Canada wins North American battle in Olympic mixed doubles

By Terry L. Davis | Feb. 08, 2018, 8:35 a.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 8, 2018

Canada sweeps past USA in mixed doubles curling

(GANGNEUNG, South Korea) – Team Canada came out on top of the North American battle tonight in mixed doubles as Team USA’s Becca Hamilton and Matt Hamilton suffered their first loss of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

Canada’s Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris capitalized on a few miscues from the Americans midway through the game for a 6-4 win over the Hamilton siblings tonight at the Gangneung Curling Centre.

“I honestly look at it like just another championship game. We went out and played our best game – that was good enough this morning, unfortunately we were on the wrong side of the inch this afternoon,” said Becca Hamilton. “So, we’ll have to tighten up a bit and hopefully get a win tomorrow.”

The Americans out-shot the Canadians 88 percent to 80 with Becca Hamilton shooting a scorching 98 percent in the close loss. “We had one bad end out of 15. So, fix that – we’re going to be a force!” Matt Hamilton said.

Switzerland leads the pack at 2-0 while six teams – including the Americans – are tied for second place at 1-1. The U.S. team will face the Swiss and Korea (1-1) in tomorrow’s round robin action at 8:35 a.m. and 1:35 p.m., respectively.

“We’ll just have to sharpen up a little bit for tomorrow to get some more wins on the board,” Matt Hamilton said.  

The game was a defensive battle for the first half and a series of misses in the fifth put the Canadians in the driver’s set as the Americans were chasing for points thereafter.

“They are a new team so we’ve not played either of them before. I don’t think I’ve ever played John in mixed doubles. I think I’ve played Kaitlyn once,” Matt Hamilton said. “That’s curling. Fun team, fun people. It’s nice to play against them. I don’t mind losing against friends.”

The American team was held to a single point in the opening end as they faced two Canadian stones in the rings and were forced to draw the four-foot to avoid the steal. Canada faced a similar situation in the following end as Lawes had to play a takeout to score just a single point with two American stones in the house.

Team USA was again held to a single point in the third end as Canada positioned stones around the top of the four-foot to make the path to score more than one difficult. The defensive strategy continued into the fourth end and Canada was only able to score a single point to knot the game once again. A series of key misses in the fifth end led to a disastrous finish for the Americans as Canada stole three points. The Americans put the power play to use in the sixth end but were not able to convert a double takeout as they settled for a single point.

Not backing down, the U.S. team stole a point in the seventh end after Becca Hamilton played the perfect weight on a hit to hide her team’s stone behind the center guard. Lawes attempted the same shot in hopes of scoring three, but her stone rubbed on the guard. Canada put the power play to use in the eighth end to ensure the win and were rewarded when Lawes drew for a single point for the win.

In other competition tonight, Jenny Perret and Martin Rios – the reigning world champions – improved to 2-0 with a 7-6 win over Finland (0-2). China’s Rui Wang and Dexin Ba took host Korea to an extra end and earned an 8-7 victory. The Olympic Athletes from Russia defeated Norway, 4-3.

USA line score:

*USA                   101 001 10 – 4

Canada               010 130 01 – 6

*last rock to begin game

Standings:

Switzerland        2-0

Canada               1-1

China                  1-1

Korea                  1-1

Norway               1-1

OAR                     1-1

USA                     1-1

Finland               0-2

Team USA schedule (all times local, +15 CT):

Friday:

  • 8:35 a.m., USA vs. Switzerland (Jenny Perret and Martin Rios)
  • 1:35 p.m., USA vs. Korea (Hyeji Jang and Kijeong Lee)

Saturday:

  • 9:05 a.m., USA vs. China (Rui Wang and Dexin Ba)
  • 8:05 p.m., USA vs. Norway (Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten)

Sunday:

  • 9:05 a.m., USA vs. Finland (Oona Kauste and Tomi Rantamaki)
  • 8:05 p.m., tiebreaker games, if needed

Monday, Feb. 12:

  • 9:05 a.m., semifinal 1
  • 8:05 p.m., semifinal 2

Tuesday, Feb. 13:

  • 9:05 a.m., bronze-medal game
  • 8:05 p.m., gold-medal game

USA round robin results:

USA 9, OAR 3

Canada 6, USA 4

All games will stream live at www.nbcolympics.com with NBC’s TV coverage being live and on tape delay on NBCSN and CNBC. A complete schedule is posted at http://www.nbcolympics.com/live-stream-schedule#/.

Useful links:

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For more information or to request images: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, terry.davis@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile) or 0-104-364-8015 (Korean mobile).