FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 11, 2014
Great Britain sets Olympic scoring record in defeat of U.S. ladies
(SOCHI, Russia) - Getting to the Olympic Winter Games is one goal. Setting an Olympic record is probably a goal most curlers don't think much about. Great Britain's Eve Muirhead rink bested the previous record for most points scored in an end with a routine takeout for seven points en route to a 12-3 defeat of Erika Brown and the U.S. ladies tonight at the Ice Cube Curling Center.
With a modest 2-1 lead, Great Britain capitalized as Brown (Oakville, Ontario/Madison, Wis.) and teammates Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.), Jessica Schultz (Minneapolis, Minn.), and Ann Swisshelm (Chicago) each struggled with draw weight with at least one of their stones. While the U.S. was short of the rings, Great Britain (GBR) kept piling them in. Brown tried to draw around into the four-foot to cut down the scoring end with her final stone, but it lightly rubbed on a stone in the top of the house. Instead of the result being a great shot, her stone was left in a spot that was easy for Muirhead to chip out to score the record-setting seven points.
"We were in trouble early in that end. The angles were setting up good for us. Somebody had to make a shot, and we all had our chances, but then didn't make it. My first shot was terrible, but my next one was an inch away from being really quite good," Brown said. "We knew if she got three it was doomsville, so it didn't matter if she got three or seven. We were all in at that point."
After scoring the seven, Great Britain then had a 9-1 advantage. "It's not like we were trying to set an Olympic record. If things get set up bad, you just have to keep going. It's like the island green out there. If you hit three in the water already, you have to keep swinging. What choice do you have? You've got to land it sometime," Brown said.
The loss drops the American women to 0-3 in the round robin here at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. "I know what a good team we are, and know what we are capable of. We can put it all together at the same time, and are fully capable of doing that," Swisshelm said.
The game didn't start out favorably for the Americans as early struggles with the ice gave Great Britain the early lead and game's momentum.
"I think that every championship I've been at or seen, there's always that team that had a really bad start and then went on a run. We're going to focus on that and try to make that team us," Brown said. The U.S. ladies return to the ice tomorrow afternoon against China (1-1).
Great Britain got two stones covered behind guards in the first end. Brown promoted a U.S. stone on to the button with the final stone but GBR still had one closer and the U.S. gave up a single steal. When Brown's final draw of the second end sunk behind the tee-line, Great Britain stole another point to extend the lead.
The American ladies finally got on the scoreboard in the third end, but it was for just a point as GBR had three stones scattered around the house in scoring position.
Following the aforementioned fourth end, the U.S. made a takeout for two points in the fifth but couldn't keep GBR off the scoreboard. In the sixth end, the reigning world champions posted three additional points, prompting the U.S. ladies to offer the handshake to concede.
"Oh wow! After it happened, we were looking who to blame - who didn't get the other one into place!" Muirhead said jokingly about the eighth stone that was not in scoring position. [In curling, an eight-ender is a perfect score.] "That was a lot more like us, that was like Team Muirhead out there. We played really well. We said right after yesterday's game that the ice was especially quick and we all learned from what we did wrong yesterday and we all came out firing tonight."
John Shuster and the U.S. men (0-2) play Denmark (1-1) at 9 a.m. tomorrow as they try to secure the U.S.'s first 2014 Olympic Winter Games win.
Great Britain (Muirhead) 110 703 xxx x - 12
*USA (Brown) 001 020 xxx x - 3
*last rock in first end
Draw 6 scores: Great Britain 12, USA 3; Japan 8, Denmark 3; Switzerland 8, Korea 6; China 7, Russia 5
Russian Fed. 2-1
Great Britain 1-1
Great Britain 2-1
Russian Fed. 0-3
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):
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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