Men’s Curling Night 6: Team USA gets crucial win over Canada


Every game from here on out will be must win for the U.S. men’s curling team, but the road won’t be easy, as Team USA found out Sunday night when they took on three-time defending gold medalists Canada.

Luckily for the U.S., they did everything right at just the right time, handing Canada their third straight loss with a 9-7 victory in 11 ends.

The U.S. bested Canada 43-23 on takeouts in the game, shooting with 81 percent accuracy as a team. Skip John Shuster started the game with a double takeout in the first to put the U.S. up 1-0 early. 

Shuster’s team took the lead again in the third on a hard throw by the skip for a ricochet takeout that guaranteed his team one point, and gave them another on a measurement to go up 3-1.

The U.S. led 5-3 at the midway break, and stole another point in the sixth after Canadian skip Kevin Koe missed a takeout on the hammer throw.

After Canada scored one in the seventh, they tied the score in the eighth after Shuster’s hammer throw came in a bit too heavy and undercurled, giving Canada a steal to even the score at 5-5.

Shuster’s team scored twice in the eighth, but Canada again answered with two in the 10th to bring up extra ends.

Canada sat one rock just on the edge of the button in the final end for what could have been the winner. Shuster’s throw looked slow out of his hand, and just barely avoided a guard, but the sweeping of Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner was enough to get it into the house and push Canada’s rock out for two points and the win.

The U.S. improves to 3-4 overall, still technically within reach of a semifinal spot. Canada has now lost three straight games, and after starting a perfect 4-0 now sits at 4-3 overall, tied for third overall.

USA    1    0    2    0    1    1    0    0    2    0    2 – 9
CAN    0    2    0    1    0    0    1    1    0    2    0 – 7

Other scores from the night:

Switzerland 10, Sweden 3

There are no more unbeaten teams left in PyeongChang. After Sweden’s women’s team was defeated earlier in the night for their first loss, Sweden’s men also picked up their first loss, falling to Switzerland 10-3 in 7 ends.

Switzerland dominated the game throughout, stealing two ends and picking up total 24 takeouts. As a team they shot with 90 percent accuracy.

The Swiss scored in each of the first three ends, scoring two in the first and stealing one in each of the second and third. Sweden answered with two of their own in the fourth, but Switzerland scored once more in the fifth to take a 5-2 lead at the break.

It was the seventh end that did Sweden in. Switzerland’s Benoit Schwarz had a crucial double takeout to lie four in the house on the final stone. Sweden’s Niklas Edin, who has been stellar in the tournament to this point, had a huge mistake on the hammer, knocking the stone into his own guard, setting up an easy five point end for Switzerland. Schwarz converted the shot to put his team up seven and force Sweden to concede.

Sweden falls to 6-1 overall, still the best record among men’s teams. Switzerland improves to 5-2 for second in the standings.

SWE 0    0    0    2    0    1    0    X    X    X – 3
SUI   2    1    1    0    1    0    5    X    X    X – 10

Great Britain 7, Denmark 6

Everything Denmark did Sunday Great Britain had an answer for. After battling through four ties and going score for score the entire game, Britain broke the deadlock in the 10th to defeat Denmark 7-6.

Denmark scored one point in the first, third and seventh ends, and scored two in the fifth. It didn’t matter though because for every point Denmark scored, Britain scored the exact same amount in the next end. Denmark never lost the lead, but also never held it for more than a single end before Britain tied it again.

That all changed in the 10th. After Denmark scored one again in the ninth, skip Rasmus Stjerne threw for a successful takeout, but was just a bit too light for the double, leaving an inch of a British rock in the house. Britain’s Kyle Smith needed just an easy throw inside, which he completed, for two points and the victory.

Britain improves to 4-3 overall, still very much in position for a semifinal spot. Denmark falls to 2-5, eliminating them from a semifinal possibility.

GBR  0    1    0    1    0    2    0    1    0    2 – 7
DEN  1    0    1    0    2   0    1    0    1    0 – 6

South Korea 8, Italy 6

South Korea scored three in the opening end, and held off a hard charging Italy team the rest of the way for an 8-6 win.

The Korean team led 4-1 after three until Italy scored two to get within one. They led again 7-5 in the ninth. Italy rested their final throw up against their own stone in the back of the four-foot, but Korea, with hammer, was closer and had a chance at two points that possibly would have ended the game. However, Chang-Min Kim’s throw ended up much too light and didn’t even make it close, giving Italy a stolen point to draw within one with one end to play.

In the 10th, Italy’s laid one rock in the four foot area, but Kim’s final throw, aided by the hard sweeping of his teammates, had just enough gas to make it inches closer than the Italian stone for a point and the two-point victory.

The loss eliminates Italy from semifinal contention, falling their record to 2-5. Korea is also sitting at 2-5 and out of contention, but the win gave the home crowd much to cheer about.

ITA     0    1    0    2    0    1    0    1    1    0 – 6
KOR   3    0    1   0    1    0    2    0    0    1 – 8

Team standings

Sweden 6-1

Switzerland 5-2

Canada 4-3

Great Britain 4-3

Japan 3-3

Norway 3-3

USA 3-4

Denmark 2-5

Italy 2-5

Korea 2-5

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