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Curling: Fourth-place finish for 'Young Bucks' at worlds

Team USA suffered a heavy defeat to Italy in the bronze-medal game on Sunday.

11.20.2021_Curling_MBishop_05.JPG
Team Dropkin's Tom Howell and Mark Fenner sweep the rock during the U.S. Olympic Team Curling Trials at Baxter Arena in Omaha, Neb. on November 20, 2021.
Michelle Bishop / For the News Tribune
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LAS VEGAS — The 2022 World Championships in men's curling ended in a pair of losses and a fourth-place finish for skip Korey Dropkin of Duluth and his "Young Bucks" rink.

Sunday, Italy routed Team USA 13-4 at Orleans Arena for the bronze medal after the Americans lost to Canada late on Saturday in the semifinals.

The team includes Dropkin, Duluth native Joe Polo, Mark Fenner (Richfield, Minn.), Tom Howell (Milwaukee) and alternate Alex Fenson (Bemidji).

The Americans got off on the wrong foot in the bronze medal game, allowing Italy a four in the first end. They recovered with a deuce in the second and a steal of one in the third, but went to the fifth-end break down 7-3. The Americans were held to one in the sixth end, then gave up a game-killing six points in the seventh end before conceding after the eighth.

The US lost 8-5 to the Brad Gushue rink representing Canada in a late semifinal on Saturday. Though the Americans won their meeting in round-robin play on Thursday 10-6 and scored a four in one end that day, they couldn't generate enough offense to get into the title game. Canada took the lead with a deuce in the second end and forced the Americans to one in each of their first three ends with the hammer. The US got two in the ninth to close within one but could not achieve a steal necessary to extend the match.

Related Topics: CURLING
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