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Team North America take lead after Day 2 of 2013 WFG Continental Cup

Tom Brewster's team from Scotland tied 5-5 with Glenn Howard of Canada in a rerun of the WMCC 2012 final Photo: WCF/CCA/Michael Burns

Team North America overtook rivals Team World during the second day of play at the World Financial Group Continental Cup, finishing the day with 13 points to Team World’s eight.

Having only taken half a point out of three games in the opening women’s team games yesterday, Team North America hit back this morning, taking two and a half points from two wins and a draw.

The USA's Allison Pottinger helped Team North America gain a valuable point against Eve Muirhead’s team from Scotland, beating them 9-4 with her the last stone. Muirhead's final draw of the eighth end over-curled, leaving it sticking out from the corner guard which allowed Pottinger to take it out and gain four points to seal their win.

Team North America’s Heather Nedohin, from Canada, played out a close game with Team World’s Margaretha Sigfridsson. The Swedish team required two points to win this game but Maria Prytz last stone over-curled and her team were forced to accept a single point to tie the game at 4-4, which saw half a point go to both Team North America and Team World.

Jennifer Jones, from Canada, scored two points in the seventh end to tie their game with Team World's Mirjam Ott, from Switzerland. In doing so she surrendered last-stone advantage, but Jones was able to get two stones into the four-foot circle. Ott however was wide with her last-stone double-takeout attempt to give Jones and her team a stolen point, a 6-5 victory and another vital point for Team North America.

Afterwards, Jones said: “Mirjam played fantastic the whole game and basically just missed one shot. It worked out in our favour, but we'll take every point we can get. We really bounced back. The women didn't play as well as we would have liked yesterday morning, but I thought we all came out and shot well today, and hopefully that means good things for us going into the weekend.”

The afternoon provided further entertain as both teams faced up to each other in Singles – a format which sees players throw a series of skill-testing shots with points awarded based on the end result of the shot.

Team North America continued their good form, winning four of the six singles matches. In the women’s Singles, Team North America’s Heather Nedohin, from Canada, beat Team World’s Eve Muirhead and her team from Scotland 17-11. Elsewhere, Team North America’s Allison Pottinger, from the USA, defeated Team World’s Margaretha Sigfridsson and her team from Sweden 18-13, these two wins earning Team North America two points.

However it wasn’t a clean sweep for Team North America as Team World’s Mirjam Ott, from Switzerland, defeated Jennifer Jones and her team from Canada 18-11, which earned Team World a solitary point.

In the men’s Singles, Team North America’s Glenn Howard and his team from Canada, defeated Team World’s Thomas Ulsrud, from Norway, 22-17. It didn’t get any better for Team World as Sweden’s Niklas Edin and his team lost out to Team North America’s Kevin Martin, from Canada, 17-13.

Again, it wasn’t to be three straight wins for Team North America as Scotland’s Tom Brewster and his team representing Team World defeated Team North America’s Heath McCormick, from the USA, 14-8, giving Team World a single point while Team North America picked up another two points.

North America maintained pressure on Team World during the evening men’s team games, winning two and drawing another.

Canada’s Kevin Martin and his team representing Team North America comfortably defeated European champions Niklas Edin and his team from Sweden. Martin’s team took control with two points in the first-end before scoring another three points in the fourth end which helped them on their way to a 6-3 victory.

Afterwards Martin said: “It takes a lot of pressure off you, and it adds so much pressure to the other team that we’re playing with the scoreboards the way they were. That all sort of feeds on itself in this event. So far, so good. Everyone’s playing well and hopefully we can come out with a good morning (in mixed doubles play on Saturday).”

Team North America’s Heath McCormick picked up his first win of the week, defeating Team World’s Thomas Ulsrud. The Norwegian team lost second player Christoffer Svae early in the game to illness and after losing three points in the first end found it difficult thereafter, eventually losing 8-3 to McCormick and his team from the USA.

Tom Brewster and his team from Scotland did however salvage some pride for Team World when he drew for two points in the eighth end to tie the game 5-5 Team North America’s Glenn Howard from Canada. This meant Team World and Team North America each received half a point for the draw.

Afterwards Brewster said: “Every point, every half point makes a difference. It’s about reaching that thirty and a half points and we’re half a point closer to reaching that. It was hard fought tonight but it was good. We’ve just got to dig deep and scrap for everything. They’ve been the favourites right from the start — let’s not kid ourselves, these are great teams. We’re just here to scrap for every point we can and go out and give our best.”

This year’s event sees a new points system being used. A total of 60 points is now available meaning the side which earns more than 30 points will be declared the champion.

For the six Mixed Doubles and six Singles matches, one point will be awarded for each victory, one-half point if tied). There will now be 18 team games (nine men’s and nine women’s) played, instead of the previous 12, each worth one point for a win, one-half point for a tie.

All games are eight ends and there are no extra ends. There will also be six Skins games (two mixed, two women’s and two men’s) on Sunday offering 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 are worth one point each. In skins, a count of at least two with last rock or a steal is required in order to win an end. Otherwise, the points carry over.

The winning side receives $52,000 Cdn ($2,000 per member, including captain and coach), while the losing side gets $26,000 ($1,000 per member, including captain and coach). As well, the side which generates the highest points total from the six Skins games will receive an additional $13,000 ($500 per player, plus captain and coach).

The Canadian Sports broadcaster, TSN, will provide complete coverage of the Cup inside Canada and this coverage will be available to curling fans outside Canada to enjoy via the World Curling Federation website: http://www.worldcurling.org/world-financial-group-continental-cup-2013-web-coverage

The World Financial Group Continental Cup, which will be staged in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA in 2014 (16-19 January), is a joint venture of the Canadian Curling Association, World Curling Federation and United States Curling Association.

RESULTS
FRIDAY, Jan. 11
Womens Teams:

Sheet A:
Team North America (Heather Nedohin, Canada) 4
Team World (Margaretha Sigfridsson, Sweden) 4
Sheet B:
Team North America (Jennifer Jones, Canada) 6
Team World (Mirjam Ott, Switzerland) 5
Sheet C:
Team North America (Allison Pottinger, USA) 9
Team World (Eve Muirhead, Scotland) 4

Total Points after session 4:
Team North America 6.5
Team World 5.5

Singles
Women

Sheet A:
Team North America (Heather Nedohin, Canada) 17
Team World (Eve Muirhead, Scotland) 11
Sheet B:
Team North America (Jennifer Jones, Canada) 11
Team World (Mirjam Ott, Switzerland) 18
Sheet C:
Team North America (Allison Pottinger, USA) 18
Team World (Margaretha Sigfridsson, Sweden) 13

Men
Sheet A:
Team North America (Heath McCormick, USA) 8
Team World (Tom Brewster, Scotland) 14
Sheet B:
Team North America (Glenn Howard, Canada) 22
Team World (Thomas Ulsrud, Norway) 17
Sheet C:
Team North America (Kevin Martin, Canada) 17
Team World (Niklas Edin, Sweden) 13

Total Points after session 5:
Team North America 10.5
Team World 7.5

Men's Teams
Sheet A:
Team North America (Glenn Howard, Canada) 5
Team World (Tom Brewster, Scotland) 5
Sheet B:
Team North America (Kevin Martin, Canada) 6
Team World (Niklas Edin, Sweden) 3
Sheet C:
Team North America (Heath McCormick, USA) 8
Team World (Thomas Ulsrud, Norway) 3

Total Points after session 6:
Team North America 13
Team World 8

Schedule (for Friday and Saturday):
http://www.worldcurling.org/wfg-continental-cup-2013-matchups-revealed

Tickets:
For ticket and event information, visit: www.curling.ca/championships/continentalcup.

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