FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2018
Germany rallies to defeat USA in wheelchair curling round robin
(GANGNEUNG, South Korea) – Team USA jumped out to an early lead but was not able to maintain as Germany secured a 6-4 win over the Americans in wheelchair curling round robin action at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
Kirk Black (San Antonio, Texas) and teammates Steve Emt (Hebron, Conn.), Justin Marshall (Evansville, Wis.), and Penny Greely (Green Bay, Wis.) are now 0-2 in the 11-game round robin at the Gangneung Curling Centre after this morning’s loss to Christiane Putzich’s team.
“We improved today. We were off last night and got beat by a great Korean team. Germany played well today and we improved,” said Emt, 48, who is competing in his first Paralympic Games. “We just have to keep on doing that. It’s a long week and we still got nine round robin games ahead of us. We have a game later today against Sweden – another good squad – and as long as we keep on improving and improving, we don’t need to be winning now, we need to get hot and into the top four. If we catch a hot streak we’re going to be just fine.”
The U.S. team got off to a nice start this morning and had productive ends building, scoring three points early on.
“We start out strong and then lose a little oomph,” said Greely, who is playing in her second Winter Paralympic Games. “I don’t know what it is, but we just need to keep that momentum going and plug away. It’s clearly execution. The ice is changing, usually toward the middle of the game it is slowing down, so we need to be quicker on adjusting to that ice temperature and the speed of the ice.
A great hit and roll with Emt’s vice skip stone of the second end placed an American rock behind a cluster of guards to set things up nicely. Black drew into the top of the house with his first skip stone and when Germany missed on its hit-and-roll opportunity, the U.S. drew into the house to score three points.
The U.S. took advantage of Germany’s hitting struggles in the third end, piling granite into the top of the house. Putzich saved the end with a great draw behind the U.S. stones to finally get a stone in scoring position. Black’s takeout attempt was wide, giving Germany a draw for two points to get back into the game. In the fourth end, the U.S. team was chasing from the start and gave up a steal of two points when Black’s takeout left his shooter stone rolling out of the rings. Germany would take one more point from the U.S. in the fifth end when Black’s final draw attempt was light.
The U.S. was in good shape to score multiple points in the sixth end until Emt’s draw attempt made contact with a Germany guard stone and pushed it onto the button. Germany placed a second stone in the rings, forcing Black into a tough draw into the four-foot. The final shot would be a little wide and heavy, settling into the back of the eight-foot to give Germany another point.
A great draw from Emt with his first vice skip stone of the seventh end buried an American stone in the four-foot behind guards. When it came to the final stone, however, there was a wall of granite blocking the path for the U.S. to score additional points. Germany would run the U.S. out of stones in the eighth end to secure their second win of the championship.
“We are lucky about this game. It was a little bit difficult, but we won, so it’s okay,” said Heike Melchior, lead for Team Germany. “I think our draws were better. I’m very happy about that. We started with two wins, it’s great.”
In the only other game being played in session three this morning, Switzerland got past Great Britain, 7-4, to even the team’s record to 1-1. The American team returns to the ice at 7:35 p.m. KST tonight to take on Sweden (0-1).
*USA 030 000 1x – 4
Germany 002 211 0x – 6
*last rock in first end
Round robin standings:
Great Britain 1-1
*Neutral Paralympic Athletes
TV and webstreaming:
All games are streaming live at www.nbcsports.com and on the NBC Sports app with TV coverage on the Olympic Channel and NBCSN. A complete schedule is posted at https://www.teamusa.org/US-Paralympics/Features/2018/February/27/NBC-Announces-Commentators-For-2018-Paralympic-Winter-Games.
Round robin schedule (all times local KST):
Monday, March 12:
2:35 p.m., USA vs. Finland
7:35 p.m., USA vs. Neutral Paralympic Athletes
Tuesday, March 13:
2:35 p.m., USA vs. China
7:35 p.m., USA vs. Canada
Wednesday, March 14:
9:35 a.m., USA vs. Switzerland
2:35 p.m., USA vs. Great Britain
Thursday, March 15:
9:35 a.m., USA vs. Norway
7:35 p.m., USA vs. Slovakia
Friday, March 16:
9:35 a.m., tiebreaker games, if needed
3:35 p.m., semifinals
Saturday, March 17:
9:35 a.m., bronze-medal game
2:35 p.m., gold-medal game
USA round robin results:
Korea 7, USA 3
Germany 6, USA 4
Useful event links:
For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, email@example.com, 608-338-9900 (mobile).