Men’s Curling Night 2: U.S. comeback attempt comes up short against Italy

Men's Curling Night 2: U.S. comeback attempt comes up short against Italy

John Shuster

Italy 10, USA 9

It was a game of big ends, but in the end, the U.S.’s comeback attempt came up just short in a 10-9 loss to Italy.

The two teams had just four combined ends in which they scored only one point, and they scored five, three, two and three points in consecutive ends.

The game in all had five ends in which two or more points were scored.

Italy’s big lead early could have been a disastrous mistake by the American team. Shuster’s final shot of the third wasn’t thrown hard and overcurled, hitting its own rock and leaving a cluster of yellow rocks for an eventual five points for the Italians.

But Shuster and company erased the deficit in just two ends. Shuster had a double takeout for three points in the fourth, and they were able to steal two more in the fifth. Facing a tough last shot that saw an Italian stone on the button sandwiched between two American stones, Shuster threw a shot perfectly to knock it out of place. Italy’s hammer throw didn’t curl enough to knock the U.S. out of the house, giving up two more points for a 6-6 tie at the midway point.

Italy answered though, notching a double takeout for three points to again take a big lead on Shuster’s squad.

The U.S. opted for a takeout and blanked end in the seventh in order to maintain the hammer for the eighth. It worked, as they were able to get a takeout and two points, cutting Italy’s lead again to just one.

The lead turned into a tie in the ninth when Shuster had a throw ricochet for a takeout, and Italy missed a takeout attempt of their own to let the U.S. steal a point for the tie.

After two ties though, the U.S. never found the lead, with Italy’s hammer throw getting just inches closer to the button than America’s red rock for the 10th and decisive point of the game.

The U.S. falls to 1-1 in the competition. Italy improves to 2-1.

Other scores:

Canada 7, Norway 4

Norway put up a fight against Canada, but in the end the three time defending gold medalists proved why they’re again the team to beat in PyeongChang, rattling Norway and coming away with a 7-4 win.

Canada jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, but Norway answered with single points in back-to-back ends to tie the score. Norway took the lead for the first time in the sixth end off of two points that put them ahead 4-3.

Canada tied the score in the seventh, and continued to steal a point in the eighth and two more in the ninth for the eventual win. In the ninth end, Canadian Skip Kevin Koe had a rocket throw takeout a Norwegian stone, and Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud didn’t have an answer, throwing his stone completely through the house for the missed opportunity and eventually the win for Canada.

Canada improves to 3-0 overall. Norway falls to 0-2.

Great Britain 6, Japan 5

Japan and Great Britain were tied at 4-4 through seven ends Wednesday, but after each team traded single points in the final two ends, it was eventually Britain that had the luxury of final hammer for the 6-5 win.

Scoring was tight in the game, with both teams notching two points in just one end each. Seven of the 10 ends were finished with a single point awarded.

Britain improves to 2-1, while Japan falls to 1-1.

Switzerland 9, Denmark 7

Switzerland had one 3-point end, and two 2-point ends and was able to hold off Denmark for the 9-7 victory.

Tied 2-2 through three ends, the Swiss notched three in the fourth, and after giving up two straight single point ends, were able to extend their lead with two points in the seventh to go up 7-4.

Denmark responded with two of their own in the eighth, but the Switzerland squad, led by Skip Benoit Schwarz, answered with two of their own to go up 9-6 with an end to play.

Switzerland notches their first win of the tournament to improve to 1-2. Denmark remains winless at 0-2.

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