United States men claim Pan Continental bronze

Korey Dropkin © WCF / Howard Lao

United States men’s team consisting of skip Korey Dropkin, third Andrew Stopera, second Mark Fenner, lead Thomas Howell, supported by Rich Ruohonen as alternate and Mark Lazar as coach, won bronze beating Japan by 8-7.

In the first end, United States skip Korey Dropkin had a chance to open with a score of three points, but his final draw-shot was heavy and through, meaning the Americans had to settle for an opening score of just two. After blanking the second end, Japan’s skip Riku Yanagisawa had an open draw to score two points in the third end and level the score at 2-2.

The Americans moved ahead again in the fourth end, when their skip Dropkin had a draw for two points and a 4-2 lead. Then, in the fifth Japan scored four points to take the lead for the first time at 6-4 when Yanagisawa played a hit and stay.

The Americans responded in the sixth end.  With his first effort, skip Dropkin set himself up nicely with a double take-out on Japan stones to lie three, then with his second stone, was able to draw for four points and re-take the lead at 8-6.

© WCF / Howard Lao

Japan played a draw in the seventh end to score one point and reduce the American lead to 8-7. After this, United States controlled the game, blanking ends eight, nine and ten, to win by 8-7 and take bronze.

After the game, United States skip Korey Dropkin said, “Ive got lots of different emotions right now…happy to be here…happy to pull back that game. It was a bit of a crazy, wild back and forth game, but we’re just glad to be on the positive side at the finish.”

© WCF / Howard Lao

Speaking about the swapping fours, he added, “That was a crazy turn of events round the break. Honestly, we were just trying to stay focussed on the next end. We were getting tons of opportunities and great set-ups going at each end. So we just tried to re-set, re-focus, and build on those first four ends that we had put together.”

He also said, “These Championships are awesome, and we’re happy to bring home some hardware for the US.”

The men’s Championship concludes on Sunday morning, when hosts Canada face Korea for gold medals and the title.

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Calgary, Canada

6 November 2022
Pan Continental Curling Championships 2022