What a difference 24 hours can make.
January 12, 2013 Penticton, BC (ISN) – A day after Team North America’s three women’s squads managed to earn just a half-point out of three games to open the 2013 World Financial Group Continental Cup, presented by Monsanto.
The women turned the tables on Team World on Friday morning in the second day of curling’s version of the Ryder Cup.
Team North America won two games and tied another at the South Okanagan Events Centre to claim 2.5 of the three points that were available in the women’s team games. That outcome put Team North America in the lead for the first time this week, taking a 6.5-5.5 advantage. With 60 points available over the four-day competition, the first team to 30.5 will win the WFG Continental Cup.
The event continues with the singles competition beginning at 1 p.m. (all times PST, all draws broadcast by TSN), with players attempting a series of skill-testing shots.
Allison Pottinger’s U.S. championship team (St. Paul CC, St. Paul, Minn.) set the tone in the morning draw with a 9-4 pasting of Team World’s Eve Muirhead (Dunkeld CC, Dunkeld, Scotland), with Pottinger making a wonderful double-takeout with her first shot of the eighth end, and then making an open hit to score four to dispatch Muirhead.
“This morning in the locker-room, all the women’s teams were like, let’s get three wins, let’s get some breathing room for the boys,” said Pottinger. “With singles, you never know what’s going to happen. And it just makes things a little bit easier. It’s nice to get some points on the board. It’s a momentum shift.”
While Pottinger was in control for most of her game, the two Canadian teams, skipped by Jennifer Jones (St. Vital CC, Winnipeg, Man.) and Heather Nedohin (Saville Sports Centre, Edmonton, Alta.) needed breaks at the end to claim their results.
Jones scored two in the seventh end to tie her game with Team World’s Mirjam Ott (CC Davos, Davos, Switzerland) but surrendered last-rock advantage. But Jones was able to get two rocks into the four-foot circle, and Ott was wide with her last-rock double-takeout attempt to give Team North America a stolen point and a 6-5 victory.
“Mirjam played fantastic the whole game and basically just missed one shot,” said Jones. “It worked out in our favour, but we’ll take every point we can get. We really bounced back. The women didn’t play as well as we would have liked yesterday morning, but I thought we all came out and shot well today, and hopefully that means good things for us going into the weekend.”
Nedohin, meanwhile, was up 4-3 without last rock going into the eighth end against Team World’s Margaretha Sigfridsson (Skellefteå CK, Skellefteå, Sweden). Sigfridsson’s last-rock thrower, Maria Prytz, had a shot for the winning deuce but her shot overcurled and the World team had to settle for one and a 4-4 tie, giving a half-point to each side.
“We were playing for the half-point,” said Nedohin. “Yes, we got fortunate that she didn’t get her deuce because there was that opportunity, but we made it tough on her. Coming away with 2.5 points is a strong start to the day. Obviously we were disappointed by yesterday morning’s performance, but it was nice to have a better feel for the ice, and overall, there was some great shotmaking across the board.”
There will be nine more traditional team games (six men’s, three women’s), each worth one point for a win, and one-half point for a tie. All games are eight ends and there are no extra ends. For the six mixed doubles and six singles matches, one point will also be awarded for each victory, one-half point if tied.
The six skins games (two mixed, two women’s and two men’s) on Sunday will offer a total of five points per game, with the first six ends of each game worth one-half point each, while the seventh and eighth ends are worth one point each. In skins, a count of at least two with last rock or a steal is required in order to win an end. Otherwise, the points carry over.
The winning side receives $52,000 Cdn ($2,000 per member, including captain and coach), while the losing side gets $26,000 ($1,000 per member, including captain and coach). As well, the side that generates the highest points total from the final three skins games will receive an additional $13,000 ($500 per player, plus captain and coach).
Each side has won four Continental Cups; Team World prevailed last year in Langley, B.C.
Here is the remainder of schedule for nest two days of the competition; matchups for the six skins-format games that could decide matters on Sunday will be determined when the respective coaches and captains (coach Rick Lang of Thunder Bay, Ont., and captain Kelley Law of Coquitlam B.C., for Team North America; coach Peja Lindholm of Östersund, Sweden, and captain David Hay of Perth, Scotland, for Team World) meet on Saturday afternoon.
SATURDAY, Jan. 12
9 a.m. PST
Sheet A: Team North America/Natalie Nicholson (St. Paul CC, St. Paul, Minn.) and Glenn Howard (Coldwater & District CC, Coldwater, Ont.) vs. Team World/Anna Sloan (Dunkeld CC, Dunkeld, Scotland) and Greg Drummond (Club Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland)
Sheet B: Team North America/Jennifer Jones (St. Vital CC, Winnipeg, Man.) and Brent Laing (Coldwater & District CC, Coldwater, Ont.) vs. Team World/Carmen Kung (CC Davos, Davos, Switzerland) and Torger Nergård (Snarōen CC, Oslo, Norway)
Sheet C: Team North America/Jessica Mair (Saville Sports Centre, Edmonton, Alta.) and Heath McCormick (Ardsley CC, Ardsley-on-Hudson, N.Y.) vs. Team World/Maria Prytz (Skellefteå CK, Skellefteå, Sweden) and Sebastian Kraupp (Karlstads CK, Karlstad, Sweden)
1:30 p.m. PST
Sheet A: Team North America/Jennifer Jones (St. Vital CC, Winnipeg, Man.) vs. Team World/Eve Muirhead (Dunkeld CC, Dunkeld, Scotland)
Sheet B: Team North America/Allison Pottinger (St. Paul CC, St. Paul, Minn.) vs. Team World/Margaretha Sigfridsson (Skellefteå CK, Skellefteå, Sweden)
Sheet C: Team North America/Heather Nedohin (Saville Sports Centre, Edmonton, Alta.) vs. Team World/Mirjam Ott (CC Davos, Davos, Switzerland)
Sheet A: Team North America/Kevin Martin (Saville Sports Centre, Edmonton, Alta.) vs. Team World/Thomas Ulsrud (Snarøen CC, Oslo, Norway)
Sheet B: Team North America/Heath McCormick (Ardsley CC, Ardsley-on-Hudson, N.Y.) vs. Team World/Tom Brewster (Club Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland)
Sheet C: Team North America/Glenn Howard (Coldwater & District CC, Coldwater, Ont.) vs. Team World/Niklas Edin (Karlstads CK, Karlstad, Sweden)
For ticket and other event information, visit www.curling.ca/championships/continentalcup.
TSN, the exclusive television network for the Canadian Curling Association’s Season of Champions, and French language sports network RDS/RDS2 will provide complete coverage of this year’s World Financial Group Continental Cup, from the Opening draw (Women’s Team games) on Thursday morning through to and including the final Skins games on Sunday.
The World Financial Group Continental Cup is a joint venture of the Canadian Curling Association, United States Curling Association and World Curling Federation.