U.S. teams keeping focused on playoff berths in Nova Scotia

By Terry L. Davis | Feb. 20, 2019, 10:51 a.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 20, 2019

 

U.S. teams making push for playoffs at 2019 World Juniors

 

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – Team USA skips Andrew Stopera and Cait Flannery are working hard to lead their teams to the playoff round of the 2019 World Junior Championships.

 

Flannery (Mankato, Minn.) led the U.S. ladies to a 7-5 win last night over Scotland’s Lisa Davie rink to improve to 2-3 in the nine-game round robin at Queens Place Emera Centre.

 

“We’ve been struggling with communication, and I think we got it better and picked up our execution to win,” said Flannery, 19, a student at Minnesota State University.

 

Flannery and teammates Leah Yavarow (Bemidji, Minn.), Lexi Lanigan (Duluth, Minn.) and Rebecca Miles (Duluth, Minn.) stole the winning point in the 10th end to defeat the Scottish ladies. They’ll face China (4-1) this afternoon. “It’s been lots of fun battling in the loud environment and it’s been super great to have our family here,” Flannery said.

 

Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) and his team of Luc Violette (Edmonds, Wash.), Ben Richardson (Cleveland, Ohio) and Graem Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) took on Sweden’s Daniel Berggren this morning and secured a 7-5 win thanks to patiently waiting to score two in the ninth end.

 

The win improves the U.S. men to 4-2 and keeps them in a tie for second place with Canada, Norway and Switzerland. After the round robin ends, the top four teams will advance to Friday night’s semifinals.

 

“We’re happy to grind out a win and every win is important, particularly when it’s a tight field like this,” said Stopera, who is skipping the U.S. men for the third straight year at World Juniors. “You have to go out motivated every game and, when you know how important every game is, you really want to go out and do your best.”

 

The U.S. men took a 3-0 lead over the Swedish men (1-5) but momentarily lost the lead after Berggren’s team scored two in the third end and stole two in the fourth. The U.S. countered with a deuce in the fifth end and held Sweden to a single in the seventh to maintain control of the game.

 

“I felt really good about how we played. We all played really solid, and it felt like we played really well,” said Richardson, who won silver at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2016. “This is our third year at worlds, so we have a lot of experience going into this and I think that’s going to help us down the road, in the later part of this week. It’s been awesome, I love this arena, I love playing in Canada where the crowd is so knowledgeable. The ice is great, and the rocks are great.”

 

Next up for the U.S. men will be New Zealand (3-3), which is making its first appearance at the World Juniors. All results will be posted at www.worldcurling.org/wjcc2019.

 

Line scores:

*USA men          210 020 002 x – 7

Sweden              002 200 100 x – 5

 

Scotland             010 020 110 0 – 5

*USA women    001 301 001 1 – 7

*last stone in first end

 

Men’s standings:

Scotland             6-0

Canada               4-2

Norway               4-2

Switzerland        4-2

USA                     4-2

New Zealand     3-3

Germany            2-4

China                  1-5

Italy                     1-5

Sweden              1-5

 

Women’s standings:

Switzerland        5-0

China                  4-1

Canada               3-2

Korea                  3-2

Russia                 3-2

Norway               2-3

Sweden              2-3

USA                     2-3

Scotland             1-4

Japan                  0-5

 

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

 

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

 

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).