It’s been quite some time since Team North America felt defeat.
Team North America stretched its victory streak against Team World to five straight years by capturing the 2017 Continental Cup on Sunday.
A steep-angle double takeout by Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers sealed the deal in the fourth end of his game against Team World’s Niklas Edin of Sweden, setting off a wild on-ice celebration with his North American teammates.
The final margin for North America in the race to 30.5 points was 37-23, leaving Team World in the runner-up position yet again — a role it’s had to endure since its last victory in 2012 at Langley, B.C.
“Oh, the adrenalin is still running through me, to be honest,” said Carruthers, who along with vice-skip Braeden Moskowy, second Derek Samagalski and lead Colin Hodgson would end up winning his skins game against Edin, 3.5-1.5.
Bench goes wild
“For a clinching shot like that, it was pretty exciting. I knew the bench was going to be going crazy so that’s why I looked there first, and the crowd figured it out when we were celebrating so hard. It was pretty cool.”
This year’s event was all but decided on Saturday night after a strong push by the home team.
Team World had started the event on Thursday morning, taking 2.5 of the available three points in traditional team competition.
But Team North America took over, winning the majority of the points in eight of the next nine rounds, while the other round was split evenly, leading into Sunday night’s clinching performance.
“Coming into this event, Team World was looking pretty hot and we knew we had our work cut out for us,” said Kaitlyn Lawes, the vice-skip for Team Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg, who captured her seventh victory in the Continental Cup despite losing her women’s skins game, 3-2 to Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg.
“Every year, it’s nerve-wracking and you never want to disappoint your other teammates.”
A Koe win
In the other skins game, North America’s Kevin Koe of Calgary and his mixed skins team (third Alex Carlson, second Brent Laing and lead Vicky Persinger) was a 4.5-0.5 winner over Thomas Ulsrud’s mixed Team World foursome (third Binia Feltscher, second Christoffer Svae, lead Franziska Kaufmann).
Team North America won $52,000 ($2,000 per member, including captain and coach), while the World team earned $26,000 ($1,000 per member, including captain and coach).
As well, Team North America won a $13,000 bonus ($500 per player, plus captain and coach) for taking the most points out of the six skins games.
“I thought we had a really good team, but we just couldn’t get it going this week,” said Team World coach Pal Trulsen. “I felt like there was something missing. We were close, but they were really good. They just made more important shots than we did.”