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Team North America avoids early sweep

PENTICTON, B.C. — Jennifer Jones hadn’t thrown a draw shot to win a curling game in 10 months, but she evidently hasn’t lost her touch.

That’s a very good thing for Team North America on Thursday morning, which avoided a Team World clean sweep of the opening draw of the 2013 World Financial Group Continental Cup, presented by Monsanto, thanks to Jones (St. Vital CC, Winnipeg, Man.).

Jones drew to the four-foot to score two in the eighth end and pull out a 6-6 tie with Margaretha Sigfridsson (Skellefteå CK, Skellefteå, Sweden) at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

That resulted in a half-point for Team North America, but it was the home team’s only scoring in the morning draw of the Ryder Cup-style competition.

“It felt great,” said Jones, who gave birth to her first child, daughter Isabella, in November. “I’ve been practising and it’s been going really well, but to be in competition feels awesome, and to have a shot for the win and get the adrenalin going is a great way to start the week for me.”

In the other morning games, Team World’s Eve Muirhead (Dunkeld CC, Dunkeld, Scotland) scored three in the first end to beat Team North America’s Heather Nedohin (Saville Sports Centre, Edmonton, Alta.) 8-3, while reigning Ford world women’s champion Mirjam Ott (CC Davos, Davos, Switzerland) of Team World put four on the scoreboard in the fourth end en route to a 9-7 win over Team North America’s Allison Pottinger (St. Paul CC, St. Paul, Minn.).

With the results, Team World takes a 2.5.-0.5 lead in the competition; the first team to reach 30.5 points will win the WFG Continental Cup.

“That’s what we came out here to do this morning – get some points on the board,” said Muirhead. “We got off to a really strong start, getting the three in the first end. Really, from then, especially when it is only eight-end games, that’s a big lead. We managed to hit them out the park and force ones when we could, so a good, solid start.”

 

There will be 18 traditional team games (nine men’s and nine 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.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNYEeIPyzqs

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.

Mixed doubles competition is on centre stage for Thursday’s afternoon draw, beginning at 1 p.m. (all times PST; live on TSN).

“We just missed a couple shots here or there in the other games, but we came out with a half-point, which is better than nothing,” said Jones. “Hopefully the guys pick it up tonight and the mixed doubles do well this afternoon.”

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 the first three 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 David Hay of Perth, Scotland, and captain Peja Lindholm of Östersund, Sweden for Team World) meet on Saturday afternoon.

THURSDAY, Jan. 10
1 p.m. PST
Mixed Doubles
Sheet A: Team North America/Allison Pottinger (St. Paul CC, St. Paul, Minn.) and Marc Kennedy (Saville Sports Centre, Edmonton, Alta.) vs. Team World/Carmen Schäfer (CC Davos, Davos Switzerland) and Christoffer Svae (Snarøen CC, Oslo, Norway)
Sheet B: Team North America/Heather Nedohin (Saville Sports Centre, Edmonton, Alta.) and Dean Gemmell (Ardsley CC, Ardsley-on-Hudson, N.Y.) vs. Eve Muirhead (Dunkeld CC, Scotland) and Michael Goodfellow (Club Aberdeen, Scotland)
Sheet C: Team North America/Kaitlyn Lawes (St. Vital CC, Winnipeg, Man.) and John Morris (Saville Sports Centre, Edmonton, Alta.) vs. Team World/Christina Bertrup (Skelllefteå CK, Skellefteå, Sweden) and Niklas Edin (Karlstads CK, Karlstad, Sweden)

6:30 p.m. PST
Men’s Team
Sheet A: Team North America/Heath McCormick (Ardsley CC, Ardsley-on-Hudson, N.Y.) vs. Team World/Niklas Edin (Karlstads CK, Karlstad, Sweden)
Sheet B: Team North America/Glenn Howard (Coldwater & District CC, Coldwater, Ont.) vs. Team World/Thomas Ulsrud (Snarøen CC, Oslo, Norway)
Sheet C: Team North America/Kevin Martin (Saville Sports Centre, Edmonton, Alta.) vs. Team World/Tom Brewster (Club Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland)

FRIDAY, Jan. 11
8:30 a.m. PST
Women’s Team
Sheet A: Team North America/Heather Nedohin (Saville Sports Centre, Edmonton, Alta.) vs. Team World/Margaretha Sigfridsson (Skellefteå CK, Skellefteå, Sweden)
Sheet B: Team North America/Jennifer Jones (St. Vital CC, Winnipeg, Man.) vs. Team World/Mirjam Ott (CC Davos, Davos, Switzerland)
Sheet C: Team North America/Allison Pottinger (St. Paul CC, St. Paul, Minn.) vs. Team World/Eve Muirhead (Dunkeld CC, Dunkeld, Scotland)

1 p.m. PST
Singles
Women
Sheet A: Team North America/Heather Nedohin (Saville Sports Centre, Edmonton, Alta.) vs. Team World/Eve Muirhead (Dunkeld CC, Dunkeld, Scotland)
Sheet B: Team North America/Jennifer Jones (St. Vital CC, Winnipeg, Man.) vs. Team World/Mirjam Ott (CC Davos, Davos, Switzerland)
Sheet C: Team North America/Allison Pottinger (St. Paul CC, St. Paul, Minn.) vs. Team World/Margaretha Sigfridsson (Skellefteå CK, Skellefteå, Sweden)
Men
Sheet A: Team North America/Heath McCormick (Ardsley CC, Ardsley-on-Hudson, N.Y.) vs. Team World/Tom Brewster (Club Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland)
Sheet B: Team North America/Glenn Howard (Coldwater & District CC, Coldwater, Ont.) vs. Team World/Thomas Ulsrud (Snarøen CC, Oslo, Norway)
Sheet C: Team North America/Kevin Martin (Saville Sports Centre, Edmonton, Alta.) vs. Team World/Niklas Edin (Karlstads CK, Karlstads, Sweden)

6:30 p.m. PST
Men’s Team
Sheet A: Team North America/Glenn Howard (Coldwater & District CC, Coldwater, Ont.) vs. Team World/Tom Brewster (Club Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland)
Sheet B: Team North America/Kevin Martin (Saville Sports Centre, Edmonton, Alta.) vs. Team World/Niklas Edin (Karlstads CK, Karlstad, Sweden)
Sheet C: Team North America/Heath McCormick (Ardsley CC, Ardsley-on-Hudson, N.Y.) vs. Team World/Thomas Ulsrud (Snarøen CC, Oslo, Norway)

SATURDAY, Jan. 12
9 a.m. PST
Mixed Doubles
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
Women’s Team
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)

6:30 p.m.
Men’s Team
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)

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Other information:

• 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.

• Media inquiries for other story ideas can be directed to:
Al Cameron
Director, Communication and Media Relations
Canadian Curling Association
403-463-5500
acameron@curling.ca
www.curling.ca