USA men secure win as Olympic round robin begins

By Terry L. Davis | Feb. 13, 2018, 10:57 p.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 14, 2018

USA men open with win as Olympic team curling competition gets underway

(GANGNEUNG, South Korea) – Donning their new white pants that are already turning heads and making waves on social media, the American men were victorious in their debut today at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

John Shuster (Superior, Wis.) and Team USA took down host Korea, 11-7, in an offense-fueled battle this morning at the Gangneung Curling Centre.

Definitely not the best we can put out there, but very solid,” said Shuster, a four-time Olympian. “We executed the basic shots and when we got misses and half shots from the other team we capitalized on it. We wanted to focus on rock positioning and take advantage of any nerves that maybe those guys might have coming out there – and we executed on both those things very solidly today.”

Shuster (Superior, Wis.) and his team of Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), and John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.) got off to a solid start, securing a deuce in the opening end as they took advantage of a mistake by Chang-Min Kim’s team to set the tone.

An early mistake from the U.S. in the second end allowed Korea to quickly set up a deuce in a very straight-forward end as the guards were peeled early on. A nice hit and roll with Shuster’s first stone of the third end followed by a successful raise gave the Americans three points as they took a 5-2 lead. A great double takeout by Shuster in the fourth end thwarted Korea’s attempt for another deuce as they were forced to draw for a single point.

The U.S. played a solid fifth end and placed three more points on the board when the Shuster drew the eight-foot with the final stone. Korea came out firing in the sixth end and took advantage of two take-outs that were only half productive for the U.S. The Korean team would eventually have an open draw to score three points of their own.

Back with the hammer advantage, the U.S. had a deuce in play in the seventh end but had to work hard to earn it after Kim’s hit and roll left his stone near perfectly behind a center guard in the four-foot. Shuster’s final stone was the right combination of weight and precision as the U.S. tapped it back to secure another deuce. More consistent shooting from the U.S. limited Korea to a draw for a single point in the eighth end.

A gaffe on a missed peel by the Americans late in the ninth end allowed Korea to place two stones behind a corner guard, eventually forcing the U.S. to draw for a single. With a four-point lead heading into the final end, the U.S. ran Korea out of rocks to seal the win.

The U.S. team shot 85 percent in the win, welcoming back Hamilton after his mixed doubles competition, who shot 93 percent.

“Mostly I am just glad I got some game experience in the Olympics and I think that really helped me going out here. I didn’t feel any nerves and I was just ready to play some curling matches,” Hamilton said.

The debut of the white pants worn by the U.S. men were off course of the normal black pants most countries typically wear.

“I think that actually helped us relax a bit too, we came out there nice and loose and had a few laughs about it … I think is was last week in Japan [during training] that we decided ‘maybe give the white on white a try’… you are not going to compete with the Norwegians that’s for sure. I think we are looking good out there!” Shuster said.

“Nike sent us some color options and I saw white and I said, guys ‘We might as well,’ even if we don’t wear them. We were reluctant at first, but I got them to try them on yesterday and we love the way it looks – I do, too – I think they are great,” Hamilton said.

Up next for the U.S. men will be Italy (0-1) at 2:05 p.m. KT on Thursday. The Italian men’s team lost to Canada’s Kevin Koe today, 5-3. Nina Roth and the American women will take the ice this afternoon against Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa at 2:05 p.m.

Line score:

Korea    020 103 010 x – 7

*USA     203 030 201 x –11

Other game scores: Sweden 9, Denmark 5; Canada 5, Italy 3; Great Britain 6, Switzerland 5 (extra end)

Standings:

Canada               1-0

Great Britain      1-0

Sweden              1-0

USA                     1-0

Japan                  0-0

Norway               0-0

Denmark            0-1

Korea                  0-1

Italy                     0-1

Switzerland        0-1

Round robin schedule:

Wednesday, Feb. 14:

USA women vs. Japan (Satsuki Fujisawa), 2:05 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 15:

USA women vs. Great Britain (Eve Muirhead), 9:05 a.m.

USA men vs. Italy (Joel Retornaz), 2:05 p.m.

USA women vs. Switzerland (Silvana Tirinzoni), 8:05 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 16:

USA men vs. Sweden (Niklas Edin), 9:05 a.m.

USA men vs. Denmark (Rasmus Stjerne), 8:05 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 17:

USA women vs. Olympic Athlete From Russia (Victoria Moiseeva), 9:05 a.m.

USA women vs. Canada (Rachel Homan), 8:05 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 18:

USA men vs. Japan (Yusuke Morozumi), 9:05 a.m.

USA men vs. Norway (Thomas Ulsrud), 8:05 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 19:

USA women vs. Denmark (Madeleine Dupont), 9:05 a.m.

USA men vs. Canada (Kevin Koe), 2:05 p.m.

USA women vs. China (Bingyu Wang), 8:05 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 20:

USA women vs. Korea (Eunjung Kim), 2:05 p.m.

USA men vs. Switzerland (Peter de Cruz), 8:05 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 21:

USA men vs. Great Britain (Kyle Smith), 2:05 p.m.

USA women vs. Sweden (Anna Hasselborg), 8:05 p.m.

Playoff schedule:

Thursday, Feb. 22:

Tiebreaker games, if needed, 9:05 a.m.

Men’s semifinals, 8:05 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 23:

Men’s bronze-medal game, 3:35 p.m.

Women’s semifinals, 8:05 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 24:

Men’s gold-medal game, 3:35 p.m.

Women’s bronze-medal game, 8:05 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 25:

Women’s gold-medal game, 9:05 a.m.

USA men round robin results:

USA 11, Korea 7

All games are streaming live at www.nbcolympics.com and on the NBC Sports app with TV coverage live or on tape delay on NBCSN, USA Network and CNBC. A complete schedule is posted at http://www.nbcolympics.com/live-stream-schedule#/.

For more information on the U.S. teams, go to https://www.teamusa.org/usa-curling/2018-us-olympic-curling-team.

To follow along, go to https://www.pyeongchang2018.com/en/game-time/results/OWG2018/en/curling/daily-schedule.htm

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