CURLING: USA picks up big win to stay in playoff hunt at worlds in Denmark The USA ladies got back on track tonight as they picked up a crucial 9-4 win over the defending world champions from Germany in round robin action at the 2011 Capital One World Women's Curling Champs.
Photo Courtesy: www.poptower.com - Debbie McCormick is a curling athlete.
The USA ladies got back on track tonight as they picked up a crucial 9-4 win over the defending world champions from Germany in round robin action at the 2011 Capital One World Women's Curling Championship at Granly Hockey Arena.
It was the third straight loss for Germany, which started out 2-0 in the tournament. With the win Lank (Lewiston, N.Y.) and teammates Caitlin Maroldo (Rochester, N.Y.), Jessica Schultz (Richfield, Minn.) and Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.), who filled in tonight for Mackenzie Lank, improve to 3-2.
"It always feels good to win and start hitting better," Maroldo said. "Hopefully, this will roll us into playing well again tomorrow."
McCormick, the three-time Olympian and USA's only women's world champion skip, played in her first world championship at the lead position since 1991, she said after the game.
"She provides an extra set of eyes for us," said Schultz, a 2006 Olympian. "The experience she has adds so much." McCormick won the world title in 2003 in her skipping debut at the worlds. "She knows all the players and adds just that little bit more that we need," Maroldo said. "Just having a world champion play with you is incredible. You can't replace experience."
The U.S. started strong with all players hitting on all cylinders. Lank made a perfect freeze to a stone in the four-foot to force Schoepp to a difficult angle raise off her own stone that failed to give a point to the U.S.
In the second end, a missed double takeout left the U.S. scrambling to limit Germany to a deuce. The Americans caught a break, however, when Schoepp came up light trying to draw down to the German shot rock on the button. Lank popped it out and the U.S. had three counters for Schoepp to deal with. The two-time world champion made the takeout on the stone closest to the button to settle for one and tie the game.
With the last-rock advantage for the first time, the U.S. benefitted from a hit and roll from Maroldo to move a U.S. rock into scoring contention after the end looked to be in jeopardy. Lank squeezed a stone perfectly into second count with her first toss, and when Schoepp couldn't duplicate, she snuck another one in for a hard-fought deuce and 3-1 lead.
The U.S. had Germany on the ropes in the fourth end with many rocks in play. Schoepp missed an angle raise takeout, resulting in two more for the Americans. Lank missed her first shot in the fifth end and rolled out on her attempted double with her second shot, which allowed Schoepp to draw for three to close the gap to 5-4. The Americans had a chance at two in the sixth until Schoepp played a freeze to the American shot rock in the back of the four-foot that Lank couldn't move enough of to earn more than a point.