FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 11, 2014
U.S. men slip to 0-2 after loss to China
(SOCHI, Russia) - It was a rough afternoon for John Shuster and the American men at the Ice Cube Curling Center as China swept past them, 9-4, on the second day of round robin competition of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Shuster (Duluth, Minn.) and teammates Jeff Isaacson (Gilbert, Minn.), Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.), and John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.) battled the rocks and the Rui Liu's Chinese team to drop to 0-2 in the round robin standings.
"We got a little behind the eight-ball again," Isaacson said. "We've been behind in every game. It's just a matter of us getting comfortable out there. We need to dig deep, work hard, and hopefully the 'w's' will start coming."
The U.S. men out-shot China, 87 to 80 percent in today's game but a few key misses derailed the team's offense in several ends.
"The guys are playing well in front of me. We just kind of need to band together," said Shuster, who led Team USA in 2010 and won bronze in 2006 at Olympic Games.
The teams exchanged singles over the first two ends to get the game underway. China struck for a big end first when an opportunity opened up for three in the third end. The American men answered with an open takeout for two in the fourth to pull within a point at 4-3. "To give them that three in the third was a killer. That's the second time in two games that we have gotten behind like that," Shuster said.
China extended the lead with a double takeout for two points in the fifth. The Americans had an opportunity to score two as well in the following end but couldn't sweep the final stone close enough to the pin, settling instead for a single.
The backbreaker for the American team came in the eighth end when the team's final stone rolled out of the rings after making a takeout and China stole two points.
"We got a little unfortunate with the way the angles lined up in the fifth end. But he (Rui) played a perfect shot to get the two. He made a big shot after big shot. Hats off to the Chinese. They made everything," Isaacson said.
The U.S. men will battle Denmark's Rasmus Stjerne tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. MSK. "They played a little better than the last game. We made a lot of shots," Al Hackner, USA Curling national coach (Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada), said about the team's performance.
Sweden's Niklas Edin led his team to a 7-6 victory over Brad Jacobs of Canada to improve to 3-0 and sit atop the leaderboard. The loss drops the Canadian team to 1-2. Norway's Thomas Ulsrud rink also kept its record perfect as they earned a 9-8 victory over the Russian men. Great Britain's team escaped with a 7-6 victory over Germany when the German skip flashed his final takeout of the game.
USA line score:
USA men (Shuster) 010 201 00x x - 4
*China (Liu) 103 020 12x x - 9
*last rock in first end
Draw 5 scores (men): China 9, USA 4; Sweden 7, Canada 6; Norway 9, Russia 8; Great Britain 7, Germany 6
Great Britain 2-1
Russian Fed. 0-3
Russian Fed. 2-0
Great Britain 0-1
Teams are competing in a nine-game round robin through Feb. 17 followed by playoffs on Feb. 19-21.
NBC's networks will cover all of the U.S. curling competition. Go to http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv-listings to create a customized viewing schedule based on cable provider and time zone.
Here is a look at the U.S. team's round robin competition schedule (all times local, Moscow/MSK):
Tuesday, Feb. 11: USA v. Great Britain, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 12: USA v. China, 2 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 13: USA v. Japan, 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 14: USA v. Denmark, 2 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 15: USA v. Sweden, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 16: USA v. Canada, 2 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 17: USA v. Korea, 9 a.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 12: USA v. Denmark, 9 a.m.
Thursday, Feb. 13: USA v. Great Britain, 2 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 14: USA v. Germany, 9 a.m.; and USA v. Russia, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 16: USA v. Canada, 9 a.m.; and USA v. Sweden, 7 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 17: USA v. Switzerland, 2 p.m.
Follow USA Curling on Twitter (@terry_usacurl) and check our website (www.usacurl.org) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/USA-Curling/107975609011) for updates throughout the Olympic Games.
For more information:
Terry Kolesar, Press Officer, Team USA
Rick Patzke, Assistant Press Officer, Team USA
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