By Karen Price | April 06, 2018, 12:56 a.m. (ET)
Team Persinger (L-R: Philip Tilker, Rich Ruohonen, Colin Hufman and Greg Persinger celebrate during a round-robin game against Italy at the 2018 World Men's Curling Championship on April 5, 2018 in Las Vegas.

 

The U.S. men’s curling team is on a bona fide comeback run at the world championship after an unexpected 6-5 victory over defending world champion Canada on Thursday night in Las Vegas.

The U.S. men had not beaten Canada at a world championship since 2007.

Canada came into the game with an 8-1 record and a spot in the six-team playoffs already locked down. Team USA, on the other hand, had just won its second game in a row earlier in the day following a six-game losing streak to improve to 3-6.

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Yet the two teams went into the 10th end with the score tied and the U.S. with the hammer. They drew for the win and kept their playoff hopes alive with games remaining against Switzerland and China to close out round-robin play on Friday.

Team Greg Persinger opened the game with a single, then Canada responded with the open takeout for two points in the second end for a 2-1 lead. Team USA tied it in the third, and Canada had a shot at three points and a commanding lead in the fourth end but the runback didn’t work and instead the U.S. came out with a point to take a 3-2 lead.

The score was tied again at the break, 3-3, and Team Persinger’s deuce in the seventh end gave the U.S. its biggest lead of the game. Canada missed the chance for a deuce in the eighth but then found success in the ninth to tie it, 5-5, going into the 10th.

Canada’s team, skipped by 2006 Olympic champion Brad Gushue, is the same team that won the world championships in 2017. Canada is seeking its 37th world title, by far the most in the world, while the U.S. is seeking its fifth and first since 1978.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.