By Karen Price | April 06, 2019, 2:54 p.m. (ET)

Team Shuster competes at the Olympic Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 28, 2019 in Gangneung, South Korea. 

 

Just when it looked like the U.S. men’s curling team was about to have its title quest squashed by Japan, Team Shuster engineered a last-minute comeback to force an extra end at the World Men’s Curling Championship in Lethbridge, Alberta, on Saturday.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to prolong Team Shuster’s playoff appearance any further.

Japan scored in the 11th end for a 7-6 victory that ended Team Shuster’s run at a world championship title to go along with the gold medal won at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

Trailing 6-4 in the 10th end, Team Shuster scored its first deuce of the game to tie the score and play on. Unable to come away with a steal as they did twice earlier in the match, however, John Shuster, Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner, who competed together at the Olympics, along with Chris Plys and Korey Dropkin finished the tournament with an 8-5 record. 

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This was the Americans’ fourth straight appearance in the playoffs at the world championships. It came roughly 12 hours after wrapping up round-robin play with a win over Norway that secured the No. 5 seed. Japan was seeded fourth. 

Team Shuster and Japan played one another Thursday with the U.S. cruising to a 10-4 victory, but Saturday’s contest was a different affair.

Japan started with the hammer and the U.S. limited its foe to just two points, but drew for a single to make it 2-1 in the second end. Team Shuster evened it up with a steal in the third end but Japan’s deuce in the fourth once again made it a two-point advantage. Held to a single in the fifth, the U.S. went into the half trailing 4-3.

A steal to start the sixth tied the score again, but although Team Shuster limited Japan to a single in the seventh, but the Americans couldn’t take advantage on offense. Japan went into the 10th end with a 6-4 lead.

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.