It was North America versus the world when the World Financial Group Continental Cup of Curling returned to Orleans Arena in Las Vegas last month.
And for the first time in six years, Team World swept to victory in the four-day event Jan. 17-20.
Team North America mounted a big rally after dropping all nine matches (one point each) on day one of the tournament, and the first two on the second day. The North Americans cut Team World’s lead to four points during the final day, but Scottish skipper Eve Muirhead knocked out a North American stone to score two points and put Team World above the 30.5 points needed to clinch the title.
“I knew it wasn't over until the scoreboard said it was over. My heart’s still beating. It’s really exciting,” Muirhead told The Canadian Press. “They came so close and kept crawling back, and back and back. To play that last shot was really exciting. You're not just playing for your team (on the ice), you're playing for the entire team.”
“Obviously we were in a tough spot. But we got to the fourth end, then the sixth and then down to the wire. They put up a great fight,” said Team North America coach Jeff Stoughton to The Canadian Press.
Team World’s final margin was 34-26 as it stopped North America’s Continental Cup win streak at six. The North Americans are now 10-5 overall in the event.
This year’s event, held at Orleans Arena for the fourth time in six years, pitted six of the top men’s and women’s teams from North America and Team World against each other. The Continental Cup included a team scramble for the first time this year.
Team John Shuster, which won a gold medal for the United States at the 2018 Olympics in South Korea, sponsored by The Orleans Hotel and Casino, competed in the Continental Cup of Curling for Team North America. Curling fans got to enjoy a competition between Team Shuster and Team World, consisting of players who competed against each other in the 2018 Olympics, including Niklas Edin from Sweden.
The star-studded curling weekend also featured Olympic gold medal champion Anna Hasselborg from Sweden competing for Team World, two-time Olympic gold medal winner Kaitlyn Lawes from Canada competing for Team North America, and several world and national champions.
To learn more about the exciting events at the Orleans Arena, please visit www.orleansarena.com.