USA men finish 9th in Sochi

By Terry Kolesar | Feb. 17, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
Feb. 17, 2014

USA men finish ninth at 2014 Olympic Winter Games

(SOCHI, Russia) - John Shuster and the U.S. men hoped to leave the Ice Cube Curling Center on good terms but the curling Gods just wouldn't have it that way as the American men concluded the 2014 Olympic Winter Games with a 6-3 loss to Switzerland as the round robin concluded this afternoon.

"We didn't generate a lot of offense. We didn't always get the rocks in great places. I threw a lot of really difficult shots this week. I don't remember any other event I've been in where I had that many. But that's what happens when you get behind and you're trying to generate points," Shuster said about the team's performance in Sochi.

With today's loss to Sven Michel's team, Shuster (Duluth, Minn.) and teammates Jeff Isaacson (Gilbert, Minn.), Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.), John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.), and Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.) finished with a 2-7 record for ninth place. 

"We're doing what we can. We certainly tried to get ourselves in position to win out there. I know it was frustrating for everyone to watch, but we did what we could," said Isaacson, 30, a middle school science teacher. 

Switzerland got out to an early lead on the Americans, just like the previous eight matches for the U.S. men.

"We didn't get off to a good start. That pretty much sums up the week. Behind, behind, behind. We were always chasing," Isaacson said. 

The U.S. held Switzerland to a single in the opening end but the Swiss then capitalized on a miss by the U.S. in the second to steal a point. 

After the third end was blanked, the U.S. men were forced to draw for a single as the Swiss situated two stones in the back of the rings. 

The American men had an opportunity to score two points in the sixth but Shuster's tap attempt didn't move the U.S. stone in the top of the four-foot close enough.

Switzerland took a three-point lead when Michel was able to draw into the back of the four-foot after Shuster's raise attempt didn't move the Swiss stone out of scoring position.

The Swiss lead was extended to four after a single steal in the eighth end. Desperately needing a deuce, Shuster played a raise on a half buried Switzerland stone in the back of the house but couldn't remove enough of it and his shooter stone rolled to the back of the house.

The American men were forced to make a takeout for a single point in the ninth end. Down three points and without the last rock, the U.S. ran out of rocks in their attempt to force an extra end.

"We got a little behind the eight ball again. They're a good team. They're not European champions for nothing," Shuster said about the Swiss (3-6). 

Sweden (8-1), Canada (7-2), and China (7-2) are through to the semifinals. Great Britain and Norway both lost this afternoon to finish tied for fourth place so they will play in a tiebreaker tomorrow at 9 a.m. to determine the final playoff team. 

The ninth and 10th place finishes by the U.S. teams here in Sochi are similar to 2010's results in Vancouver. 

Asked what USA needs to do to move up in the ranks: "We have five teams in the top 50 on the World Curling Tour, which we haven't had probably ever before. But at the same time we don't have any in the top 10. We as athletes have to push each other. Funding is always an issue," Shuster said. 

"Personally, if I had a chance to be a full-time curler, for curling to be my job, I'd jump at it," Shuster said. 

For live scoring and standings, go to 

USA line score:
*Switzerland (Michel) 110 010 210 x - 6 
USA (Shuster) 000 101 001 x - 3 
*last rock in first end

Men's Draw 12 results: Denmark 5, Norway 3; Switzerland 6, USA 3; Russia 8, Germany 7; China 6, Great Britain 5

Standings, Men:
Sweden 8-1*
Canada 7-2*
China 7-2*
Great Britain 5-4**
Norway 5-4**
Denmark 4-5
Russian Fed. 3-6
Switzerland 3-6
USA 2-7
Germany 1-8
*clinched semifinal berth
** to play tiebreaker game at 9 a.m. Tuesday

Standings, Women:
Canada 8-0*
Sweden 6-2*
Great Britain 5-3
China 4-4
Japan 4-4
Switzerland 4-4
Denmark 3-5
Korea 3-5
Russia 3-6
USA 1-8
*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 
+1-719-207-5083 (mobile-Russia)

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

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