FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 22, 2019
U.S. teams miss out on playoffs at 2019 World Juniors
(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – The United States will be absent from the playoffs of the 2019 World Junior Championships in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada.
For the first time since 2015, neither American team has qualified for the playoff round at the World Juniors.
Andrew Stopera and the U.S. men needed a win today against undefeated Scotland but it wasn’t in the cards as the Americans fell 11-5 this morning as the men’s round robin came to a close at Queens Place Emera Centre.
“We just didn’t make a lot of shots early and against guys like that, who come to play for every game, you can’t really slip up too much,” said Stopera, who will age out of junior competition this season. “We didn’t play well enough and let them have their chances … that’s the way it goes some time.”
Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) and teammates Luc Violette (Edmonds, Wash.), Ben Richardson (Cleveland, Ohio) and Graem Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) won silver together in 2017 and were fourth at last year’s World Juniors. The team also includes Riley Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) and Head Coach Mark Lazar (Toledo, Ohio).
In last night’s women’s competition, Cait Flannery (Mankato, Minn.) and the U.S. women fought hard against Raphaela Keiser and her Swiss team, but lost 6-4 to slip to 2-6 in the round robin standings.
“It was looking good for a while, but a couple of steals and that’s the way it goes,” Flannery said.
Flannery and teammates Leah Yavarow (Bemidji, Minn.), Lexi Lanigan (Duluth, Minn.), Rebecca Miles (Duluth, Minn.) and Abbey Marquardt (Poynette, Wis.) will complete their round robin today against Norway (2-6), which will be a big game as it will determine which team will face relegation along with Japan (1-7) and Scotland (1-7). The top six countries from this year’s World Juniors plus the 2020 host (yet to be announced) qualify for the 2020 World Juniors while the bottom three countries can compete in the World Junior B Championships to try to earn a berth to the 2020 World Juniors.
“It’s been a lot of fun and a learning experience, with the whole crowd and extra distractions, and dealing with all the extra distractions,” said Flannery, who was skipping in her first World Juniors this week. “We love being here, it’s like a second home.”
The men’s semifinals will feature Scotland (9-0) taking on Switzerland while Canada (7-2) will battle Norway (6-3). The women’s semifinals are yet to be determined. So far China (7-1) and Switzerland (6-2) have earned spots in Friday night’s playoffs. All results are posted at www.worldcurling.org/wjcc2019.
*USA men 102 001 10x x – 5
Scotland 040 510 01x x – 11
*USA women 100 030 000 x – 4
Switzerland 011 100 111 x – 6
*last stone in first end
New Zealand 4-5
Q=qualified to playoffs
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