FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2019
USA women clinch playoff berth, men move to 3-1 at World Senior Championships
(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – Margie Smith and the U.S. ladies are playoff bound once again after winning their fifth game in a row at the 2019 World Senior Championships in Stavanger, Norway.
Smith (Shoreview, Minn.) and teammates Norma O’Leary (Silver Bay, Minn.), Debbie Dexter (St. Paul, Minn.) and Shelly Kosal (Edgerton, Wis.) defeated Lithuania’s Gaiva Valatkiene rink, 9-4, today at Sørmarka Arena to move to 5-1 in Group A standings.
The U.S. women have won all of its games since losing its opening match to Sweden. They’ll finish off the round robin tomorrow against undefeated Canada’s Sherry Anderson – the team they lost to in last year’s gold-medal game.
“We had that bad big end against Sweden and lost. I think this team plays better than our record shows, and we’re happy to come out on top in this one. You’ve got to win the ones you’re supposed to win,” Smith said after today’s game.
The U.S. held Lithuania to a single point in the opening end and quickly took the lead when they scored four in the second end. A steal of two in the third by the Americans put them fully in control of the scoreboard. Valatkiene’s team momentarily got back into the game with a deuce in the fourth and a single steal in the fifth to cut the deficit to 6-4. Smith’s team, however, scored a deuce in the sixth and stole the seventh end to close the door on Lithuania’s comeback.
Geoff Goodland (Eau Claire, Wis.) and the U.S. men improved to 3-1 with a convincing 10-3 triumph over Latvia’s Ansis Regza this evening. Goodland and his team of Todd Birr (Ham Lake, Minn.), Mike Fraboni (Lac du Flambeau, Wis.), Pete Westberg (Woodbury, Minn.), and Dan Wiza (Waunakee, Wis.) broke open a close game with a key steal in the fourth end. But the game was won in the sixth end when the U.S. team scored five points. This was the third time that the U.S. men have scored a five-ender this week. Goodland and Co. will wrap up the round robin tomorrow against Wales.
The top 12 men’s teams advance to seeded playoffs. After the round robin ends, the top-ranked teams from the four pools advance directly to the quarterfinals. The other eight playoff-bound countries compete in a qualification playoff round with matchups determined by seeding.
Sweden (5-0) and Australia (4-1) have earned playoff berths out of Group A while Canada (5-0) and Norway (5-1) have spots from Group B. In Group C, Switzerland (5-0) and Scotland (4-0) will advance to the playoffs while Denmark is currently the lone qualifier out of Group D.
USA women 042 002 1x – 9
*Lithuania 100 210 0x – 4
Latvia 020 010 xx – 3
*USA men 102 205 xx – 10
*last rock in first end
Hong Kong 3-3
New Zealand 0-5
Q=qualified to playoffs
To see the full men’s standings, go to http://www.worldcurling.org/wscc2019.
Playoff format: For the women, the top three teams in each pool advance to the playoffs. The top ranked team in each pool goes directly to the semifinals. The second- and third-ranked teams will play teams from the opposite group to fill out the semifinal field (e.g., second-place team in Pool A plays third-place team in Pool B). The top 12 men’s teams advance to seeded playoffs. The top-ranked teams from the four pools advance directly to the quarterfinals. The other eight playoff-bound countries compete in a qualification playoff round with matchups determined by seeding.
Team USA schedule (all times local, +6 ET):
Thursday: 12 p.m., USA men vs. Wales (David Tranmer)
Thursday: 4 p.m., USA women vs. Canada (Sherry Anderson)
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.
For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile).