LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Team World stole points in the eighth and final ends of a pair of games on Saturday to salvage what could turn out to be two crucial half-points against Team North America in traditional team play in curling's version of the Ryder Cup.
There could have been another, but Team World's Eve Muirhead (Scotland) missed on her open hit-and-roll attempt to score a game-tying deuce in the eighth end and wound up losing 5-4 to Team North America's Rachel Homan (Ottawa).
"Thankfully we got that win," said Homan after the game. "Some disasters just happened over there (on the other sheets). It's tough out here — there's so many good teams. One little shot here or there makes a huge difference and there's points all over the place."
It could have been a clean sweep for Team North America; instead, the home team took two of the available three points and now leads the overall standings 15-12. A total of 60 points are available, meaning the first team to 30.5 points will win the WFG Continental Cup, although as reigning champions, Team North America would need only 30 points.
Team North America's Erika Brown (Oakville, Ont./Madison, Wisc.) missed her last shot of the game, wrecking on a guard, to give a steal of three to Team World's Margaretha Sigfridsson (Sweden), producing a 7-7 tie.
"We struggled a little bit in the fourth end," said Sigfridsson's last-rock thrower Maria Prytz, referring to Team North America's steal of four in the fourth end. "I missed a draw and they took a four which didn't end well. We had to fight back and there became an opportunity in the eighth end and we took it. It feels like we won, so it feels good."
In the other game, Team North America's Brad Jacobs (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) rolled too far on his last rock of the game to give Team World's David Murdoch (Scotland) a stolen single and a 4-4 tie. Murdoch's deuce in the seventh end set the stage for the comeback.
"Every half point does count," said Team Murdoch vice-skip Tom Brewster. "Every point or half point you get on the board is one step closer to the total. There was two good comebacks there - the two half-points feel almost like two wins to be honest."