USA Curling

Feb 16 Canada defeats USA women in extra end

By Terry Kolesar | Feb. 16, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 16, 2014

USA ladies take Canada to overtime en route to 8-6 round robin loss

(SOCHI, Russia) - The layers of heartache Team USA's Erika Brown rink is suffering at the Ice Cube Curling Center this week is becoming thicker as the round robin nears its finish at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. 

Brown (Oakville, Ontario/Madison, Wis.) and teammates Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.), Jessica Schultz (Minneapolis, Minn.), and Ann Swisshelm (Chicago) once again played strong but didn't come away with a victory to show for it as Canada's Jennifer Jones rink defeated the American ladies, 7-6, in an extra end.

"It just goes to show we're not giving up. We finally got our mojo back, but unfortunately it was just a little too late," McCormick said. The U.S. women shot 79 percent in the loss. "It is a game, sometimes a silly game, and losing my grandma has helped put this in perspective, too. We will hold our heads high and go out there and just try our best. We want to enjoy the experience."

The Jones squad, in contrast, is chasing Olympic history as their undefeated streak was pushed to eight wins here in Sochi. No women's team has ever gone undefeated in the round robin at the Olympic Games since it became a medal sport in 1998.

It was the second game in less than 24 hours that went down to either a measure for the win or an extra end last rock that went in favor of the opponent. "It shows that we need to have the last rock in the last end," Swisshelm joked. "Sweden had to draw the edge of the button and Canada had to draw the button, so it shows we're in it."

The loss puts the U.S. ladies at 1-7 in the round robin standings with one game remaining against Korea (2-5) tomorrow at 9 a.m. 

"We know we're not going to the playoffs, and that we're at the bottom of the barrel, but we still have pride. We want to be good representatives for our country and for USA Curling," McCormick said. 

The U.S. women shrugged off a sluggish start that saw them fall quickly fall into a 0-3 deficit by capitalizing on a miss by Jones to score three points in the third end. The U.S. got two stones in scoring position in the fourth end, forcing Jones to make the hit and stick for a single point. 

The U.S. wanted to blank the fifth end and keep the hammer to try to build toward more than a point but Brown's final stone stayed in the rings after the takeout and the game was tied, 4-4. Canada took the lead back in the sixth with a single after being unable to make a successful raise for the deuce.

Canada stole a single point in the eighth end as Brown's final stone slipped past the tee-line and out of scoring position. The U.S. then was forced into drawing against three Canadian stones for a single point in the eighth end. 

After the ninth was blanked, Canada's 10th end got out of hand early for the Canadians as the U.S. stayed a rock ahead. Brown placed her final stone on the side of the four-foot behind a center guard. Canada's final stone was light and the American ladies stole a point to go to an extra end.

In the 11th, Jones was given an easier shot for the win than the U.S. would have liked as Brown's final rock slipped deeper into the house than the intended top of the four-foot, leaving a path to the button open for Jones to get to.

"I didn't like the guard, because it just left her the draw to the button. That's why we called a time out. Of course, if I would have made the shot, that would have made hers a lot more difficult," Brown said about Team USA's last-rock strategy in the 11th.

"Even if we make the perfect guard, she just draws to the button. We wanted to get into the top four so she couldn't just hit and roll in for count, but might think about hitting," said Bill Todhunter (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Team USA's head coach. "Anytime you can put two different shots in someone's head, you've got a much better chance of getting a miss."

Sweden's Margaretha Sigfridsson rink (6-2) clinched a semifinal berth after defeating Russia, 5-4. China and Great Britain had byes this afternoon and are tied for third place with 4-3 records. The round robin concludes Monday. 

The semifinals will take place at 2 (women) and 7 p.m. (men) MSK on Wednesday. The medal games for the ladies will be on Thursday at 12:30 (bronze) and 5:30 p.m. (gold). The men's medal games are scheduled for Friday at 12:30 (bronze) and 5:30 p.m. (gold).

John Shuster and the U.S. men (2-5) return to the ice tonight against Sweden (7-1). 

Line score:
USA (Brown) 003 010 010 10 - 6 
*Canada (Jones) 210 101 100 01 - 7 
*last rock in first end

Women's Draw 10 scores: Denmark 7, Korea 4; Sweden 5, Russia 4; Japan 9, Switzerland 7; Canada 7, USA 6 (extra end)

Standings, Women:
Canada 8-0*
Sweden 6-2*
China 4-3
Great Britain 4-3
Switzerland 4-4
Japan 3-4
Denmark 3-5
Russia 3-5
Korea 2-5
USA 1-7
*clinched semifinal berth

Standings, Men:
Sweden 7-1*
China 6-1
Canada 6-2
Great Britain 5-3
Norway 4-3
Denmark 2-5
Switzerland 2-5
USA 2-5
Russian Fed. 2-6
Germany 1-6
*clinched semifinal berth

For live scoring and standings, go to http://sochi2014.curlingevents.com/olympics. 

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. 

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For more information: 

Terry Kolesar, Press Officer, Team USA
terry.kolesar@usacurl.org 
+1-719-207-5083 (mobile-Russia)

Rick Patzke, Assistant Press Officer, Team USA
rick.patzke@usacurl.org
+1-719-207-5089 (mobile-Russia)

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