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Germany ends U.S. hopes for curling title

Germany's Andy Kapp wrote an end to the title hopes of Mankato's Todd Birr rink Saturday, ousting the Americans 6-4 in the bronze medal game. If lifted the Germans to the gold medal game for the first time since 1997. Canada beat Birr Friday nigh...

Germany's Andy Kapp wrote an end to the title hopes of Mankato's Todd Birr rink Saturday, ousting the Americans 6-4 in the bronze medal game.

If lifted the Germans to the gold medal game for the first time since 1997. Canada beat Birr Friday night in the 1-2 match 7-2.

That match will begin today at 12:30 Bemidji time.

The U. S. had beaten Germany 7-6 in the round robin.

The bronze was the first medal for the U.S. since it brought home the bronze in 1993.

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It also gave the Americans 10 points toward qualifying for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Nations can earn points at the three world championships leading up to the Olympics.

The U.S. now shows four gold, five silver and 11 bronze medals in the 48-year history of the event.

The win was the fourth in two days for the Germans who needed two wins in tiebreakers Friday to gain the fourth seed, then beat Switzerland in the 3-4 match to stay alive.

Kapp never trailed but needed a steal of one in the tenth to cement the victory.

The Germans opened with one in the first which Birr tied in the third.

But a deuce in the fourth sent the Germans ahead again. The pair then divided singles in the fifth and sixth before Birr gained a deuce in the seventh to tie again.

Kapp used the hammer for the winning point in the eighth. Birr blanked the ninth to keep the hammer.

He put his first throw in the tenth on the button inside three German counters.

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Kapp removed this shot to give the Germans a fourth count.

Needing to score a double takeout and put the shooter in first count to tie. Birr accomplished the first part. But his shooter stopped in the 12 foot inches short of the German shot rock which decided the game.

Canadian revenge

Team USA's hopes of a direct move into the World Men's Curling Championships title game received a setback Friday when Birr fell to Canada 7-2 in the 1-2 playoff match.

Birr had handed Canada its only loss in the round robin 7-6.

But Glenn Howard's quartet returned the favor Friday night.

"We caught Todd on an off day," said Howard. "I feel for him. He didn't play as well as he needed to. We missed a couple of early shots too though."

Germany won its third game of the day to beat Switzerland 6-4 in the 3-4 playoff and keep its title hopes alive.

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The Andy Kapp rink had taken two earlier tiebreakers after being one of four teams tied for fourth.

The U.S.-Canada match was close for the first three ends until Birr lost his draw weight and the Americans never recovered.

After blanking the first two ends, Canada took a 1-0 lead in the third, then stole a pair in the fourth when too much weight cost Birr two points with Howard scoring a double takeout with his first rock and drawing to the four foot with his second.

Canada stole another in the fifth for a 4-0 lead and countered the first U. S. point in the sixth with three in the seventh to put game away.

Switzerland led Germany 3-1 after four but Kapp got even with a deuce in the fifth and scored another deuce in the eighth to take a 5-4 lead. He wrapped up the win with one in the ninth.

WORLD MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIPS

at Edmonton, Alta.

1-2 Playoff

Canada 001-210-30---7

USA 000-001-01---2

3-4 Playoff

Switzerland 010-201-000-0---4

Germany 001-020-020-1---6

Bronze medal

USA 001-010-200-0---4

Germany 100-201-010-1---6

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