SOCHI, Russia – Team USA is back on track at the 2013 World Junior Championships after Monday’s victory over Norway at the Ice Cube Curling Center.
Norway’s Eirik Mjoen rink came into the game with a 4-1 record but was outplayed by Team USA as the Americans won 7-4.
The Dropkin rink is based in Massachusetts and includes Bemidji curlers Alex Fenson and Mark Fenner.
The win snaps a two-game losing skid by the U.S. men and moves them into a tie for sixth with a 3-3 record. Scotland leads the field at 5-1 while Norway, Sweden, Canada and Russia are 4-2. Italy shares sixth with the USA with a 3-3 record. Trailing the leaders are Switzerland at 2-4, China at 1-5 and Czechoslovakia at 0-6.
“It was really important for us mentally and physically,” said USA skip Korey Dropkin, who shot 92 percent. “We had started to lose our confidence because we had lost a few games. We were trying to find our game, and today we found it and stepped up to the occasion.”
Fenson shot 82 percent in the game and Fenner a scorching 96 percent.
The victory improves Team USA to 3-3 in the standings with three games left to play in the round robin.
The U.S. men got off to a strong start against Norway, scoring a deuce with a takeout in the opening end.
The U.S. flustered Norway in the third end with multiple rocks in scoring position throughout the end and eventually scored one.
Norway bounced back with a deuce in the fourth end when Dropkin’s takeout rolled his shooter out as well, leaving Mjoen with a takeout of his own to score the two points. The U.S. played a strong fifth end and Dropkin was able to draw into the four-foot with the final stone for two more points to expand the lead to 5-2.
The Americans extended the lead further in the sixth when Mjoen’s final stone rubbed the center guard on its way to the four-foot, and the U.S. swiped a point.
Norway was forced to take a single in the seventh end. The U.S. lead grew to four points when Dropkin made a takeout for a point in the eighth end.
After Norway ended up with a single in the ninth, the U.S. ran Norway of rocks in the 10th to secure the team’s third victory.
Team USA faced Canada early Tuesday morning (Central Standard Time) and will close with games against China (9 a.m. Wednesday) and Scotland (3 a.m. Thursday).