USA men slide past Germany for second win

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

USA men deliver second win of 2014 Olympic Winter Games

(SOCHI, Russia) -St. Valentine did not deliver heartache this morning at the Ice Cube Curling Center for John Shuster and the American men as they picked up an 8-5 win over Germany at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Playing in their red jerseys on Valentine's Day, Shuster (Duluth, Minn.) and teammates Jeff Isaacson (Gilbert, Minn.), Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.), and John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.) dominated their game against Germany's John Jahr rink, twice scoring four points in an end. This morning's victory improves the Americans to 2-3 in the nine-game round robin standings. 

"They executed quite well today," said Al Hackner (Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada), Team USA national coach. "The big ends they got were because they made good shots, not because Germany missed. They created those ends by really good shooting."

Team USA shot 83 percent today with Shuster out-performing Germany's last-rock thrower Felix Schulze, 89 to 64. "Jeff was drawing like a beast today," Shuster said about his vice skip.

After forcing Germany into the single in the second end to put the first points on the scoreboard, the Americans got off to a very productive offensive start when Shuster used the final stone of the third end to draw into the rings for four points. 

After that big end, the Americans had Germany (0-5) on the ropes and Schulze was forced to make a tough draw deep into the four-foot for a single point. Germany capitalized on a mistake by the U.S. to steal a point in the sixth end when Shuster's last stone came up short of the rings. 

Isaacson played a raise to place two U.S. stones into the four-foot in the seventh end. Schulze was able to remove one with his first stone but Shuster answered with a hit and roll. When Schulze missed his own hit and roll, Shuster had the draw for four once again and an 8-3 lead. 

A nice double takeout by Shuster in the eighth end cut Germany down to the possibility of scoring two points. But a heavy draw by Schulze with his first stone gave Team USA the chance to remove all of the German rocks from the rings. The end result was Germany being forced into drawing for another single point.

Germany stole a point in the ninth end when Shuster's final stone slipped past the tee-line. With a three-point lead and the last rock advantage, the U.S. was able to run Germany out of rocks. But not first without a little added drama. The U.S. had a rock pulled in the 10th end when Zezel touched the handle again after releasing it. It was all for naught, though, as Shuster ended up taking care of business for the Americans with a takeout with his first stone to secure win number two for the U.S men.

"That kind of stuff happens in curling. But Jeff and I knew that if we made three straight peels we'd have an open hit for the win. I was trying to get the game over with my first one," said Shuster, who was a member of the only team to win an Olympic medal in curling for the U.S. when the Americans won bronze in 2006.

"We made it a little more interesting in the 10th, but they played good today," said Tim Muller (Hibbing, Minn.), head coach for Team USA. 

The U.S. men return to the ice tonight to take on host Russia (1-4) at 7 p.m. MSK. Erika Brown and the American ladies (1-4) face Denmark (0-5) this afternoon.

Sweden's Niklas Edin rink (5-1), the reigning world champions, moved into the top spot with a 6-5 overtime win over China (4-1), which was the first loss for the Chinese. The U.S. men are currently tied for sixth place. At the conclusion of the round robin on Monday, the top four teams advance to the semifinals on Wednesday. The women's medal games will be played on Thursday with the men's final competition the next day.

USA line score:
USA (Shuster) 004 000 400 x - 8 
*Germany (Jahr) 010 101 011 x - 5 
*last rock in first end

Men's Draw 7 scores: Canada 10, Norway 4; USA 8, Germany 4; Sweden 6, China 5 (extra end)

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

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

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 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):

U.S. Women:
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.

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 
719-207-5083 (mobile-Russia)

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

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