Curling: 'Young Bucks' to play for World Championship bronze

The American rink at the Las Vegas bonspiel went 7-5 in round-robin play and then knocked off Scotland in a qualifying game before losing to Canada in the semifinals.

Team Dropkin's Korey Dropkin celebrates with Tom Howell during the U.S. Olympic Team Curling Trials at Baxter Arena in Omaha, Neb. on November 21, 2021. Michelle Bishop / For the Duluth News Tribune
Michelle Bishop
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LAS VEGAS — Korey Dropkin's "Young Bucks" curling rink will play for a bronze medal on Sunday after finishing in the top six of pool play at the 2022 Men's World Championships, then defeating Scotland in a qualifying game on Saturday afternoon.

Team USA, which consists of Duluthians Dropkin and Joe Polo, Mark Fenner of Richfield, Minn., Tom Howell of Milwaukee and alternate Alex Fenson of Bemidji, finished fifth of the 13 teams competing in round-robin play at the Orleans Arena with a 7-5 record.

That earned the "Young Bucks" a qualifying matchup with fourth-place Scotland, to whom they lost 9-7 in round-robin play, on Saturday afternoon. They opened by scoring two in the first end and never trailed. They stole one in both the fourth and fifth ends to have a 5-1 lead at the halfway point. Scotland made steals of one in ends eight and nine to get within a point at 5-4 but Scotland's attempt at a long raise with its last stone of the 10th end missed, clinching the Americans' victory without having to throw their last.

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.

Dropkin's rink will play for a bronze medal vs. Italy at 1 p.m. CT. The game will be on The Olympic Channel and NBC's streaming service, Peacock.


Canada and Sweden will meet for the world title on Saturday in a rematch of the Olympic semifinals from February.

This story was edited at 12:52 a.m. on April 10 with the results of the semifinal match vs. Canada. It was originally posted at 9:19 p.m. on April 9.

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