American ladies just miss out on playoff berth

By Terry L. Davis | Feb. 21, 2018, 9:34 a.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 21, 2018

American ladies just miss out on playoff berth

(GANGNEUNG, South Korea) – The stars were aligning for Nina Roth and Team USA to force a tiebreaker game but in the end, Sweden triumphed to cut short the Americans’ run at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

When Switzerland defeated Japan tonight one sheet over, Roth (McFarland, Wis.) and teammates Tabitha Peterson (St. Paul, Minn.), Aileen Geving (Duluth, Minn.), and Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) needed to steal a point to defeat Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg in order to keep playing at the Gangneung Curling Centre. However, a couple of hiccups in the final two ends cost the U.S. team a chance to move on.  

“We had our fate in our hands and didn’t quite finish it out and execute. We battled back after a difficult first end very well. Sometimes it doesn’t quite work out for us. It didn’t,” Roth said. “I am just very proud of how my team played. We handled the pressure like it was nothing and came out swinging against almost every team. There aren’t many games that I would take back. I am just proud of how we played. We hung in there. We had our chance.”

The U.S. team, which also includes Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minn.), Coach Al Hackner (Thunder Bay, Ontario) and Coach Scott Baird (Bemidji, Minn.), finished eighth overall.

“It was a tough road. Unfortunately, we gave them three points in the first end and we battled back to where we had some good chance to score two in the ninth end. Then a couple of poorly thrown rocks didn’t quite work out for us,” Hackner said. “We were forced to one and Nina made a good shot with her last one. We had things sort of going in that last end. All in all, Hasselborg’s a very good team and we had a chance to beat them.”

The four wins by Roth’s team here in South Korea are more than the win total combined at the last two Olympic Games.

“We battled back very well. We just couldn’t finish it off, unfortunately. We played well all week, we just didn’t get some of the outcomes we were hoping for,” Peterson said. “I think we performed well. A lot of our games were really close. We had a chance in all of them. I think we are going to come out of this proud. But, we are going to come out of it hungry for 2022.”

Top-ranked host Korea (8-1) will take on Japan (5-4) while Sweden (7-2) will battle Great Britain (6-3) in Friday night’s semifinals. The winning teams will advance to Sunday’s gold-medal game.

You learn a lot – wins and losses. Sometimes you learn more from the losses – when to take an extra second, when to really talk through shots and keying in on those moments might make the difference,” Geving said.

Hasselborg’s team got off to a very nice start as they took advantage of a draw by Roth that didn’t curl enough to conclude the opening end with a takeout to score three points. Team USA answered in the second end with a draw for two points. The two sides held one another to singles in the following two ends but Sweden still had control of the match. Sweden was nearly heavy enough with its final draw of the fifth end to give up a steal, but after an official measure, the Swedes earned a point to take a 5-3 lead into the break.

The first U.S. stone of the sixth end slipped into the rings instead of being placed as a guard. The U.S. wasn’t able to set anything up so the end was blanked. A well-executed seventh end rewarded the Americans with a takeout to score two points and even the scoreboard. The U.S. kept the momentum in the eighth end and great shooting left three of their stones in the rings. Sweden was eventually forced to make a takeout to score one.

The U.S. went for the deuce in the ninth end with a great freeze with Hamilton’s second stone of the end. Sweden was able to duplicate, however, and the U.S. eventually had to make a difficult draw through a port to tap Sweden’s shot rock out to secure a point and tie the game. In the 10th, the U.S. missed a key shot early on and struggled with draw weight with the final two stones as Sweden was able to keep a stone in scoring position for the whole end.

“The weight was great, it was a straighter spot on the ice, sometimes it doesn’t catch the curl,” Geving said about Roth’s final stone.

“We definitely had our chance. With Switzerland winning, this put us in a chance for a tiebreaker. We just couldn’t pull it out the win at the end of the day. It just came down to that last end,” Hamilton said.

“I was so nervous watching. They’ve played so well all week and to just come up short like that is really too bad,” Christensen said. “The first end got away from us a little bit, which was unfortunate. Other than that, we stuck with it and played so well.”

The U.S. men will hit the ice at 8 p.m. KT on Thursday against Canada in the men’s semifinals with a chance to play for a gold medal on the line.

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

Line score:

*Sweden            301 010 010 3 – 9

USA                     020 100 201 0 – 6

*last rock in first end

Other game scores: Korea 9, Denmark 3; Switzerland 8, Japan 4; Canada 9, OAR 8

Women’s standings:

Korea                  8-1Q

Sweden              7-2Q

Great Britain      6-3Q

Japan                  5-4Q

5. China              4-5

6. Canada           4-5

7. Switzerland   4-5

8. USA                 4-5

9. OAR                2-7

10. Denmark     1-8

Q=qualified for semifinals

Men’s standings:

Sweden              7-2Q

Canada               6-3Q

USA                     5-4Q

Great Britain      5-4TB

Switzerland        5-4TB

6. Norway          4-5

7. Korea              4-5

8. Japan              4-5

9. Italy                 3-6

10. Denmark     2-7

Q=Qualified for semifinals

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 9, Canada 7

USA 8, Switzerland 4

USA 10, Great Britain 4

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

USA 7, Denmark 6

USA 10, China 4

Korea 9, USA 6

Sweden 9, USA 6

Playoff schedule:

Thursday:

Men’s tiebreaker game, Switzerland vs. Great Britain, 9:05 a.m.

Men’s semifinals, USA vs. Canada and Sweden vs. winner of tiebreaker game, 8:05 p.m.

Friday:

Men’s bronze-medal game, 3:35 p.m.

Women’s semifinals, 8:05 p.m.

Saturday:

Men’s gold-medal game, 3:35 p.m.

Women’s bronze-medal game, 8:05 p.m.

Sunday:

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).