January 15, 2012
Team World clinched victory at the 2012 World Financial Group Continental Cup in the third end of the final Men’s Skins game. Canadian Skip Jeff Stoughton’s final stone was too heavy and left an opening for Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud to make the points he needed to win the skin and take Team World over the 201 point threshold required to win the event.
Ulsrud went on to win the game 35-20 and notch up a final score of 235 points for Team World against the 165 won over the four day event by Team North America.
It is the fourth Continental Cup title for Team World in the history of the event (2003, 2006, 2008 and 2012). Team North America also has four wins (2002, 2004, 2007 and 2011).
Going into the final game, Team World had 200 points and Team North American 145. Team World needed only one point to win but Team North America needed all of the 55 points available in this Skins game to tie the event up.
“We struggled in the beginning of the match,” said a delighted Ulsrud afterwards, “but we had a game plan. Instead of playing for a carryover we just gave him the skin and kept the hammer. It might’ve looked kind of silly, but we talked it through. Basically, we had eight darts to throw. We just needed one skin – it was good to get it!”
“I’ve been lucky enough to win it once before,” added Ulsrud “and also been unlucky enough to lose it big time. I definitely like to be on the winning side! I think this year we were a really good team we pulled together as a team and that’s what gave us the win.”
His opponent, Jeff Stoughton said: "We gave it our all. Skins is unique. One shot and it turns the whole end around. You're not playing the scoreboard, you're just playing for that end and it's a little bit different. We just couldn't get going. We lost a lot of points in mixed doubles and a little bit in the singles competition and then it makes it different when you're playing the skins game.
Team World Coach Peja Lindholm was delighted by his team’s performance: “It feels very good to win the cup, I remember the feeling from the first year I was the coach!”
Reflecting on the final Men’s Skin he said “we talked a lot about the game before going out there. If you are not experienced, you can be very stressed. Thomas and the team were very calm and patient and were just waiting for their turn. Me and David [Hay, Team World Captain] are very happy with the way they played. Overall we won every day and that was a little bit of a surprise for us – but I’m very proud of the team.”
At the event a total of 400 points is available from four types of curling competition – Regular Team Games (72 points), Mixed Doubles (36 points), Singles (32 points) and Skins (260 points). Each segment awards points for wins (or ties). The first side to reach 201 points is declared the winner.
As the winners of the eighth edition of the Continental Cup, Team World earned $65,000 CDN [$2,500 per member – 24 players, one captain, one coach], comprised of $52,000 to the winning side, plus $13,000 to the side winning the final men’s Skins game.
Team North America received a total of $26,000 ($1,000 per member), which goes to the losing side.
North America won the inaugural Continental Cup in 2002 (in Regina, Canada), in 2004 and 2007 (both in Medicine Hat, Canada) and last year, 2011, in St Albert. Team World (then known as Team Europe) won in 2003 (in Thunder Bay, Canada), 2006 (in Chilliwack, Canada) and 2008 (in Camrose, Canada) and now 2012 in Langley
The Canadian TV broadcaster TSN (RDS in Quebec provided live coverage of the World Financial Group Continental Cup, for viewers in Canada. And, in association with the World Curling Federation, TSN web-streamed coverage to viewers outside Canada on the WCF website: http://www.worldcurling.org/world-financial-group-continental-cup-2012-web-coverage
Results are here: www.curling.ca/championships/continentalcup/scores-and-results/
The World Financial Group Continental Cup is a joint venture between the Canadian Curling Association, World Curling Federation and United States Curling Association.