North America creeping back into Cup hunt

By Terry L. Davis | Jan. 20, 2019, 12:29 a.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jan. 19, 2019

North America creeping back into 2019 WFG Continental Cup race

(LAS VEGAS) – Team North America came ready to play tonight and dominated the action to close the gap with Team World at the 2019 WFG Continental Cup.

Fueled by Matt Hamilton’s enthusiasm, the crowd enjoyed great shot-making and a little fun as Team North America swept the mixed team scramble at Orleans Arena.

“I had all three coaches come up to me and say we need the energy tonight and try to get the crowd in it right away,” Hamilton said. “I went out there and I didn’t make my first few shots so it was hard to keep that energy up. Obviously, playing with two new people and girls that I’d never played with before, it’s tricky. I just stayed positive and tried to hype everyone else up whenever anyone else made a shot – just go berserk, and the crowd loved it.”

Hamilton was teamed up with his usual skip John Shuster (Superior, Wis.) as well as Americans Jamie Sinclair and Monica Walker and secured a 6-4 win over Team World’s Swiss quartet of Benoît Schwarz, Alina Pätz, Peter de Cruz and Melanie Barbezat. With games worth two points each, North America tallied six tonight as Rachel Homan and Brad Gushue added to the jackpot.

“We’re going to do what we’ve been doing the last two nights – unwind, spend time together, maybe drink a beer and order a pizza, and talk about the day. We decided to be a team about halfway through this and hang out a lot – and it’s showing,” Hamilton said.

Team World now leads 17.5 to 12.5 with tomorrow’s two draws of skins games rated at five points each to leave 30 points yet to be claimed.

Gushue’s team defeated Team World’s Bruce Mouat, 7-3, while Homan’s side got past Anna Hasselborg’s World team, 7-4.

Shuster’s squad shook off the first end when Team World stole a point and scored in the next four ends to take control of the match. After getting on the board with a takeout for one point in the second end, the American squad applied the pressure. Schwarz attempted a difficult in-off shot in hopes of scoring in the third end but didn’t remove any granite as North America stole a point.

Shuster had a perfect tap in the fourth end to once again put Team World in a pickle. Another great end in the fifth, where at one point there were eight stones in the four-foot, added more pressure on Schwarz with the final stone. His upweight takeout still left two opposing stones in scoring position as North America extended its lead to 5-1. Team World finally got back on the scoreboard in the sixth end with a double takeout to score two points. After scoring one in the seventh, Shuster made a pistol of a shot in the eighth end to sew up the victory.

Skins games are on tap to close out the 2019 Continental Cup. A description of the format is posted below. Team Shuster will take the ice for the 11 a.m. skins game against a familiar foe in Schwarz, which will be the third straight game that Shuster and Schwarz will square off. Jamie Sinclair and Taylor Anderson will be part of a mixed team in the 11 a.m. draw. Their teammates Sarah Anderson and Monica Walker will compete in mixed team skins in the 4 p.m. session to close out the Cup.

Line score, mixed team scramble:

*North America (Shuster)            011 120 10 – 6

World (Schwarz)                            100 002 01 – 4

*last rock in first end

Current point totals:
Team North America:  12.5
Team World:  17.5

(First team to 30.5 points wins)

Sunday, 11 a.m., Skins
Sheet A – Jennifer Jones (North America) vs. Silvana Tirinzoni (World)

 

Sheet B –Mark Nichols/Jamie Sinclair/Brett Gallant/Taylor Anderson (North America) vs. Oskar Eriksson/ Anna Hasselborg/Christoffer Sundgren/Sofia Mabergs (World)

 

Sheet C –John Shuster (North America) vs. Benoît Schwarz (World)

 

4 p.m., skins
Sheet A – Rachel Homan (North America) vs. Eve Muirhead (World)


Sheet B – Brad Gushue/Sarah Anderson/Geoff Walker/Monica Walker (North America) vs. Niklas Edin/Sarah McManus/Rasmus Wranå/ Agnes Knochenhauer (World)


Sheet C – Kevin Koe (North America) vs. Bruce Mouat (World)

 

About skins format:

Each end is referred to as a skin. To win a skin with the last stone, the team must count a minimum of two points.  A team without last stone must steal at least one point to win a skin. If a team with last stone only scores one point, it not only loses the hammer but the end goes into a carry-over, which means the points at stake are carried over to the next end.  If an end is blanked, a carry-over takes place and the team that blanked the end forfeits last stone to its opponent.

 

If the final end of a skins game results in a carry-over, the two teams will draw to the button to determine which team claims the carry-over points. Each team will select a player to deliver one stone to the button with sweeping. The team that had last stone in the final end delivers first. Normal WCF sweeping rules apply to the throwing team, but opponents cannot sweep behind the tee-line.

How to watch:

Live webstreaming of the event for U.S. fans is available on ESPN3 as part of Curling Canada’s partnership. Webstreaming details and a link to scores and standings are included on this page: https://go.teamusa.org/2DAFBOY

What’s at stake:

A purse of $130,000 (Canadian), with $84,500 going to the winning side. A total of 60 points are available to win, with the first team to earn more than 30 points being declared the winner.

Format:

Teams will compete in two draws – one men’s and one women’s – of traditional team play, reduced from six. Each team at the event will play one game worth one point in the overall standings. There will be four mixed doubles draws, increased from three. Each player will compete in a full mixed doubles game, and each of those games will be worth one point in the overall standings.

 

New this year are the Team Scramble and Mixed Team Play events, which put an emphasis on how curlers can perform with teammates they’d regularly play against as opponents. In the team scramble, men’s and women’s teams will be mixed to form new same-gender lineups. However, front-end and back-end teammates cannot be on the same rink. There will be one men’s and one women’s Team Scramble draw, with each game worth one point in the overall standings.

 

The Mixed Team Play comprises two men and two women on a team. There will be one draw of Mixed Team Play with two games featuring lineups of a male skip, female vice skip, male second and female lead. The third game will feature a female skip, male vice skip, female second and male lead. Mixed Team Play games will be worth two points each in the overall standings.

The World Financial Group Continental Cup will conclude with two draws of Skins games, with each game worth five points in the overall standings.

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomOS, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, CryoMAX 8-Hour Cold Pack, Sitrin, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, ISS (Ice, Sports & Solar), and Twin Cities Orthopedics, and is partnered with Carhartt, 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).