Sormunen shades Denmark in World's opener; men beat China

Minnesota's Aileen Sormunen rink of Duluth got off to a good start in the World Junior Curling Championships Saturday out dueling Denmark 7-6 in the opening draw at Eveleth.

Minnesota's Aileen Sormunen rink of Duluth got off to a good start in the World Junior Curling Championships Saturday out dueling Denmark 7-6 in the opening draw at Eveleth.

It was a game in which the last rock advantage didn't seem to be much of an advantage as six of the 10 ends featured stolen points.

Ironically the USA champions held the last rock advantage in the final end but didn't need to throw it after the Danes failed to get first count with their last gambit.

"From the first end on it was a chaser," said Sormunen. "Whoever got in the house first seemed to dominate for both teams,"

Sormunen jumped ahead by stealing singles in the first two ends


Dane skip Madeleine Dupont made a delicate hit and roll to the button to score one in third, then guided her side to steals of one in the fourth and fifth for a 3-2 lead.

Denmark stole another in the sixth to ahead by two but the USA got even with a pair in the seventh.

USA took control of the house in the eighth and was counting two when Denmark delivered the last rock. But Dupont's rock was heavy and sailed through the house giving Sormunen a 6-4 lead.

Dupont was on the mark with a tap for two in the ninth bringing on another tie.

USA put its first stone in the tenth on the top of the four foot and after Demark started with a center guard, that rock would eventually become the game winner as the Danes were able to move it but never remove it.

Sormunen was initially scheduled to face Italy in the opening draw but the Italians were one of three teams delayed in reaching Eveleth by the blizzard. The others were Canada and the German men.

Both late arrivals eventually made the site and were matched against each other with Canada winning 8-4.

The Sormunen rink is coached by Bemidji's Bob Fen son.


In the most unusual win of the draw, Switzerland picked up a win by forfeit when the Chinese failed to deliver their last rock in an extra end before their time expired

The Chinese had scored one in the eighth, ninth and tenth to force the extra end.

Switzerland had first count by a slim margin in the extra end and still had last rock. But the Chinese dawdling made all of that a moot point.

In their debut at the World Juniors, the Czech Republic hung with defending champion Russia through the first few ends before finally bowing 8-4. Scotland got by Norway 7-6.



At Eveleth

Women's Division


First Draw

USA 110-000-220-1---7

Denmark 001-111-002-0---6

Switzerland defeated China by forfeit

Russia 8, Czech Republic 4

Scotland 7, Norway 6

Canada 8, Italy 4

Standings: Canada, Russia, Scotland, Switzerland USA 1-0, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Norway 0-1


Plys goes extra end

In the men's division, the Chris Plys rink of Duluth went an extra end to turn back China 6-5 in its opening match.

China's Tuo Yang counted two in the 10th to force the overtime.

"It was a pretty well-played match on both sides," said Plys "They got us into trouble in the tenth and played a perfect end."

Plys had to skim a takeout past a corner guard just to keep China from getting three in that end. Strong sweeping by Plys' front end teammates, Matt Prushek and Joel Cooper kept the shot from wrecking.

That pair also helped guide a Plys takeout past a guard in the second end to score two, giving the US the lead after it forced China into one in the opening frame.

Yang kept things close by blanking the third sixth, seventh and ninth ends. He made a draw for two in the fourth but USA countered with two in the fifth to regain the lead at 4-3.

USA was actually the next team to score, stealing one in the eighth when Yang wasn't able to execute a long raise takeout.


The Americans seemed to be on track to win in the 10th until China rolled a rock behind a corner guard.

Plys wasn't able to get to it and Yang easily drew to the four foot with his last rock to deadlock the game 5-5 at the end of regulation.

The US thoroughly controlled the four foot in the extra end. China's vice skip Zi Wang did cause some consternation when he made a raise to the button for first count. But USA vice skip Anders Brorson reduced the tension when he countered with a double raise takeout to give his team, first and second count.

Yang tried an angle raise takeout with his first shot but fired a little narrow and only succeeded in moving the two US rocks around

Plys then made the perfect shot glancing off his own counter in the side four foot to roll into the button.

That proved to be the last shot of the game as Yang was unable to duplicate the effort with enough weight to push USA out of the count. His rock tracked instead on the second counter and left the Americans safe and sound on the button to win.

Plys will go against Norway today at 9 in his next match.

Bemidji's Josh Bahr is the alternate on the USA champions.


Other first round scores found Sweden beating Germany 6-5, Scotland shading Norway 6-5, Switzerland defeating Denmark 8-5 and Canada blasting the Czech Republic 9-1 in six ends.


First Draw

China 100-200-000-20---5

USA 020-020-010-01---6

Switzerland 8, Denmark 5

Canada 9., Czech Republic 1 (6)

Sweden 6, Germany 5

Scotland 6, Norway 5


Canada, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, USA 1-0, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Norway 0-1

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