Men's Curling Day 5: Team USA suffers losses to Japan and Norway
The United States dropped a pair of games during the fifth day of men’s round-robin play. Complete coverage of both U.S. matches is below
Norway 8, United States 5
The United States and Norway both needed a win Sunday morning to boost their chances of advancing to the semifinals. It was the Norwegians that came out on top.
The teams traded leads through the first five ends and the United States held a one-point advantage heading into the sixth.
But, Norway took control in that end. It tallied three points to turn its 4-3 deficit into a 6-4 lead and the United States never swung the scoreboard back in its favor.
Norway stole a point each in the seventh and eighth frames to secure a victory. The United States added a point in the ninth before conceding.
The U.S. has registered back-to-back losses and now holds a 2-4 record with three games remaining in round robin play. Norway improved to 3-3.
The United States will return to action when it faces Canada on Monday at 12:05 a.m. ET. Canada currently sits at 4-2 but has lost its last two games.
USA 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 - 5
NOR 0 2 0 1 0 3 1 1 0 - 8
Japan 8, United States 2
On a night like Saturday, there's very few teams who could defeat Japan. Unfortunately, Team USA was the one who had to go up against them.
Japan held John Shuster's team to just two points in seven ends of play in an 8-2 rout of the Americans.
The U.S. made just 61 percent of their takeouts, whereas Japan was successful on 94 percent, and had 31 takeouts in all. The Japanese squad, led by skip Yusuke Morozumi, scored in the first three ends - two in the first, and one each in the second and third - to take a quick 4-0 lead. Shuster missed double takeout attempts in both the second and third ends, setting up difficulties he would face all night.
“Slow start. Maybe not ready to go in the morning," USA lead John Landsteiner told reporters after the game. "I don’t know why. We did the same routine, everything. Didn’t get the hammer, gave up the deuce. Just everything kind of went the wrong way starting out."
The U.S. finally found the scoreboard in the fifth end when they were able to clear the house and land Shuster's final throw on the button for two. That was the only end they would score all game.
Japan answered with two of their own in the sixth and seventh ends. After Morozumi landed his final throw of the seventh next to another stone right on the top of the button, Shuster went hard for a triple takeout attempt that again failed as the U.S. stone sailed off the left side of the board, leaving two yellows inside for the game winners.
“I thought we threw the rocks great. We had a couple of ends where we were set up real good. Just had some misses at the wrong time,” USA third Tyler George said. “Sometimes the scoreboard doesn’t really indicate how close the game was. Japan played great. If you make mistakes against a team that’s playing really well at the wrong time, you are going to pay for it. It wasn’t just John (Shuster), we all made a few mistakes when we couldn’t afford to.”
Both teams were tied for fourth in the team standings heading into the game. The U.S. falls to 2-3, now tied for fifth. Japan improves to 3-2, tied for third overall.
USA 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 X X X -2
JPN 2 1 1 0 0 2 2 X X X - 8
Here are the results of every other matchup from day five of the men’s tournament.
Sweden 11, Japan 4
Sweden took an early lead over Japan and never looked back, cruising to a big win.
The Swedish team tallied three points in the first end and added another two in the third to make the score 5-1.
Japan managed to cut its deficit to two with two points in the seventh frame. But, Sweden responded with five points in the eighth end, forcing the Japanese team to concede.
Sweden remains undefeated and leads the round robin standings with a 6-0 record. Japan drops to 3-3 with three games remaining.
SWE 3 0 2 0 0 1 0 5 X X - 11
JPN 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 0 X X - 4
Great Britain 7, Italy 6 (11 ends)
It came down to the final rock but Great Britain was able to outlast Italy, 7-6, in a back-and-forth match.
British skip Karl Smith delivered a perfect strike with the final rock in the four-foot circle in the extra end to give Britain the win.
Smith shot 67 percent on draws – down from his 76 percent tournament average – but perfectly played his final shot for the win.
The win breaks a three-way tie for sixth place in the men’s tournament, as Great Britain (3-3) jumps into a three-way tie with Japan and Norway for fourth. Italy (2-4) falls into a tie for eighth with Team USA in the 10-team tournament.
Britain took an early 2-0 lead to open the match, but Italy quickly evened up the score every time Britain looked to pull away, including a tying throw on the final throw of regulation to send the match to an 11th end.
Italy will face South Korea (12:05 a.m. ET) and undefeated Sweden (7:05 p.m. ET) on Monday.
Great Britain faces Denmark (12:05 a.m. ET) and Norway (7:05 p.m.) before its final opening round game on Wednesday.
ITA 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 2 0 1 0 - 6
GBR 2 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 - 7
Denmark 9, South Korea 8 (11 ends)
Denmark and South Korea needed to play an extra end Sunday morning.
The teams were evenly matched through seven frames. Then, in the eight, Denmark added three points to take an 8-5 lead and seemed to be heading for a win.
But Korea added a point in the ninth and followed with a steal of two to tie the score in the tenth.
Denmark, however, scored in the extra end to take home the win.
Denmark moves to 2-4 with the win while host South Korea is no 1-5 in round robin play.
DEN 0 0 2 1 2 0 0 3 0 0 1 - 9
KOR 2 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 2 0 - 8
Norway 10, Denmark 8
Norway took advatage of two 4 point ends to hold off Denmark Saturday, 10-8.
Down 2-1 in the fourth end, Norway's Thomas Ulsrud had a perfect takeout for four points and the lead they wouldn't relinquish.
After giving up one in the fifth, Ulsrud and company again put together a perfect end, setting up three stones in an empty house, and scooting their hammer throw just enough inside for another four points.
Denmark tried to mount a comeback, scoring two in each of the seventh and eighths ends, but after finding themselves down three in the 10th, they could manage just a single point for the loss.
Norway improves to 2-3 overall, while Denmark falls to 1-4.
NOR 0 1 0 4 0 4 0 0 1 0 - 10
DEN 1 0 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 1 - 8
Switzerland 8, Canada 6
After starting a perfect 4-0, Canada suffered their second straight loss in the PyeongChang games, falling to Switzerland 8-6.
Switzerland made their presence known early, scoring four points in the first end. Canada responded with two in the second, but the Swiss continued to add on, taking a 7-3 lead into the halftime break.
Canadian skip Kevin Koe had a perfect takeout for two points in the sixth, and his squad stole another point in the seventh to cut the lead to one. After blanking the eighth end, Switzerland scored another in the ninth, and skip Benoit Schwarz had a perfect double takeout of Canadian stones on the second to last throw. Koe missed on his next shot, forcing a concession and Swiss win.
Both teams are now tied for second in the standings at 4-2.
SUI 4 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 1 X - 8
CAN 0 2 0 1 0 2 1 0 0 X - 6