FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 20, 2019
American men pick up fifth win at 2019 World Juniors
(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – Andrew Stopera and the U.S. men are putting themselves in good position to be a part of this weekend’s playoffs after picking up their fifth win today at the 2019 World Junior Championships in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) and his team of Luc Violette (Edmonds, Wash.), Ben Richardson (Cleveland, Ohio) and Graem Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) improved to 5-2 tonight at Queens Place Emera Centre with an 8-3 win over Matthew Neilson’s team from New Zealand.
“They’re all important,” Stopera said about tonight’s win. “The New Zealand team have played a lot of good games this week and they’ve come out on top in some close ones, so we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We went down early and we had to play well and battle back with a couple of breaks. The boys played well in the second half and we came out on top.”
Although New Zealand scored the game’s first two points – a single in the second followed up with a steal of one in the third end – the Americans had control of the scoreboard for the rest of the match. The U.S. took the lead in the third end when they scored three points and never backed down thereafter. Stopera’s team broke open the game when they stole three points over the seventh and eighth ends.
Earlier in the day, Cait Flannery (Mankato, Minn.) and teammates Leah Yavarow (Bemidji, Minn.), Lexi Lanigan (Duluth, Minn.), Rebecca Miles (Duluth, Minn.) and Abbey Marquardt (Poynette, Wis.) had a heartbreaking 9-8 loss to China’s Yu Han rink to slip to 2-4 in the standings. The U.S. women have two matches on the schedule Thursday as the round robin nears its conclusion. In the morning draw, Flannery and the American ladies will meet Sweden (3-3) while Switzerland (5-1) awaits in the night session. The U.S. men have just one game on tap Thursday as they are set to compete against Switzerland (4-2).
“We’ve got Switzerland and Scotland now. We really get up for those big games that we need to win, and we look forward to them because those are the fun ones to play in,” Stopera said.
At the end of the round robin, the top four teams in each division will advance to Friday’s playoffs. Ross Whyte’s team from Scotland (7-0) was the first team to secure a playoff berth when they defeated Switzerland tonight, 8-6. All results are posted at www.worldcurling.org/wjcc2019.
*New Zealand 011 010 00x x – 3
USA men 000 302 21x x – 8
*USA women 201 010 202 0 – 8
China 020 202 020 1 – 9
*last stone in first end
New Zealand 3-4
Q=qualified to playoffs
Here is a look at the competition schedule for the American teams (all times local, Atlantic Time Zone):
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)
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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