SOCHI, Russia – Inconsistent play plagued Team USA Tuesday at the 2013 World Junior Curling Championships as the team lost 7-3 to Canada.
Skip Korey Dropkin and his teammates, which include Bemidji curlers Alex Fenson and Mark Fenner, were not able to build upon the momentum of Monday’s win against Canada’s Matthew Dunstone rink at the Ice Cube Curling Center.
The loss drops Dropkin to 3-4 in the standings with two games remaining in the round robin.
Team USA was chasing Canada early in the second end until a double takeout by Tom Howell put the U.S. back in control. Dunstone missed his double takeout with the final stone and the U.S. men were first on the scoreboard with a steal of one.
The U.S. couldn’t tuck its final stone behind the center guard and out of reach for Canada, which gave Canada’s skip, Matthew Dunstone, a fairly routine hit for two to take an early lead in the third end.
A few half-shots by the Americans in the fourth end put Canada in control of the end. Dropkin tried to draw around a center guard into the house with his first stone but rubbed on the guard instead. That allowed Canada to add a third stone into the house, increasing the degree of difficulty for Dropkin’s final shot. Dropkin was able to make the takeout to earn the single and tie the game.
The fifth end, however, quickly turned in Canada’s direction as the U.S. struggled to remove Canada’s stones and the red Canadian rocks kept building up. Canada, which made every shot in the end, eventually was able to draw into the four-foot to score three points and take a 5-2 lead.
The U.S. couldn’t capitalize on a miss by Dunstone in the sixth end and ended up being forced to draw the four-foot for a single. Canada seemed ready for deuces in both the seventh and eighth ends but the U.S. defense was able to come through late in the ends to force blanks. Canada finally broke through with the deuce in the ninth and ran the U.S. out of stones in the 10th to earth their fifth win.
The U.S. men returned to the ice late Tuesday night (Central Standard Time) to face China (1-5). The team finishes out the round robin portion 3 a.m. Thursday (CST) against Scotland (5-1).
World Junior Men’s Championships
Scotland 5-1, Norway 5-2, Sweden 5-2, Canada 5-2, Russia 5-2, USA 3-4, Italy 3-4, Switzerland 2-5, China 1-5, Czech Republic 0-7
Canada 7, USA 3; Norway 8, Czech Republic 3; Sweden 8, Italy 4; Russia 6, Switzerland 4
Tuesday’s Late Games
Scotland vs. Sweden; Italy vs. China; Czech Republic vs. Russia
9 a.m. (CST): USA vs. China; Switzerland vs. Sweden; Norway vs. Canada; Scotland vs. Czech Republic
3 a.m. (CST): USA vs. Scotland; Switzerland vs. Italy; Norway vs. Russia; China vs. Canada
11:30 a.m.: Tiebreakers
11 p.m.: Tiebreakers, if necessary
4 a.m.: Tiebreakers, if necessary
9 a.m.: Page playoff openers
9 a.m.: Page semifinals
11 p.m.: Page final; third place games