American duo closing in on playoff berth in Norway

By Terry L. Davis | April 24, 2019, 2:28 p.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 24, 2019

 

USA inching toward playoff berth at World Mixed Doubles Championship

 

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – Team USA’s Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minn.) and John Shuster (Superior, Wis.) are one big step closer to securing a playoff berth at the 2019 World Mixed Doubles Championship in Stavanger, Norway.

 

With an 8-5 victory today over previously undefeated Spain, Team USA is now 6-0 in Group F at Sørmarka Arena with one game remaining in the round robin.

 

“We got off to a slow start but then we put together some good shots with our power play and that four was the game-changer,” said Christensen, 24.

 

The win over Spain’s Oihane Otaegi and Mikel Unanue increases the U.S. chances of securing one of the 16 coveted playoff berths. Hungary (6-0) and Switzerland (5-1) have clinched spots out of Group B while England (6-0) has secured a berth from Group E so far.

 

The American duo will close out the round robin on Thursday night against Russia (5-1), which is tied with Spain for second place in the group standings. At the end of the round robin, there will be a ranking for first, second and third position in each of the six groups. The top two teams in each group will qualify directly for the Round of 16 playoffs, as well as the four third-ranked teams with the best Last Stone Draw (LSD) results.

 

The U.S. team dominated the opening end and drew in for three points to take the lead permanently. Spain was forced to make a nose hit to score one point in the second end but stole a point in the third end to narrow the gap. Strong sweeping from Shuster in the fourth end brought Christensen’s final stone into scoring position as the U.S. extended its lead to 4-2. Spain was forced to draw for a single point in the fifth end and the Americans put their power play to good use in the sixth. The U.S. duo took advantage of several half shots by Spain to score four points when Christensen was successful picking out a lone Spanish stone with her final shot. Spain used its power play to set up a deuce in the seventh but couldn’t steal the final end as the U.S. won, 8-5.

 

“It got way harder… there’s more humidity outside and it’s warmer in here. It’s really tricky to get the ends started. Cory made some clutch draws that kept us in the game. Now were going to have to come out and really manage the ice,” Shuster said.

 

Line score:

*USA                   300 104 0x – 8

Spain                   011 010 2x – 5

*last rock in first end

 

Standings, Group F:

USA                     6-0

Spain                   5-1

Russia                 5-1

Poland                3-3

Latvia                  2-4

Slovenia              2-4

Greece                1-5

Kosovo                0-6

To view the full standings, go to http://www.worldcurling.org/wmdcc2019.

 

Playoff format:

At the end of the round robin, there will be a ranking for first, second and third position in each group. The top two teams in each group will qualify directly for the Round of 16 playoffs, as well as the four third-ranked teams with the best Last Stone Draw (LSD) results.

 

TV and webstream: The Olympic Channel and NBCSN are airing three of Team USA’s round robin games as well as the playoffs and other non-USA round robin games. A complete schedule is posted at https://go.teamusa.org/2IgyzAG.

 

Live scores & social media: Live scores are posted at http://www.worldcurling.org/wmdcc2019. USA Curling will post game recaps and photos after each U.S. game at www.usacurl.org. The official event hashtags are #wmdcc2019 and #curling.

 

Team USA schedule (all times local, +6 ET):

Thursday: 7:30 p.m., USA vs Russia (Anastasia Moskaleva/Alexander Eremin)

 

Team USA round robin results:

USA 10, Poland 1

USA 9, Latvia 3

USA 13, Greece 4

USA 11, Kosovo 0

USA 12, Slovenia 3

USA 8, Spain 5

 

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomOS, Toyota, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Carhartt, CryoMAX 8-Hour Cold Pack, Sitrin, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, Thorne, ISS (Ice, Sports & Solar), and Twin Cities Orthopedics, and is partnered with Brakebush, 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).