CURLING: U.S. men eliminated from playoff hunt in Sochi
Terry Kolesar
(715) 344-1199 ext. 202
March 06, 2013 11:04 AM
March 6, 2013
USA men even record with win over China at 2013 World Juniors
(SOCHI, Russia) – Team USA put on an impressive show tonight but it won’t get them to the playoffs at the 2013 World Junior Championships, unfortunately.
Korey Dropkin and the American men had a convincing 8-1 win over China tonight but 30 minutes later were handed their fate – no chance for a tiebreaker game to get into the playoffs.
With the win, Dropkin (Southborough, Mass.) and teammates Tom Howell (Brick, N.J.), Mark Fenner (Bemidji, Minn.), Alex Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) and Connor Hoge (Southborough, Mass.) improve to 4-4 with one game remaining in the round robin.
“We’re finally putting things together. We’ve been doing that all week, trying to get everything to work, and it worked well enough that I got to come in and play,” Hoge said. “It was a good game for us.”
The win momentarily kept the team in contention for a spot in the playoffs but when Sweden stole a point to defeat Switzerland, 5-4, the U.S. was officially knocked out of playoff contention. Five teams remain in the playoff hunt – Scotland (7-1), Canada (6-2), Russia (6-2), Sweden (6-3) and Norway (5-3).
The U.S. opened strong against China’s Jin Bo Wang rink tonight at the Ice Cube Curling Center.
The American men scored two points to start the game and then added to their lead with a steal when Wang was heavy with his final stone.
China was forced to make a takeout for the single in the fourth to avoid the steal again. The U.S. men fell a rock behind in the fifth end but Dropkin saved the end with a promotion takeout for one with the last stone to extend the lead to 4-1.
When Wang missed both of his shots in the sixth end, the Americans stole three points and put team alternate Connor Hoge (Southborough, Mass.) into the game to get his first experience playing in a world championship. Wang’s final takeout in the end over-curled and bumped a U.S. stone into third count. That end put the U.S. fully in control of the game and another steal in the seventh end sealed the victory.
“It was pretty cool. When you start curling, you don’t really expect that you’re going to make it to a world championship for awhile so to get here and to get to throw the rocks is amazing,” said Hoge, who shot 100 percent in his debut.
As a team, the U.S. men shot 81 percent, the third time this week that they surpassed 80 percent as a unit.
Follow the 2013 World Junior Championships live via the World Curling Federation’s webstream at Find event news, live scores and galleries at In addition, check out for USA Curling’s press releases and photo gallery from the event. Follow USA Curling via Twitter (@terry_usacurl) for updates throughout the round robin games.
Line score:
China    000 100 0xx x – 1
*USA     210 013 1xx x – 8
*last rock in first end
Game scores, 7 p.m. (Men): USA 8, China 1; Scotland 5, Czech Republic 4; Canada 9, Norway 6; Sweden 5, Switzerland 4
Game scores, 2 p.m. (Women): Russia 9, Denmark 3; Scotland 7, Switzerland 2; Czech Republic 7, USA 3; Sweden 7, Norway 5
Game scores, 9 a.m. (Men): Scotland 6, Sweden 5; Italy 6, China 4; Russia 10, Czech Republic 3
Standings (men):
*Scotland            7-1
Russia                   6-2
Canada                 6-2
Sweden                               6-3
Norway                                5-3
Italy                       4-4
USA                        4-4
Switzerland        2-6
China                    1-7
Czech Rep.          0-9
Standings (women):
*Scotland            8-0
Japan                    5-2
Russia                   5-3
Czech Rep.          4-3
Denmark             4-4
Sweden                               3-4
USA                        3-5
Switzerland        3-5
Canada                 2-5
Norway                                1-7
*clinched a playoff spot
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For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling,, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).