The U.S. men’s curling team has an uphill battle to make the playoffs at the world curling championship this weekend, but the Americans kept hope alive with a 5-3 win over Italy on Thursday night at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
It was the second victory in a row for skip Greg Persinger and teammates Rich Ruohonen, Colin Hufman and Philip Tilker after snapping a six-game losing streak to improve to 2-6 on Wednesday night. Going into the second game of Thursday against 8-1 Canada, which is one of three teams already qualified for the playoffs, the U.S. was tied for eighth place. Only the top six teams will make the playoffs at the conclusion of the round-robin.
But the U.S. men are hoping to follow the example of the U.S. women, who snuck into the last playoff spot at 6-6 and made it to the bronze-medal game of the women’s world championship last month.
The U.S. took a 1-0 lead in the second end and Italy, which entered the game with a 3-6 record, tied it in the third. Team USA had to settle for another single in the fifth but entered the second half of the game with a 2-1 lead.
Italy would tie the score 3-3 with a great shot in the eighth end but the U.S. stole two in the 10th for the victory.
Team USA’s remaining games following Canada will be against China and Switzerland on Friday.