Bemidji Curling Club World Champions
|2002 Junior Womens World Champions|
Cassandra Johnson brings her team all the way to the gold!
Cassandra Johnson and her team-mates was almost forgotten in all the hoopla over Mattsson and Gaudet which probably suited her just fine but the USA team stacked up an impressive 7-2 record in the round-robin. In the semifinal Johnson had the upper hand on Gaudet all the way to their 7-6 win.
The final was probably decided by the four-pointer the USA took in the 3rd end. Not only did it bring them to a 4-2 lead, it also gave them the confidence to keep the Swedish at arms-length distance. The new world champions are Cassandra Johnson, Jamie Johnson, Katie Beck, Maureen Brunt and Courtney George.
For Matilda Mattsson’s team it was the second loss in a row in a World Junior’s final. Still, three girls of the team will be junior’s next season and may, if they win the Swedish Nationals, make a sixth appearance…
After a blank first end, Sweden were able to keep an early two-tempo going all the way through the end to score the opening points of the game.
In the third end, Sweden continued attacking even though they had some problems with their draw weight and the USA were able to make the most of it. Mattsson went around on the outside with her last stone but was slightly heavy and the USA were able to hit and stick for four points.
In the fourth Sweden had the chance to equalize but Mattsson was heavy with her last stone leaving Sweden with a single point and trailing 3-4. USA blanked the fifth and made a draw in an empty house for one point in the sixth.
In the 7th Sweden held a two-tempo all the way up to Cassandra Johnson’s last stone where she made a fabolous double forcing Mattsson to make the draw for a point, 5-4 to the USA.
In the 8th Sweden tried to utilize two early guards but US girls were able to hit anything that the Swedes put in the rings. Mattsson tried to hit and roll behind the guards with her last stone but rolled out of the house leaving Cassandra a draw for two, 7-4 to the USA.
Sweden were only able to pull one back in the the ninth and in the tenth Sweden were only able to hide one stone. When Cassandra Johnson played her last stone she had an open takeout for victory. She had no problems hitting the Swedish shot to win USA’s first World Junior’s Championship for women. The final result, 7-6 to the USA.
This article was written by Rick Patzke of the United States Curling Association and reprinted with the permission of the United States Curling Association. Pictures are courtesy of the World Curling Federation.