Sweden outlasts USA men

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

Sweden outlasts USA men; playoff field taking shape at 2014 Olympic Winter Games

(SOCHI, Russia) - The reigning world champions showcased a near perfect shooting performance in defeating USA's John Shuster rink tonight, 6-4, at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Alternate Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.) subbed in for Jeff Isaacson (Gilbert, Minn.) for tonight's lineup against Niklas Edin's rink, which had already clinched a playoff spot coming into the game. With the win over the U.S., Sweden earned the top playoff spot for Wednesday's semifinals at the Ice Cube Curling Center.

"We've had to battle from behind in every single game we've played and at this level ... with these teams, that's a bad place to be," Shuster said. "But at the same time we've been in most games right up to the end and every half-inch, quarter inch, millimeter seems like it's going in the opposite direction. That's how it is in this sport, unfortunately it had to happen at the Olympics."

Shuster (Duluth, Minn.), Brown (Madison, Wis.), Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.), and John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.) shot 83 percent compared to Sweden's 92. 

"It's next to impossible to try to stay positive, but we've had a pretty good mindset the whole time," Shuster said.  "We came out in every single game and tried our hardest for the United States and the sport of curling.

Canada's Brad Jacobs rink (7-2) also earned a spot in the semifinals after defeating China (6-2), 9-8, in an extra end tonight. The loss drops the Americans to 2-6 in the standings with one game left against Switzerland (2-6) tomorrow afternoon.

"It was great to get on the ice, and it was a lot of fun. I wish the circumstances were different, and I wish we would have won," said Brown, who shot 78 percent. "We played all right, we got a bad break or two, missed a shot or two that we shouldn't have,  but playing against the world champs, they didn't let us off."

Sweden started out the scoring with a draw for three points in the second end. Team USA got on the scoreboard with a takeout for two points in the fourth to cut into Sweden's lead.

After holding Sweden to a single in the fifth, Shuster's final stone of the sixth was light and Sweden stole a point to go up 5-2. The U.S. nearly had the deuce in the seventh end but lost the measure by a millimeter and had to settle for a point.

Sweden was then held to a single point in the eighth end to extend the lead to three points. The U.S. couldn't get a big end set up in the ninth and were forced to make a double takeout for one point. Shuster only removed one Swedish stone with his final shot of the end and Edin did not have to throw his final stone as the win was in hand. 

"We could start this tournament over tomorrow and we could go through the round-robin with six or seven wins.  That's just the way it happened this week. It seemed like we were on the wrong side of it all week - three times in that game," Brown said.

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

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

USA line score:
USA (Shuster) 000 200 101 x - 4 
*Sweden (Edin) 030 011 010 x - 6 
*last rock in first end

Men's Draw 11 results: Denmark 6, Germany 3; Sweden 6, USA 4; Norway 5, Switzerland 3; Canada 9, China 8 (extra end)

Standings, Men:
Sweden 8-1*
Canada 7-2*
China 6-2
Great Britain 5-3
Norway 5-3
Denmark 3-5
Switzerland 2-6
Russian Fed. 2-6
USA 2-6
Germany 1-7
*clinched semifinal berth

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

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
719-207-5083 (mobile-Russia)

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

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomAmpd, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Sitrin, BalancePlus and The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, and is partnered with Hilton, United Airlines, RJM Licensing Inc., and CurlingZone.

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