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Team USA falls to Sweden, finishes first day at Worlds with 1-1 record

Bemidji curlers Mark Fenner (left) and Alex Fenson (right) sweep a stone during the opening day of action at the World Junior Curling Championships in Russia. Team USA defeated Czechoslovakia 9-8 in its opener but lost 10-4 to Sweden in its second contest. Richard Gray | World Curling Federation

SOCHI, Russia – Korey Dropkin helped Team USA rally and win its opener 9-8 over Czechoslovakia Thursday at the 2013 World Junior Championships. In Thursday’s second draw Dropkin took a 3-0 lead over Sweden after one end but the team struggled the rest of the way and Sweden eventually cruised to a 10-4 victory.

In the game against Czechoslovakia the American men (1-0) scored a deuce in the 10th end to force an extra end against skip Marek Cernovsky’s rink and then stole the winning point to start the round robin with a win at the Ice Cube Curling Center.

“We came out pretty well. We had a few rough ends but kept in it, made some more shots and we came back and held on,” Dropkin, of Massachusetts, said.

Dropkin and teammates Thomas Howell of New Jersey and Mark Fenner and Alex Fenson, both of Bemidji, are competing in a nine-game round robin with the top four teams moving on to next weekend’s Page playoffs.

In the opening end, the U.S. had a few rocks roll out after takeouts, resulting in Dropkin being forced to draw into the four-foot against three Czech stones to score a single. In the second end the U.S. stole a point to go up 2-0. The Czechs got the opportunity for a deuce in the third end after Dropkin’s final takeout jammed, giving Cernovsky the draw for two.

After being forced again to draw for a single in the fourth end, the Americans were in full control of the fifth end and stole a pair.

A couple of missed shots by the U.S. in the sixth end produced a big end for the Czechs as Cernosky was able to chip out an American stone nearly frozen in the four-foot to a Czech rock for three points to tie the game.

After the seventh end Dropkin was eventually forced to draw for a single to take a 6-5 lead.

The Americans looked poised to steal points in the ninth end but things unraveled and Cernosky was able to chip out the lone U.S. stone in the rings and hung three points on the scoreboard.

The U.S. got the deuce set up early on in the 10th end and Dropkin drew for two to tie the game.

The Czechs missed a peel early in the extra end, allowing the U.S. to put a stone in the four-foot and protect it. Cernovsky attempted to draw down and tap out the U.S. rock but his final stone could not move it back enough, and the U.S. stole the winning point.

Against Sweden Team USA started strong, scoring three in the opening end. But Sweden countered with two in the second, solo steals in the third and fourth ends and a steal of two in the fifth.

Sweden iced the win with three in the seventh and a steal of one in the eighth.

Canada and Italy both won their two games on Thursday while USA is tied with Norway, Scotland and Sweden with 1-1 records.

USA has a bye in today’s early round and resumes its tournament at 11 p.m. Bemidji time against Switzerland.

World Junior Championships

Men’s Division

Event Schedule (times are CST)


Canada 2-0, Italy 2-0, USA 1-1, Norway 1-1, Scotland 1-1, Sweden 1-1, China 0-1, Switzerland 0-1, Czechoslovakia 0-2, Russia 0-2

Thursday’s Games

USA 9, Czechoslovakia 8; Canada 9, Switzerland 6; Norway 8, Sweden 5; Italy 6, Russia 3

Sweden 10, USA 4; Scotland 7, China 6: Canada 5, Russia 4; Italy 5, Czechoslovakia 2

Friday’s Schedule

Midnight.: Sweden vs. Czechoslovakia; Scotland vs. Switzerland; Italy vs. Norway; China vs. Russia

11 p.m.: USA v s. Switzerland; Canada vs. Scotland; China vs. Norway

Saturday’s Schedule

9 a.m.: USA vs. Italy; Norway vs. Switzerland; Russia vs. Sweden; Canada v s. Czechoslovakia

Sunday’s Schedule

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

Monday’s Schedule

9 a.m.: USA vs. Norway; Italy vs. Canada; Russia vs. Scotland; Switzerland vs. China

Tuesday’s Schedule

4 a.m.: Czechoslovakia vs. Norway; Canada vs. USA; Sweden vs. Italy; Russia vs. Switzerland

11 p.m.: Scotland vs. Sweden; Italy vs. China; Czechoslovakia vs. Russia

Wednesday, March 6

9 a.m.: USA vs. China; Switzerland vs. Sweden; Norway vs. Canada; Scotland vs. Czechoslovakia

Thursday, March 7

3 a.m.: USA vs. Scotland; Switzerland vs. Italy; Norway vs. Russia; China vs. Canada

11:30 a.m.: Tiebreakers

11 p.m.: Tiebreakers, if necessary

Friday, March 8

4 a.m.: Tiebreakers, if necessary

9 a.m.: Page playoff openers

Saturday, March 9

9 a.m.: Page semifinals

11 p.m.: Page final; third place games