Norway sends American men to fourth Olympic loss

Feb. 18, 2018, 9:32 a.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 18, 2018

Norway hands American men fourth loss of round robin

(GANGNEUNG, South Korea) – John Shuster and Team USA suffered a second loss today in round robin play as Norway defeated the Americans, 8-5, at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

The loss tonight to Thomas Ulsrud’s team puts Shuster (Superior, Wis.) and his team of Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), and John Landsteiner (McFarland, Wis.) toward the bottom of the standings with a 2-4 record at the Gangneung Curling Centre.

“It was hugely disappointing. We knew the ice was going to be different because the icemakers decided to do something different. It was a challenge out there for everybody,” Shuster said. “You saw a lot of very routine missed shots by both teams. It just so happened that a couple of ours cost us a bunch of points. They textured the rocks and they said they needed to do it for the integrity of the ice. We knew it happened and they told us. But, it really changed the way you had to throw the rock. It was a wild ride, and I was over-curling everything I threw today.”

Three opponents remain in the round robin for the American men – Canada (4-2), Switzerland (4-2) and Great Britain (3-3).

“We got our toughest game of the week against Canada. We got to bring our A game; we got some really good end set up tonight. We just need to carry that forward to the second half and put a few more points on the board,” said Coach Phill Drobnick (Eveleth, Minn.). “It’s disappointing. We are not where we would like to be. We would like to have a couple more wins. We’re at four losses and five and four could get a tie breaker, could even get in the playoffs. We just need to come with a good game plan against Canada tomorrow. It’s a team we’ve had a bit of luck with this year. We’ve beat them once. When we’ve scored early and gotten the lead early, we’ve been successful.”

Neither side shot all that well tonight with Norway have a 77 to 73 percent advantage. The win for Norway was their second on the day as they kept their playoff hopes alive.

“This was a game that could’ve gone both ways. I think to sum it up, John was a little bit unfortunate, he had a shot for three in the fifth end, it over-curled. We had a difficult shot for three in the sixth and we made it. So that’s three points he didn’t take and three points that we took,” Ulsrud said. “They touched up the rocks. So there was a little bit more swing on the rocks today because this was the first match after that. I think that’s just what caught John. Because they were swinging a little bit more. We had a couple of misses also but it wasn’t that crucial. We were able to catch onto it a little bit faster than them.”

The U.S. team had a so-so first end and had to take a point as their deuce opportunity was not there. The U.S. team’s final stone of the second end rolled out after a takeout, allowing Norway to draw for two points. The Americans answered when they were able to capitalize on a mistake by their opponent as they drew in for two points to take what would turn out to be their only lead of the game.

Norway was forced to make a hit and stay to collect a point in the fourth end. A fantastic double takeout with Shuster’s first stone of the fifth end positioned the U.S. for multiple points. But, a big miss with the final stone took a chance for three points down to a single point. Norway took its biggest lead in the sixth end after a hit and roll with Ulsrud’s final rock bumped the second U.S. stone just enough out of the way to secure three points.

The U.S. played a shaky seventh end and Shuster was staring down three Norwegian stones with the final rock. The Americans’ double takeout attempt went afoul, and Norway took a point. In similar fashion in the eighth end – the U.S. needed to clear out two stones to score and only removed one. The U.S. team had an opportunity for the deuce in the ninth end but again the double takeout just wouldn’t be had as the U.S. only scored one and opted to concede the loss.

“You need to be sharp and make your shots. And we weren’t sharp there,” Hamilton said. “They tinkered with the rocks a little bit and that threw us off. Both teams got to play on it, but they got a handle on it faster than we did.”

For a complete photo gallery from each game, go to https://www.facebook.com/teamusacurl.

Line score:

*USA                   102 010 001 x – 5

Norway               020 103 110 x – 8

*last rock in first end

Other game scores: Sweden 11, Japan 4; Denmark 9, Korea 8 (extra end); Great Britain 7, Italy 6 (extra end)

Men’s standings:

Sweden              6-0

Canada               4-2

Switzerland        4-2

Great Britain      3-3

Japan                  3-3

Norway               3-3

Denmark            2-4

Italy                     2-4

USA                     2-4

Korea                  1-5

Women’s standings:

Sweden              5-0

Japan                  4-1

Korea                  4-1

China                  3-3

Great Britain      3-3

Canada               2-3

USA                     2-3

Denmark            1-4

OAR                     1-4

Switzerland        1-4

USA men’s round robin results:

USA 11, Korea 7

Italy 10, USA 9

Sweden 10, USA 4

USA 9, Denmark 5

Japan 8, USA 2

Norway 8, USA 5

USA women’s round robin results:

Japan 10, USA 5

USA 7, Great Britain 4

Switzerland 6, USA 5

USA 7, OAR 6 (extra end)

Canada 11, USA 3

Round robin schedule:

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.

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).