Team World on the brink of winning Continental Cup

Jan. 20, 2019, 5:34 p.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jan. 20, 2019

Team World on brink of winning 2019 WFG Continental Cup race

(LAS VEGAS) – Team World is on the brink of snapping a six-year losing streak after dominating the morning skins competition at the 2019 WFG Continental Cup.

A win by Team World’s Benoit Schwarz over John Shuster coupled with a mixed skins victory for Oskar Eriksson’s foursome puts North America on the respirator at Orleans Arena. North America’s Jennifer Jones rink earned three skins to defeat Team World’s Silvana Tirinzoni but still gave up two critical points.

Team World’s last Continental Cup victory was in 2012 in Langley, B.C.

“You never know. It’s only three games and it’s skins. They only have to win one end and that’s the last so we just need to go out there and hope the 12 who are playing for Team World get the job done,” Eriksson said.

With Team World leading 29-16 and just 30.5 total points needed to secure the Cup title, North America will need to be nearly perfect this afternoon as the event wraps up at 4 p.m. PT with the final round of skins.

“North America did this to Team World a few years back where it was almost over before the last draw started and that’s the way it goes sometimes,” Shuster said. “Hopefully we can still get this done.”

In the skins format, a team could carry the point values all the way to a maximum of five in the final end or methodically chip away at the scoreboard to earn them all like Schwarz’s team did this afternoon against the U.S. men.

“That sheet was one of the toughest, and we played it a lot. We had shots to win points there during the game and didn’t get it done,” Shuster said. It was the third straight game that Shuster faced Schwarz, the Swiss last-rock thrower for Peter de Cruz’s rink, on Sheet C.

The Jones-Tirinzoni game resulted in a carryover of the skin after eight ends so a last-rock shootout was necessary with Tirinzoni’s team out-drawing the Jones rink to earn another point in the overall standings. In the mixed skins match, USA’s Jamie Sinclair and Taylor Anderson teamed up with Canada’s Mark Nichols and Brett Gallant. The North American foursome would only win one end to earn a half point in the standings.

“My experience at the Continental Cup has definitely been a good one even though we’ve been down on the scoreboard,” Anderson said. “It’s been enjoyable to be with these great athletes I’ve always respected and looked up to.”

In the opening end of the Shuster-Schwarz match, a triple takeout from Schwarz bailed his team out to result in a carryover of the skin. A great freeze with Plys’s first shot nearly set up the necessary deuce in the second end for North America, but Team World countered and ending up stealing the skin. A heavy draw from Shuster with the final stone of the third end resulted in another stolen point for Team World as they secured an additional half point.

Shuster’s final tap-back attempt in the fifth end needed just a little more weight to score the necessary two points. The skin was then carried over to the sixth end where Team World stole the point. In the seventh, Shuster executed a tap-back to score one point but it wasn’t the two needed so again the skin was carried over for an increased value of two points. (Skins in the first six ends are worth half of a point while ends seven and eight are worth one point on the scoreboard. More information about the skins format is listed below.) Team World made multiple great doubles and runback doubles to shut out the U.S. men in the closing two ends.

Sarah Anderson (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Monica Walker (St. Paul, Minn.) will compete in mixed team skins in the 4 p.m. session along with Canada’s Brad Gushue and Geoff Walker to close out the Cup. Rachel Homan will take on Eve Muirhead while Kevin Koe will battle Bruce Mouat.

Current point totals:
Team North America:  16
Team World:  29

(First team to 30.5 points wins)

 

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.

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.

(30)

For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, terry.davis@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile).