Denmark slides past USA women

By Terry Kolesar | Feb. 14, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
Feb. 14, 2014

USA women fall to Denmark at 2014 Olympic Winter Games

(SOCHI, Russia) - Erika Brown and Team USA just can't catch a break here at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games as the American ladies suffered their fifth loss in six games at the Ice Cube Curling Center.

Despite an 0-5 record coming into the game, Denmark's Lene Nielsen rink had a near perfect game against the Americans.  

"We're disappointed in that game. We were just not as sharp today, we came up against a really hot Danish team and a skip that made a lot of really great shots," said Brown. "We were in great positions early on in that game and even later we were in some positions where I thought we were going to turn it around and she was great today.  And when your opposition's great, you need to be great."
The loss drops Brown (Oakville, Ontario/Madison, Wis.) and teammates Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.), Jessica Schultz (Minneapolis, Minn.), and Ann Swisshelm (Chicago) to 1-5 in the standings, on the very brink of elimination from playoff contention.

"It's too early to think about our campaign.  We're still going to go out and play our hearts out for the last three games," Brown said. "We're not going to start crying yet - we're going to think about all the things we've done together."
 The 1-5 record comes as a surprise to a team so rich in international experience including 13 Olympic apperances, including alternate Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.). 

"It's great to be at the Olympics and representing the United States, we worked really hard to get here.  Vancouver was disappointing so I'm very proud of myself for continuing on and battling back and playing with these girls," said McCormick, who is making her fourth Olympic appearance, the most by any U.S. curler. "I've had an amazing journey to get here. We're just going to try to get more wins here. I'm just proud to be part of this team and part of this place."
Denmark outshot the U.S. ladies 88 to 75 percent and made the most of their opportunities when they had the last rock. The U.S., in contrast, struggled to generate offense. 

Denmark set the tone early in the game with a great shot to score two points in the second end. The U.S. placed two stones behind a center guard, but Nielsen played a 10-foot raise to double them out and get the offense going. 

The Americans could only answer with a single in the third end. The U.S. used McCormick's second stone to make a perfect hit and roll to place an American stone on the button behind the center guard. Denmark drew down to the top of the eight foot in front of it and Brown wasn't able to remove it for two points. 

Denmark was able to then generate the deuce in the fourth end as well to take a 4-1 advantage. In the sixth end, Team USA got into a mess with three Danish stones circling the four-foot with plenty of stones behind them as backing as well as a center guard for protection. Brown used her first stone to cover the button but Nielsen removed it to score another deuce with the last rock. 

The U.S. was forced to draw for a single point in the seventh end facing three Danish stones scattered around the rings. However, Brown's final stone came up short and Denmark stole two points to take an 8-2 advantage.  

Things didn't improve any for the American ladies in the eighth end and Brown again was staring down too many Danish stones with the final toss. The U.S. attempted a double takeout but one of Denmark's stones was left in scoring position resulting in another steal for the Danish team. The U.S. offered the handshake to conclude the game after. 

The U.S. women have three games left in the round robin. On Saturday afternoon they'll face Sweden (4-1). John Shuster and the American men (2-3) take the ice tonight against host Russia (1-4). 

Line score:
USA (Brown) 001 010 00x x - 2 
*Denmark (Nielsen) 020 202 21x x - 9 
*last rock in first end

Women's Draw 7 scores: Denmark 9, USA 2; China 11, Korea 3; Great Britain 12, Japan 3; Russia 6, Switzerland 3

Standings, Women:
Canada 5-0
Sweden 4-1
China 3-2
Great Britain 3-2
Russian Fed. 3-3
Switzerland 3-3
Japan 2-3
Korea 2-3
Denmark 1-5
USA 1-5

Standings, Men:
Sweden 5-1
China 4-1
Great Britain 4-1
Canada 4-2
Norway 3-2
USA 2-3
Denmark 2-3
Russian Fed. 1-4
Switzerland 1-4
Germany 0-5

Teams are competing in a nine-game round robin through Feb. 17 followed by playoffs on Feb. 19-21. 

NBC is airing all of the curling action either live or tape delay as well as live online. Go to to learn more.

Here is a look at Team USA's remaining round robin competition schedule (all times local, Moscow/MSK):

U.S. Women:
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.

U.S. Men:
Friday, Feb. 14: 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 ( and Facebook page ( for updates throughout the Olympic Games. 


For more information: 

Terry Kolesar, Press Officer, Team USA 
+1-719-207-5083 (mobile-Russia)

Rick Patzke, Assistant Press Officer, Team USA
+1-719-207-5089 (mobile-Russia)

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