FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2019
Team USA inching closer to securing playoff spot at World Championship
(SILKEBORG, Denmark) – Jamie Sinclair and Team USA have won four of its last five games to stay in playoff contention at the 2019 LGT World Women’s Curling Championship.
With a 9-7 victory this morning over Scotland’s Sophie Jackson, Sinclair (Osgoode, Ontario) and teammates Sarah Anderson (Minneapolis, Minn.), Taylor Anderson (Minneapolis, Minn.), and Monica Walker (St. Paul, Minn.) improved to 6-5 and currently sit in sixth place in the round robin standings. The top six countries will qualify to this weekend’s playoffs where gold medals are on the line at Silkeborg Sportscenter.
The U.S. triumph today was fueled by a massive six points scored in the seventh end that broke open a relatively modest game to that point.
“It was really exciting. I kind of saw it happening. I think something we did really well was rock management. We were able to keep our shooters around quite a bit. We were fortunate that she came a little heavy on her last one, but it was one of those situations where they were slightly on the wrong side of the inch and then it really opened up the floodgates for us. I was really proud of the girls for managing all of those rock positions,” Sinclair said about the seventh end.
“I think we felt really comfortable with the ice and tried to get our rocks in the right angles and spots and took advantage of the misses. To have a pretty much open hit for six doesn’t happen all that often,” Sarah Anderson said.
The U.S. ladies will conclude the round robin this afternoon against Switzerland’s Silvana Tirizoni rink. Sweden (10-1), Korea (8-3) and Russia (8-3) have secured the first three playoff spots. The Swiss (7-3) and China (7-4) remain above the Americans in the standings. Even more important are the teams just below the U.S. as Japan (5-5), Canada (5-6) and Germany (4-6) still have a chance at the playoffs with two round robin sessions left to be played.
“We’re ramping up. We’re getting comfortable out there. We’re getting comfortable with the ice. We’re throwing really well so there is a lot of good momentum going our way, which is at the right time so hopefully we’ll carry that into the last round robin game,” Sinclair said.
After a slow start to the tournament, the U.S. team is indeed on an upward trend as each game has showed steady improvement in the overall shooting percentage as the Americans shot their highest team total in today’s match at 83 percent.
“I think we’re playing better each game. Scotland really played great and they really hung in there until the end, but we stayed focused for the win,” Sarah Anderson said.
Despite the late-game heroics to score six points, the U.S. team had to be on its game in order to defeat Scotland (4-7).
The first end was kept open but the Scottish ladies mis-fired on their final takeout of the end to spot the Americans a single point to start the game. Another open end followed with Scotland employing the same tactic but with a different result. However, it was still not what they were looking for as they made a nose hit to score one versus blanking the end to keep the hammer. A third open end had a similar theme at skip stones with the opposing sides exchanging hits. This time the U.S. squad was trying to blank the end and threw the heat to remove the stone in the back of the house but missed.
The U.S. ladies had opportunities in the fourth end but draw weight issues halted them all. Just like that the Scottish team had four stones in the house. Sinclair tried to bury one into the four-foot with her first shot but enough of it could be seen for Jackson to chip out. The upside for the Americans was that the U.S. stone jammed on a Scottish rock in the back of the house leaving the U.S. with a stone in second position. Sinclair was able to remove enough of it to score two.
Scotland was forced into draw against two U.S. stones in the fifth end as the scoreboard was leveled after one half of play. A gutsy call from Sinclair with her first skip stone in the sixth end in an effort to set the U.S. team up for multiple points did not end up panning out when Jackson thwarted the attempt with a well-placed freeze that left two Scottish stones in scoring position. Sinclair needed to hit and stay for a single point but rolled out after removal and Scotland stole a point to take the lead back.
A well-executed double takeout from Taylor Anderson early in the seventh end helped the U.S. get out of an early mess that turned into a beauty of an end. A missed runback from Scotland with the next stone put the U.S. fully in control of the end. A series of half shots from the Scots balanced with perfect execution from the U.S. gave Sinclair a dream scenario to make a takeout to score six and steal the game’s momentum.
Scotland was in full control of the ninth end and the U.S. had to concede a point while facing three with Sinclair’s lost shot. Another great shot from Taylor Anderson – this time a peel that also removed the lone Scottish stone in the rings early in the 10th end – put the U.S. in the driver’s seat. Sinclair would finish off the Scottish threat to steal with a double takeout for the win.
The U.S. team will need a win against Switzerland and for all of the other pieces of the puzzle to fall in place to secure a ticket to Saturday’s playoffs.
“They are a really strong team so we’re going to go out there and give it our all and put it all on the line and try to play our best,” Sarah Anderson said about today’s matchup against Switzerland.
USA 100 200 600 0 – 9
*Scotland 011 011 021 0 – 7
*last rock in first end
Other Draw 18 scores: Korea 8, Latvia 7; Sweden 5, Canada 3; Denmark 7, Finland 6
Draw 17 scores: Sweden 8, Germany 3; Russia 7, Scotland 4; Switzerland 7, Japan 6; China 11, Korea 9
Russia 8-3 Q
Korea 8-3 Q
Q=qualified to playoffs
How to watch: In partnership with World Curling TV, the Olympic Channel and NBCSN are providing live coverage of all of Team USA’s round robin games plus the playoffs. To see the complete schedule, go to https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Curling/Features/2019/March/04/TV-schedule-for-Womens-World-Championship.
Live scores & social media: Live scores are posted at http://www.worldcurling.org/wwcc2019. USA Curling is posting game recaps and photos after each U.S. game at www.usacurl.org. The official event hashtags are #wwcc2019 and #curling.
USA round robin results:
USA 9, Scotland 7
USA 10, China 7
Sweden 9, USA 7
USA 9, Latvia 6
USA 13, Canada 6
Germany 10, USA 5
Russia 8, USA 7
USA 6, Finland 3
Korea 9, USA 5
USA 8, Denmark 6
Japan 9, USA 5
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile).