FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 21, 2019
Playoffs still in the picture for U.S. men at 2019 World Juniors
(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – The playoff hopes for the American men are still alive while the women will have to wait for a future season after today’s results at the 2019 World Junior Championships in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Andrew Stopera and the U.S. men are currently tied for third place with one game remaining in the round robin after a close 7-6 loss this afternoon to Switzerland’s Marco Hoesli rink at Queens Place Emera Centre.
“We just didn’t come out the way we needed to, and they played well. That’s just how it goes sometimes,” said Stopera, who led the U.S. men to a silver medal in his World Juniors rookie debut in 2017.
Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) and teammates Luc Violette (Edmonds, Wash.), Ben Richardson (Cleveland, Ohio), Graem Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) and Riley Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) are now 5-3 and will finish off the round robin against undefeated Scotland (8-0) tomorrow morning. Canada (6-2) secured the second of four playoff berths available when they defeated Sweden today, 9-5.
“Now, we’ve got to re-group,” Stopera said. “Scotland haven’t lost yet but we’ve played them before and we know how to beat them. We’re ready for the challenge.”
In a match that featured four stolen ends, Switzerland (5-3) scored first and maintained control for most of the game. The Swiss held a 6-3 lead after seven ends and the U.S. was feeling the pressure to get points on the scoreboard. The Americans would end up giving up a point in the eighth but stayed in the match with a deuce in the ninth. Switzerland, however, would secure the win in the 10th with a double takeout with Hoesli’s final stone.
Cait Flannery (Mankato, Minn.) and the U.S. ladies (2-5) gave up an opening-end steal of three points to give Sweden’s Tova Sundberg rink extra confidence in a 10-6 defeat of the U.S. ladies. Sweden would steal points again in the fourth and fifth ends to pad the lead to 8-2. Flannery and teammates Leah Yavarow (Bemidji, Minn.), Lexi Lanigan (Duluth, Minn.), Rebecca Miles (Duluth, Minn.) and Abbey Marquardt (Poynette, Wis.) scored three points in the seventh end and stole one in the eighth as they tried to get back in the game. The Swedes (4-3) would score two in the ninth, however, to close out win.
The U.S. ladies will have added pressure on them as the round robin comes to a close tomorrow. The top six countries secure automatic berths to next year’s World Junior Championships while the bottom three countries will be relegated to the 2020 World Junior B Championships where three berths can be secured for the 2020 World Juniors (dates and site to be announced). The host country receives an automatic bid.
“It’s a little bit of a pressure, clearly you don’t want to let your country down, getting relegated would never be a fun thing at all, so it’s a little bit on our minds,” said Flannery, 19. “But, it’s still the same game that we know and love. We just need to go out there and do our best.”
The U.S. women will take on Switzerland (5-2) tonight and close out the tournament against Norway (2-5) on Thursday. All results are posted at www.worldcurling.org/wjcc2019.
*Switzerland 200 110 210 0 – 7
USA men 011 001 002 1 – 6
Sweden 302 230 002 x – 10
*USA women 020 000 310 x – 6
*last stone in first end
New Zealand 4-4
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
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, email@example.com, 608-338-9900 (mobile).