FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 11, 2018
USA finishes seventh in Olympic mixed doubles curling
(GANGNEUNG, South Korea) – Team USA’s Becca Hamilton and Matt Hamilton finished seventh after a loss to Finland today to conclude the mixed doubles round robin at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
The American sibling duo from McFarland, Wis., had opportunities again today to take down their opponent but couldn’t capitalize at the right time at the Gangneung Curling Centre.
“We missed a lot of the crucial shots when we needed to [make them]. It’s more going to be about capitalizing on mistakes from the other team when we move forward and knowing that it’s all about making the right shots and not all of the shots,” said Matt Hamilton, who plays second for the men’s Olympic curling team.
It was the first win for the Finnish duo, Oona Kauste and Tomi Rantamaki, who also beat the U.S. team at last spring’s World Mixed Doubles Championship to take away a medal hope.
Canada (6-1) defeated Korea, 7-3, to secure the No. 1 semifinal seed. They’ll face the winner of the tiebreaker game tonight between China (4-3) and Norway (4-3). Switzerland secured the No. 2 playoff berth with a come-from-behind win over OAR (4-3). Those two teams will face one another in the semifinals tomorrow.
The Americans will now focus on women’s and men’s team competition, which begins with practice on Tuesday. The first draw of the round robin will follow on Wednesday.
“I would say I am let down a little bit. But, I am not concerned at all going forward. I learned a lot on the ice that I am ready to take forward to my women’s team as well,” said Becca Hamilton, who plays lead for the women’s Olympic curling team.
The American duo got off to a shaky start and couldn’t take advantage of opportunities to score multiple points. The U.S. had a shot for three points in the opening end but didn’t hit the right side of the stone and ended up giving Finland a point instead. In the following end, the U.S. had a draw for two if they could reach the side of the button but were a few inches light and settled for a single. The Americans got a rock buried in the four-foot to fluster Finland with throughout the third end. The final result was a single steal for the U.S. as they took their first – and only – lead of the game.
A great double takeout with Becca Hamilton’s final stone of the fourth end forced Finland to convert a takeout to score just a point. Finland countered with a steal in the fifth end as the U.S. had no shot available to score so Becca Hamilton threw the final stone away. The Americans used their power play in the sixth end but the first stone was heavy and swept out of the rings and the chance to score multiple points quickly slipped away. Finland used its power play in the seventh end and capitalized on a few miscues from the U.S. team to set up a big end in which they scored four points. The U.S. team wasn’t able to produce the same as they endured their fifth loss.
“It’s a tough stage to play on, but at the same time we were ready for it,” Matt Hamilton said. “We didn’t quite maximize on our opportunities. Hopefully, we’ll be able to move forward and join with our men’s and women’s team and really put on a good show for everybody.”
Finland 100 110 40 – 7
*USA 011 001 02 – 5
*last rock to begin game
Other game scores: China 9, Norway 3; Canada 7, Korea 3; Switzerland 9, OAR 8
6. Korea 2-5
7. USA 2-5
8. Finland 1-6
Q=Qualified for playoffs
TB=To play tiebreaker game for #4 playoff seed
USA round robin results:
USA 9, OAR 3
Canada 6, USA 4
Switzerland 9, USA 4
Korea 9, USA 1
China 6, USA 4
USA 10, Norway 3
Finland 7, USA 5
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