are inching toward playoff berths after three wins today at the 2018 World Junior Championships in Aberdeen, Scotland.

 

Bear (Pardeeville, Wis.) and her team of Annmarie Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.), Jenna Burchesky (Walpole, Mass.), Allison Howell (Bentleyville, Ohio), and Leah Yavarow (Bemidji, Minn.) kept their playoff hopes alive with an 8-6 win over Korea’s Minji Kim rink and an 11-4 triumph tonight over Scotland’s Sophie Jackson.

 

“All of us have kind of been thinking of our Olympic team – Team Shuster,” Bear said. “They were 2-4 at the Olympics and came back and ended up with that gold medal. They’re the idols to look up to, and they’re kind of our hope right now. We’re trying to do the same thing as them.”

 

In the night session, the American ladies hit the gas pedal on the offense in an 11-4 victory over Scotland to even their record to 4-4. Earlier in the day, the U.S. ladies were behind by two points but battled back to even the score after six ends. After holding Kim’s team to a single in the sixth end, the turning point came in the eighth end when the U.S. ladies capitalized to score four points – a lead that Korea would never overcome.

 

“This win gives us a lot of confidence, because after that losing streak we were getting a little bit down,” said Dubberstein, a student at the University of Minnesota, after the win over Korea. “We brought it back to the basics and didn’t get complicated with anything we were doing. We just wanted to play our normal game.”

 

The wins today put the American women in a five-way tie for third place. The team will complete the round robin on Thursday against China.

 

Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) and his team of Luc Violette (Lake Stevens, Wash.), Ben Richardson (Issaquah, Wash.), Graem Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), and Jonathon Harstad (Duluth, Minn.) took one giant step toward clinching a playoff spot when they defeated Germany, 9-7.

 

That was not an easy one, we had to grind the whole way and struggled a little bit with the ice early, but the boys kept battling and kept making shots and came out on top in the end,” Stopera said.

 

The American men quickly fell behind as Germany stole three points over the first two ends. The U.S. answered with three in the third to even the score and took control of the middle ends. Germany would tie the game in the ninth end but the U.S. scored two in the 10th for their fifth win. The team, which is tied with Canada for second place, will conclude the round robin on Thursday with games against Switzerland (4-3) and Norway (3-4).

 

“It’s going good.  We just need to come out and have a good day tomorrow. That’s all that matters especially in this format which is semifinals, it really doesn’t matter which seed you are in the top four. It’s our job to come out tomorrow and win two games and see what happens,” Violette said.

 

Live scores and standings are available at www.worldcurling.org.

 

USA line scores:

*USA women    203 103 02x x – 11

Scotland             010 010 20x x – 4

 

Germany            210 010 102 0 – 7

*USA men          003 102 010 2 – 9

 

USA women       010 011 040 1 – 8

*Korea                102 000 102 0 – 6

*last rock in first end

 

Standings:

Men:

Scotland             7-0Q

Canada               5-2

USA                     5-2

Switzerland        4-3

Germany            3-4

Norway               3-4

Sweden              3-4

China                  2-5

Korea                  2-5

Russia                 1-6

 

Women:

Sweden              8-0Q

Canada               7-1Q

China                  4-4

Norway               4-4

Korea                  4-4

Switzerland        4-4

USA                     4-4

Scotland             3-5

Russia                 2-6

Turkey                0-8

 

Team USA round robin schedule (all times local):

Thursday, March 8:

9 a.m., USA men vs. Switzerland

2 p.m., USA women vs. China

7 p.m., USA men vs. Norway

 

Playoffs:

Friday, March 9:

2 p.m., women’s semifinals

7 p.m., men’s semifinals

 

Saturday, March 10:

9 a.m., women’s bronze and gold-medal games

2 p.m., men’s bronze and gold-medal games

 

*game featured on live webstream at https://www.youtube.com/worldcurlingtv

 

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, 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).