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Team World carries one-point lead into Day 2

PENTICTON, B.C. — Team North America got two well-timed shots in the arm to close out the opening day of the World Financial Group Continental Cup, presented by Monsanto.

Big victories by Canadian skips Kevin Martin and Glenn Howard in men’s team games on Thursday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre in curling’s version of the Ryder Cup helped Team North America claw back some of Team World’s lead after three rounds of action.

Team World, the defending champion, carries a 5-4 lead into Day 2; the first team to claim 30.5 points of the 60 available will win the WFG Continental Cup.

Team World skip Niklas Edin, right, urges on sweepers Fredrik Lindberg, left, and Viktor Kjäll during action on Thursday at the 2013 WFG Continental Cup. (Photo, CCA/Michael Burns)

Martin’s team from the Saville Sports Centre in Edmonton, Alta., had struggled of late with Martin undergoing hernia surgery in December.

But in his first full game back on the ice, Martin made an inturn draw to the four-foot in the final end to beat Team World’s Tom Brewster (Curl Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland) 4-3.

“I felt really good, actually— the whole game,” said Martin, the 2010 Olympic gold-medallist. “I really enjoyed getting back out on the ice. It’s been a while.”

Martin was able to wrap up his game and then watched Howard (Coldwater & District CC, Coldwater, Ont.) pull out an exciting 6-3 win over Team World’s Thomas Ulsrud (Snarøen CC, Oslo Norway) in a game that wasn’t secure until Howard made a tough double-takeout with his final shot of the eighth end, eliciting a celebratory fist-pump from his long-time rival Martin.

“That was a hard shot, and he didn’t have a lot of time,” said Martin with a smile. “No timeouts, no time on the clock. That’s a heavy-pressure shot.”

Howard was a part of the North American team that went down to defeat to Team World last year in Langley, B.C., a result that was determined when the World squad built a massive early lead over the first two days.

“Last year we got ourselves into a hole right at the beginning of the week and we couldn’t come back,” said Howard. “We definitely don’t want to do that again here. To get two out of the three was great. We’re only one point back, and we can claw back at them.”

In the other evening game, Team World’s Niklas Edin (Karlstads CK, Karlstad, Sweden) prevented a North American sweep with an 8-7 win over Team North America’s Heath McCormick (Ardsley CC, Ardsley-on-Hudson, N.Y.), making a draw for the win in the eighth end after forcing McCormick to one in the seventh.

That was the result that allowed Team World to keep a lead it built earlier in the day with its results in women’s team and mixed doubles games.

“It was really important (to lead after the first day),” said Edin. “On paper, they have so many strong players and so many good teams. So I think it’s really important for us to have the lead and build confidence throughout the entire squad. We’re in a good position, I think.”

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The WFG Continental Cup continues with three draws on Friday; there will be women’s team games at 8:30 a.m. (all times PST, all draws on TSN), women’s and men’s singles at 1 p.m. and men’s team games at 6:30 p.m.

There will be 12 more traditional team games (six men’s, six 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 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.

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