USA men eliminated from playoff contention in Sochi

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

Canada steals win from USA men as round robin winds down

(SOCHI, Russia) - More often than naught in the game of curling, wins are decided on mere inches. Unfortunately for John Shuster and Team USA, they haven't been on the winning side of many of those decisions this week at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

"Sometimes you're on the right side of the inch and sometimes you're on the wrong side of the inch. When things aren't going your way sometimes they just aren't going your way. I had a shot that I'm going to make 90 percent of the time with my first one," Shuster said about his first stone of the final end. 

Shuster (Duluth, Minn.) and teammates Jeff Isaacson (Gilbert, Minn.), Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.), and John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.) lost on the last rock this morning at the Ice Cube Curling Center as Canada's Brad Jacobs rink stole the winning point. 

"We had a little bit of a struggle this morning," Jacobs said after the win that improved Canada to 6-2. "We had a few line calls that cost us, that shot for four in eight when we clipped the guard. That's kind of the way our week has been going, so it's just nice to fight through and get the win. Nobody is going to give up. This is the Olympics, it's going to be as tough as possible and they made it really hard for us."

The 8-6 loss to Canada eliminates the American men from playoff contention at five losses. 

"It's been a grueling year, but that's what we signed up for," Shuster said. "It was an honor to win our slot at the Olympic qualifiers - it's a bummer that things haven't gone as we hoped and expected."

Following a shaky start to this morning's game Team USA settled in and got things on track to battle with Canada for the final eight ends.

After Canada opened with a draw into the four-foot for two points, the U.S. was trying to set the deuce up in the second end, but a raise double takeout by Jacobs thwarted the opportunity. Shuster played the double takeout with his first rock and Jacobs answered by covering the pin with his stone. USA's final draw didn't curl enough to out-count Canada.

Trailing by three, the Americans capitalized on a miss by Canada in the third end with an open draw for two points to cut into the deficit.

In the fourth, Shuster used his first stone to draw into the top of the four-foot behind a guard, forcing Canada to try to come through a very narrow port with Jacobs' first stone. The result was the rock rubbing on the guard and removing the other Canadian stone that was in the house. After Shuster drew in the second stone, Jacobs had to draw around the outside of the guards and couldn't get the necessary curl to score any points. With the double steal, the U.S. had its first lead of the game at 4-3.

A burned rock by the American sweepers with Isaacson's first stone proved costly in the fifth end. Shuster used his first stone to draw through the port to nearly freeze to the Canada stone. Jacobs played an angle raise takeout, however, and Canada was in good shape for the deuce. 

The Americans put a point on the scoreboard in the sixth end to tie the game as Shuster placed his final stone in the four-foot for the single point. After the seventh end was blanked, half shots by the Americans resulted in Jacobs having a chance at four points. Instead, his final stone rubbed on a guard and the U.S. stole a single point.

Canada had a shot late in the ninth end to put five rocks in scoring position but the nose hit wasn't precise. Shuster then used his first stone to nestle it in front of two Canadian stones just behind the tee-line for shot rock. With the final American stone, Shuster wanted to corner freeze onto the Canada stone but it was too heavy and Canada had a draw for two points.

Trailing 7-6, the U.S. had last rock heading into the final end. Isaacson's second draw around the corner guard into the four-foot left Jacobs a spot to tuck his first stone and out-count the Americans. Shuster's first stone was heavy with the freeze attempt down to Canada's rock. This allowed the Canadian rink to place a second stone on the side of the button. The Americans were unable to draw in close enough to score and Canada stole the winning point. 

In other men's competition this morning, Sweden's Niklas Edin rink qualified to the semifinals after defeating Russia, 8-4. They finish the round robin against Team USA tonight at 7. China (6-1) currently sits in second place followed by Canada and Great Britain (5-3), which lost to Norway, 7-6. 

Erika Brown and the American ladies (1-6) will play undefeated Jennifer Jones and her Canadian teammates this afternoon at 2 p.m. as the round robin winds down. The top four teams in each division will advance to the playoffs.

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).

For live scoring and standings, go to 

USA line score:
USA (Shuster) 002 201 010 0 - 6 
*Canada (Jacobs) 210 020 002 1 - 8
*last rock in first end

Men's Draw 10 results: Canada 8, USA 6; Norway 7, Great Britain 6; Sweden 8, Russia 4

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

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

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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