USA Curling

Canada defeats USA to remain perfect at 2009 Men's Worlds

April 08, 2009, 12 a.m. (ET)
(MONCTON, New Brunswick) – John Shuster and Team USA momentarily had the defending champions in check but couldn’t hold on as Canada’s Kevin Martin defeated the Americans, 9-6, at the 2009 Ford World Men’s Championship at the Moncton Coliseum.

In front of a modest Wednesday afternoon crowd that included Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Martin bettered his record to 9-0 to lock up a spot in the page playoff 1-2 game while the U.S. dropped its second straight game to fall to 4-4.

“We haven’t played well all week,” Shuster said. “Our finesse game hasn’t been as good as it should be.”

Shuster (Duluth, Minn.) and teammates Jason Smith (Duluth, Minn.), Jeff Isaacson (Gilbert, Minn.) and John Benton (St. Michael, Minn.) looked strong in the first end, putting the pressure on Canada and Martin couldn’t deliver as he missed a runback double to allow the U.S. to steal two points to start the game. This also marked the first time Canada has trailed in any game this week.

It was just the second steal of the week that Martin gave up and the first steal of two. In fact, it was the first steal of two in playdowns (provincial, the Brier and here) that Martin has given up all season.

However, Canada would bounce back with Martin drawing for two in the second end. USA had a chance to set up a big end in the third when Morris missed back-to-back takeout attempts. Smith tried to draw a third stone in behind a corner guard but it sailed through the rings. Martin thwarted the end with a double takeout, forcing Shuster to make the hit for just a single. 

The Americans gift-wrapped a big end for the Canadians with several big misses that allowed Canada to strike for four points. Shuster’s first shot – a draw – came up well short of the rings and his tapback didn’t work out either giving Martin the draw for four. 

“It was a one shot game,” Shuster summarized. “Really, it was the only difference. If I make that shot, we’re only down one or two with the hammer. We had some good ends but that one killed us.”

The U.S. got in trouble again in the fifth but Shuster still had a chance for two. His stone was under-swept though and touched the Canadian rock frozen to the American stone in the four-foot and the U.S. only picked up a single. Martin and his teammates would pounce again for a deuce with Martin drawing into the four-foot to extend the lead 8-4.

The U.S. capitalized in the eighth end when Martin’s double takeout attempt jammed, leading to Shuster drawing to the button for a deuce to close the gap at 8-6. After forcing Martin to a single in the ninth, the Americans had a tall task in front of them. Needing three points just to force an extra end, the U.S. wasn’t able to get a big end set up.

The Americans return to the ice at 7:30 p.m. to take on Finland (1-7).

Game scores: Scotland 9, France 1; Canada 9, USA 6; Switzerland 7, Japan 4; Germany 7, China 6

Team USA line score:
Canada* 020 402 001 x 9
USA 201 010 020 x 6
*last rock in first end

Standings: 
*Canada 9-0
Norway 6-2
Germany 5-3
Scotland 5-3
Denmark 4-4
USA 4-4
Switzerland 4-4
France 4-5
China 3-6
Japan 3-6
Czech Republic 2-6
Finland 1-7
*earned playoff berth

Universal Sports will air 12 hours of TV coverage from Moncton, featuring the following games:
* April 11: USA vs. Germany, 7 p.m. ET (tape-delayed)
* April 11: USA vs. Canada, 11:30 p.m. ET (tape-delayed)
* April 12: Semifinal/bronze, 7 p.m. (tape-delayed)
* April 12: Final, 11:30 p.m. ET (tape-delayed)
* In addition, on-demand webstreaming of several of the U.S. games will be featured on www.universalsports.com. 
* Live end-by-end scoring from the Ford World Men’s Championship is available online at http://www.usacurl.org/curlingrocks. All times posted are local (1 hour ahead of Eastern Time Zone).
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