USA men finish World Juniors journey in fourth place

By Terry L. Davis | March 10, 2018, 7:09 p.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 10, 2018

 

American men finish fourth, women fifth at 2018 World Juniors

 

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – Andrew Stopera and the American men completed their journey at the 2018 World Junior Championships with a fourth-place finish after losing the bronze-medal game to Switzerland today in Aberdeen, Scotland.

 

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.) gave up a big end late in the game that fueled the 7-4 win by Jan Hess and the Swiss men. The U.S. team is coached by Mark Lazar (Toledo, Ohio).

 

Canada’s Tyler Tardi rink would go on to hand Scotland’s Ross Whyte its lone loss of the tournament to win the world junior men’s title by 6-5 score in an extra end. USA’s Madison Bear rink finished the round robin with a 4-5 record for a final ranking of fifth. Canada’s Kaitlyn Jones rink defeated Sweden’s Isabella Wranna to win the women’s world junior title while China won its first ever medal at the World Juniors with an 11-5 win over Norway to secure the bronze.

 

After the first two ends of the bronze-medal game were blanked, the U.S. team was held to a single point in the third. Switzerland countered with a deuce in the fourth to take the lead. The teams then exchanged singles with the U.S. taking its first – and only – lead in the seventh end when they set up a deuce. The game turned in favor of the Swiss in the eighth end, however, as they took advantage to score three points. A single steal in the ninth gave the Swiss men a three-point cushion that the U.S. men were not able to overcome in the eventual 7-4 loss.

 

“This feels so amazing,” Hess said. “We worked all year for this, and getting the bronze is just amazing. We knew it was going to be a fight and we knew it was possible that we might go down early. But, we knew that we would always be able to fight back, and we showed that throughout the whole week. I’m so proud of my team for never stopping believing in ourselves. I knew we just had to play as we have all week.”

 

At every World Junior Curling Championships, all the players vote for the women’s and men’s Sportsmanship Awards ­– identifying one woman and one man who best exemplifies the Spirit of Curling. Among the women, Scotland’s third player, Amy MacDonald, was voted the winner, while Norway’s skip Magnus Ramsfjell gained this accolade among the men. All final results can be found at http://www.worldcurling.org/wjcc2018.

 

The 2019 World Junior Championships will take place in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada. The winners of the 2019 Junior National Championship in Two Harbors, Minn., will represent the U.S. at the 2019 World Juniors.

 

Bronze-medal line score:

Switzerland        000 201 031 x – 7

*USA men          001 010 200 x – 4

*last rock in first end

 

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).