USA Curling Features American ladies powe...

American ladies power past Japan at World Juniors in Nova Scotia

By Terry L. Davis | Feb. 17, 2019, 6:26 p.m. (ET)


Feb. 17, 2019


USA women secure win in World Juniors debut


(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – Cait Flannery made her skipping debut at the 2019 World Junior Championships as if she had played on this stage a time or two before. The 19-year-old led the U.S. team to a victory over Japan this morning as the women’s round robin kicked off in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada.


Flannery and the American women poured on the offense – and defense – in earning an 11-4 win over Japan’s Ami Enami at the Queens Place Emera Centre.


“It was nice to get that first game out of the way, and it’s even better to do it with a win,” said Flannery, who was part of Team USA’s silver-medal winning team at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games. “None of us have played at a Junior Worlds, and this is a new team and a new year for us trying to figure out how to work together – and it’s been going great!”


Flannery (Mankato, Minn.) and teammates Leah Yavarow (Bemidji, Minn.), Lexi Lanigan (Duluth, Minn.) and Rebecca Miles (Duluth, Minn.) patiently waited for an opportunity to score multiple points and got on the board with a deuce in the third end. Japan countered with two of their own only to have the American ladies set up another two-point end. The turning point of the game came in the sixth end when the U.S. would pad its lead to four after stealing two points.


Japan stayed in the game by scoring two in the seventh end, but the Americans were dead set on starting the round robin on a winning note as they hung three more points on the scoreboard in the eighth end. A steal of two points in the ninth by the U.S. would be enough for Enami’s Japanese squad.

“Our main thing was just to talk a lot,” Flannery said. “Sometimes when the crowds are cheering for other teams our energy levels drop a little bit. So, the main thing was to talk about ice paths and weights and make sure that we keep communicating with each other.”


Next up for the U.S. women’s team is an 8 p.m. AT game tonight against Canada’s Selena Sturmay rink. The game will be streamed line at


Andrew Stopera and the U.S. men didn’t have the same positive result today as they gave up a steal in the 12th end to China’s Weihaoping Wang rink in a 9-8 loss.

“I thought we managed the extra ends perfectly. The first – we made some really good ticks and then they made a really good shot on their last and we didn’t have much,” said Stopera, a student at Northwestern University. “Sitting in the hack I thought ‘we’d blank this end’ and that’s what happened. And then the team put together the perfect last end for me and it just was too heavy. It happens and that was my fault. Out of my hand I thought it was a little heavy … I don’t know these things just happen sometimes. It’s a game that we had control of, and we should have put away, but it’s a round-robin for a reason. There are seven more games for a reason, so we’ve just got to put this one behind us and show up tomorrow morning and put our best foot forward.”


The U.S. had an early 3-0 lead over the Chinese men but allowed their opponent to score three to even the scoreboard. Stopera and teammates Luc Violette (Edmonds, Wash.), Ben Richardson (Cleveland, Ohio) and Graem Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) answered with three of their own to take back the game’s momentum. China was limited to a single point in the sixth but stole one in the seventh to keep the Americans on their toes. After the U.S. scored two in the ninth, China put together a solid 10th end to force an extra end. Stopera’s team ended up blanking the eleventh and were then heavy with the final of the 12th to give up the winning point.


“We made the beginning of the 10th end too complicated but stayed mentally strong, found our style of play and scored three, which counted a lot for us,” said Wang, whose team improved to 1-1.


The U.S. men return to the ice on Monday to take on Germany (1-1) and Italy (0-2).


Line scores:

Japan                  000 200 200 x – 4

*USA women    002 022 032 x – 11


USA men            102 030 002 00 0 – 8

*China                000 301 100 30 1 – 9

*last stone in first end


Women’s standings:

China                  1-0

Russia                 1-0

Scotland             1-0

Switzerland        1-0

USA                     1-0

Canada               0-1

Japan                  0-1

Korea                  0-1

Norway               0-1

Sweden              0-1


Men’s standings:

New Zealand     2-0

Scotland             2-0

Canada               1-1

China                  1-1

Germany            1-1

Norway               1-1

Switzerland        1-1

USA                     1-1

Italy                     0-2

Sweden              0-2


Here is a look at the competition schedule for the American teams (all times local, Atlantic Time Zone):

  • Monday: 9 a.m., USA men vs. Germany (Klaudius Harsch); 2 p.m., USA women vs. Russia (Vlada Rumiantseva); 7 p.m., USA men vs. Italy (Luca Rizzolli)
  • Tuesday: 9 a.m., USA women vs. Korea (Minji Kim); 2 p.m. USA men vs. Norway (Magnus Ramsfjell); 7 p.m., USA women vs. Scotland (Lisa Davie)
  • Wednesday: 9 a.m., USA men vs. Sweden (Daniel Berggren); 2 p.m., USA women vs. China (Yu Han); 7 p.m., USA men vs. New Zealand (Matthew Neilson)
  • Thursday: 9 a.m., USA women vs. Sweden (Tova Sundberg); 2 p.m., USA men vs. Switzerland (Marco Hoesli); 7 p.m., USA women vs. Switzerland (Raphaela Keiser)
  • Friday: 9 a.m., USA men vs. Scotland (Ross Whyte); 2 p.m., USA women vs. Norway (Maia Ramsfjell)


Playoff schedule:

Friday: 7:30 p.m., men’s and women’s semifinals

Saturday: 10 a.m., men’s gold- and bronze-medal games

Saturday: 3 p.m., women’s gold- and bronze-medal games


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For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications,, 608-338-9900 (mobile).

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Cait Flannery

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Andrew Stopera