SOCHI, Russia – The USA junior men’s curling team owns a 2-2 record after splitting a pair of games Saturday at the World Junior Championships here.
In Saturday’s first game the USA rink, which includes Bemidji curlers Mark Fenner and Alex Fenson, belted Switzerland 6-3 but in its second game the team lost 6-5 to Italy.
USA enters today’s game against Russia tied for fifth place in the 10-team round-robin standings.
Norway leads the field with a 4-0 record and Scotland is 3-0. Owning 3-1 records are Canada and Italy. Team USA shares the 2-2 record with Russia and Sweden.
Trailing the leaders are China (0-3), Czechoslovakia (0-4) and Switzerland (0-4).
In its win over Switzerland team USA broke a 3-3 tie with three in the seventh end. The teams blanked the eighth and ninth ends and Switzerland conceded after running out of stones in the 10th end.
“The win (over Switzerland) was definitely important,” Fenner said. “We want to be at the top of the pack to give ourselves a little more room. We want to be as close to the top as we can.”
With the game tied at 3-3 the Americans were on the receiving end of a Swiss gift. After USA skip Korey Dropkin made a perfect takeout to put one USA rock in scoring position the Swiss skip failed at his runback takeout attempt and left the USA in second count. Dropkin used the hammer to make a takeout on the lone Swiss counter and give the USA three points.
In the loss to Italy the Americans took a 3-0 lead after two ends and owned a 5-3 advantage after eight ends. Italy tied the game with two in the ninth and won the game with a solo steal in the 10th.
Norway 4-0, Scotland 3-0, Canada 3-1, Italy 3-1, USA 2-2, Russia 2-2, Sweden 2-2, China 0-3, Czechoslovakia 0-4, Switzerland 0-4
USA 6, Switzerland 3; Scotland 7, Canada 6; Norway 5, China 3; Italy 6, USA 5; Norway 7, Switzerland 6; Russia 5, Sweden 3; Canada 5, Czechoslovakia 3
4 a.m.: USA vs. Russia; Sweden vs. Canada; China vs. Czechoslovakia; Italy vs. Scotland
11 p.m.: Czechoslovakia vs. Switzerland; Scotland vs. Norway; Sweden vs. China
9 a.m.: USA vs. Norway; Italy vs. Canada; Russia vs. Scotland; Switzerland vs. China