Team North America Win 2013 WFG Continental Cup
Team North America have won the 2013 World Financial Group Continental Cup for the fifth time after scoring 37 points, 14 more than rivals Team World who finished with 23 points.
They sealed their victory in the evening Skins games when Team World’s Thomas Ulsrud, from Norway, clipped a guard with his last stone in the sixth end which allowed Canadian opponent Glenn Howard a relatively straightforward takeout to claim three carried over points which took Team North America past the 30.5 point threshold.
Afterwards, a delighted Howard said: “I’m just ecstatic. We had a terrific game, curling wise, and getting along wise – we had so many great times. You feel part of a bigger team, 24 players instead of just four, and that what’s more satisfying, playing for a bigger team.”
He added: “We didn’t play quite as well (last year) and the Euro’s (Team World) did – they played fantastic. This year we definitely out played them and it feels just fantastic to get the cup back where it belongs.”
Today’s six Skins games (two mixed, two women’s and two men’s) offered a total of five points per game, with the first six ends of each game worth one-half point each, while the seventh and eighth ends were worth one point each. In Skins, a count of at least two with last stone or a steal was required in order to win an end. Otherwise, the points carried over.
As the teams entered the final draw of the event, Team North America needed five points to earn them the title. With Glenn Howard sealing the all important points to take them over the 30.5 threshold, he finished off his game with Team World’s Thomas Ulsrud to win by three points to Ulsrud’s two.
2010 Olympic gold medallist, Kevin Martin, playing with an all Canadian team, faced up to 2010 World Silver Medallist, Eve Muirhead, also playing with an all Scottish team in the Mixed Skins. Team North America again prevailed, scoring 3.5 points in comparison to Team World’s 1.5 points.
It wasn’t any better for Team World on sheet A as current World Champion, Mirjam Ott, and her team from Switzerland could only manage one point against Team North America’s Jennifer Jones, from Canada. Her opponents racked up four points which combined with the other point scored by Team North America, also helped them win the bonus money.
After collecting the trophy, Team North America, Captain, Kelley Law, said: “Well, it feels awesome. It’s unbelievable; they played so well all week, and it makes my job so much easier. They were on a roll out there, they were so pumped and supporting each other and making great shots.”
Team World Captain, David Hay, from Scotland, was naturally disappointed. He said: “We just didn’t play too well. We had a couple of games that we had game control all the way through but we failed in pretty much the last end with several of our last shots and you just can’t afford to do that.”
He added: “These guys (North America) played very well. It just wasn’t to be our week. We weren’t a mile off the pace, just a fraction. They played very well, the big guns were firing all guns tonight, and the American’s played exceptionally well over the last few days. They deserved to win.”
Earlier in the day, Team World remained defiant as they claimed eight of the available 15 points in the Skins games.
Margaretha Sigfridsson and her team from Sweden scored three points for Team World, while her opponents, Team North America’s Allison Pottinger from the USA, could only manage two.
Margaretha’s compatriot, Niklas Edin, made it two victories for the Swedish teams as they earned 3.5 points against Team North America’s Heath McCormick, from the USA, who could only manage 1.5 points.
North America however picked up some vital points in the Mixed Skins. John Morris from Canada skipped against Team World’s Tom Brewster from Scotland and earned his team 3.5 points.
Brewster however was able to claim one point following eight ends of play when no one won the final skin. A draw to the button decided who would take the single point, Brewster the closer of the two, which earned Team World 1.5 points from the game.
Team North America received $52,000 Cdn ($2,000 per member, including captain and coach), while Team World got $26,000 ($1,000 per member, including captain and coach). With Team North America also generating the highest points total from the six Skins games, they also received an additional $13,000 bonus ($500 per player, plus captain and coach).
The North American team was coached by Rick Lang and captained by Kelley Law (both from Canada) while the squad featured teams skipped by Jennifer Jones (Canada), Kevin Martin (Canada), Heather Nedhoin (Canada), Heath McCormick (USA), Allison Pottinger (USA) and Glenn Howard (Canada)- pictured. Photo: CCA/Michael Burns.
North America has now won the World Financial Group Continental Cup five times where as Team World have won it four times in the event’s history. No team has ever won consecutive titles therefore it will be all to play for when the event returns next year to the city of Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States of America between 16-19 January 2014.