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Curling: Fenson rink falls to seventh place at Worlds

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Norway broke a 4-4 deadlock late in the game Monday night to hand Team USA a 6-4 setback at the Men's World Curling Championships.

It dropped the Pete Fenson rink into seventh place in the 12-team field, though only one game out of fourth.

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Canada and Scotland remain tied for first at 5-0 with Norway 4-1. Denmark and Germany are 3-2, one game ahead of the USA, China, Switzerland and Italy.

The Fenson foursome faces France this morning and China tonight, needing a sweep to get back into contention for a playoff berth.

Norway jumped to a 3-0 lead at the start, scoring once in the first and stealing singletons in the second and third.

"I definitely didn't have my draw weight and just didn't find it either," said Fenson. He shot only 66 percent .

The U.S. was forced to draw to the four-foot for its first score in the fourth. But Torger Nergard got this one back in the fifth to reestablish the three-goal lead.

Team USA cut it to 4-2 in the sixth before Fenson pressured the Norse again with a pair in the seventh to knot the score at 4-4.

In the eighth, Fenson made a perfect freeze to the Norway stone in the back of the eight-foot to force Nergard to follow him down for a single point.

The ninth didn't go as planned.

Instead of blanking the end, Nergard used his final rock to draw into the empty house behind a center guard. Fenson tried to draw to the button but the shot was heavy.

Needing two points to tie, Team USA was not able to generate it as the guards quickly got peeled away leaving Nergard to follow with open shots to run the losers out of bullets.

Other results from the draw found Canada beating Sweden 8-4, Scotland winning over Denmark 7-4 and Switzerland shading France 5-4.

USA downs Japan

Monday afternoon, Team USA leveled its record at 2-2 with a 6-1 win over Japan.

Despite not having the hammer until the seventh end, the Fenson foursome built a 4-0 lead and Japan's lone point in the sixth with one in the seventh, then stole its final point in the eighth.

"For the team, this win is good for our mental health. It's good to have a game like this and get our energy back up," said third Shawn Rojeski.

Blanked through five ends, Makoto Tsuruga scored the only Japanese point in the sixth with a draw to an empty house .

But Fenson got this one back in the next end and added his final point when Tsuruga couldn't convert his final shot in the eighth. Japan conceded at that point.

The U.S. outshot Japan 86-73.

Other morning winners were Denmark 8-4 over China, Switzerland 4-3 over Germany and Canada 7-5 over Italy.

Danish disaster

Sunday night, Team USA ran into a Danish disaster when the Johnny Fredericksen rink laid a five-spot in the second end and held off Fenson the rest of the way to post a 9-7 victory.

The big end started with each team freezing to each other's stones around the button. The U.S. had shot rock until second Joe Polo drew down to the nest and just nudged the U.S. stone back and out of the scoring position.

A few more half shots by the Americans later, Denmark had four rocks in scoring position when Fenson threw his last rock, an angle raise that did not go according to plan and gave Fredericksen a draw for five.

After that, it was an uphill battle.

The U.S. climbed back within 6-5 with deuces in the third and sixth around one in the fourth.

But Denmark matched the second deuce with a pair in the seventh which Fenson countered with singletons in the eighth and ninth to get within 8-7.

But it left Fredericksen with the hammer which he used to salt the game away in the tenth.

The U.S. got a stone hanging off the button protected by guards and put a second tucked in but Fredericksen made a takeout for the win to stop the comeback.

Other scores found Canada beating Switzerland 9-5, Scotland turning back France 8-6 and Norway stopping Sweden 7-4.

First win

Fenson scored his first win Sunday afternoon beating Switzerland 7-5, scoring three in the seventh to overcome a 4-3 deficit and matching a lone Swiss point in the eighth with one in the ninth.

The U.S. took control early with two in the first when Polo scored a double takeout leaving two rocks in the house.

After Stefan Karnusian missed his final shot, Fenson came down through a port to tap back the Swiss counter and score two.

The two teams matched points in the second and third before Karnusian tied the count with a deuce in the fourth and stole one in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead.

After blanking the sixth, the U. S. got a stone buried behind a corner guard and were chasing throughout. But Fenson saved the end with a takeout and then followed his stone across the house to punch back the Swiss rock and score three.

Karnusian had a chance at two in the eighth but came up just short and settled for one.

Fenson used his final rock hit to get one back in the ninth and chipped out two Swiss rocks with his final stone in the tenth to save the win.

Other results found Canada beating Denmark 8-3, China outscoring Japan 8-6 and Italy shading Germany 6-5.

U.S. MENS

WORLD

CHAMPIONSHIPS

At Cortina, Italy.

Standings

Canada, Scotland 5-0, Norway 4-1, Denmark, Germany 3-2, China, Italy, USA, Switzerland 2-3, France, Sweden 1-4, Japan 0-5

Second Draw

USA 201-000-301---7

Switzerland 010-210-010---5

Canada 8, Denmark 3

China 8, Japan 6

Italy 6, Germany 5

Third Draw

Denmark 005-010-200-1---9

USA 002-102-011-0---7

Canada 9, Switzerland 5

Scotland 8, France 6

Norway 7, Sweden 4

Fourth Draw

Japan 000-001-00---1

USA 021-100-11---6

Canada 7, Italy 5

Switzerland 4, Germany 3

Denmark 8, China 4

Fifth Draw

USA 000-101-200---4

Norway 111-010-011---6

Canada 8, Sweden 4

Scotland 7, Denmark 4

Switzerland 5, France 4

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Pioneer staff reports
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