(MONCTON, New Brunswick) - Team USA's luck ran out Friday afternoon at the 2009 Ford World Men's Championship as Norway's Thomas Ulsrud rink eliminated John Shuster's Americans from playoff contention with a 10-2 walloping.
"It was a crappy way to end the week but the thing about it is we made the tiebreaker at the world championships playing probably our C or D game," Shuster said.
Ulsrud shot a scorching 100 percent in defeating Shuster (Duluth, Minn.) and teammates Jason Smith (Duluth, Minn.), Jeff Isaacson (Gilbert, Minn.) and John Benton (St. Michael, Minn.). Norway moves on to play Switzerland in tomorrow's page playoff 3-4 game. The U.S. finishes 7-5 (fifth place) along with Germany, who lost to the Swiss 8-7 in the other tiebreaker played this afternoon.
"I noticed he didn't miss," Shuster said about Ulsrud. "But we didn't make him shoot any tough ones though. He really didn't have any tough shots the entire game."
The teams began by seemingly testing each other's draw weight with Ulsrud drawing through a thin port for two to open up the game. The U.S. struggled in the second end and Shuster was looking at four Norwegian stones when he got in the hack to throw his final shot. Needing to draw fully into the four-foot, Shuster slid just a little too deep and gave up a steal of one.
Smith's hit-and-roll double takeout momentarily put the Americans in good position to score multiple points in the third end. When Torger Nergard's takeout jammed and left the U.S. rock in the four-foot, Smith drew a second rock in. However, Ulsrud would make the double takeout and follow that up by freezing to the stone Shuster placed in the four-foot behind the tee-line. Now forced to draw for just a single, the Americans would get on the scoreboard.
What looked to be a blank end turned around for Norway in the fourth when Shuster didn't fully remove the Norwegian shot stone and allowed Norway to earn another deuce. Things unraveled in the fifth end for the Americans as Shuster flashed a takeout to hand Norway a steal of two. Looking at five stones when he got into the hack to throw his final shot in the sixth, Shuster was able to draw into the back eight-foot for another single.
The U.S. looked poised to steal one or two in the seventh to try to stage a comeback, but Ulsrud used his last brick to pop out the two stones in the four-foot to move on to tomorrow's page playoff 3-4 game.
"Every end we had something going," Shuster said.
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)
Game scores: Norway 10, USA 2; Switzerland 8, Germany 7
Team USA line score:
Norway* 210 220 3xx x 10
USA 001 001 0xx x 2
*last rock in first end
Czech Republic 3-8
*earned playoff berth