By Emily Goddard

north america 2013 curling continental cupJanuary 13 - North America have been crowned winners of the 2013 World Financial Group (WFG) Continental Cup with 37 points, 14 more than rivals Team World, who claimed 23 points.

They secured their fifth victory of the tournament in the evening skins games when Team World's Thomas Ulsrud, from Norway, clipped a guard with his last stone in the sixth end which allowed Canadian opponent Glenn Howard a relatively straightforward takeout to claim three carried over points which took North America past the 30.5 point threshold.

"I'm just ecstatic," Howard said.

"We had a terrific game, curling wise, and getting along wise – we had so many great times.

"You feel part of a bigger team, 24 players instead of just four, and that what's more satisfying, playing for a bigger team."

The four-time Brier winner and world champion after capturing the 2012 world title in Basel, explained how his team had upped their game since last year's contest.

"We didn't play quite as well [last year] and the Euro's [Team World] did – they played fantastic," Howard added.

"This year we definitely out played them and it feels just fantastic to get the cup back where it belongs."

Glenn Howard 150113Glenn Howard finished his game with Ulsrud winning by three points to Ulsrud's two

As the teams entered the final draw of the event, North America needed five points to earn the title, with Howard finishing off his game with Team World's Ulsrud to win by three points to Ulsrud's two.

North America were again victorious, scoring 3.5 points to Team World's 1.5 points, when Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic gold medallist Kevin Martin, playing with an all-Canadian team, faced the 2010 world silver medallist Eve Muirhead, also playing with an all-Scottish team in the mixed skins.

It was not any better for Team World on sheet A as current world champion, Mirjam Ott, and her team from Switzerland could only manage one point against North America's Jennifer Jones, from Canada.

Her opponents racked up four points, which combined with the other point scored by North America, also helped them win the $13,000 (£8,000/€9,700) bonus prize.

"Well, it feels awesome," North America captain Kelley Law said after collecting the trophy.

"It's unbelievable; they played so well all week, and it makes my job so much easier.

"They were on a roll out there, they were so pumped and supporting each other and making great shots."

North America has now won the World Financial Group Continental Cup five times where as Team World have won it four times in the event's history.

Team World captain David Hay from Scotland was naturally disappointed.

"We just didn't play too well," he said.

"We had a couple of games that we had game control all the way through but we failed in pretty much the last end with several of our last shots and you just can't afford to do that.

"These guys [North America] played very well.

"It just wasn't to be our week.

"We weren't a mile off the pace, just a fraction.

"They played very well, the big guns were firing all guns tonight, and the American's played exceptionally well over the last few days.

"They deserved to win."

With no team having ever won consecutive titles, it will be all to play for when the event returns next year to Las Vegas on January 16 until 19.

Contact the writer of this story at emily.godda[email protected]


Related stories
January 2013: Curling stars ready to go head to head in Penticton for 2013 Continental Cup