USA wins third straight game in Lethbridge

By Terry L. Davis | April 01, 2019, 7:46 p.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 1, 2019

 

American men now 3-1 at 2019 World Men’s Championship

 

(LETHBRIDGE, Alta.) – There were no April Fool’s Day pranks to be played today as it was all business for John Shuster and the American men as they methodically made shot after shot in a 9-8 victory over Scotland at the 2019 Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship.

 

It was the third straight win for Shuster (Superior, Wis.) and teammates Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), and John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.) as they improved to 3-1 in the 12-game round robin at the ENMAX Centre.

 

“I’m really happy with the way the guys are throwing the rock and communication has picked up right where we left off at our Nationals as we got the win there,” Shuster said.

 

It was a tight game with Scotland’s Bruce Mouat rink – last year’s world bronze medalist – as both sides shot well (USA at 87 percent, Scotland at 85 percent).

 

“Obviously, when you’re at the world championships, every win is a big one – every one is a tough one. When you’re playing against a Top 5 team in the world like Bruce Mouat, if you can win those ones a lot of times you can get yourself a half step in front of the competition,” said Shuster, who led the Americans to gold at the Olympic Games in PyeongChang last year.

 

Scotland had the early edge, but the U.S. controlled the middle ends and overcame a late-game big end by Scotland to pick up win No. 3.

 

“I think our confidence is growing. Yesterday was a really good day. I still thought we started off slow today – John was saving us – so if we can bring all four of us out there in the first and second ends and start off strong, I think that’ll take it even above and beyond the confidence that we have had,” said Landsteiner, a two-time Olympian and world bronze medalist (2016).

 

After Scotland opened the game with a deuce, the U.S. worked hard to even the scoreboard as Shuster converted an angle runback to score two. The U.S. exchanged hits with Scotland in the third end with Mouat being forced into a draw to score one. A shaky fourth end found the U.S. men drawing against five. Shuster handled the pressure well and drew down to the button to resurrect the end as they scored a single point.

 

It was Team USA’s time to apply pressure in the fifth end as they held Scotland to another single. The sixth end started to move toward another force, but the U.S. capitalized on a missed freeze attempt from Scotland with Mouat’s last stone to make a double takeout and score three points. A well-played seventh end by the U.S. men forced Scotland into another single as the U.S. team continued to control the game.

 

The eighth was heading toward a blank end but Shuster ended up being forced to draw against two to score one. The game momentarily changed in favor of Scotland in the ninth end after a key miss with Shuster’s final stone allowed Mouat to draw in for three points and an 8-7 lead.

 

A well-played 10th end from the U.S., which was highlighted by a fantastic double takeout with Shuster’s first skip stone, set the Americans up for the win. When Mouat’s last draw came up short, the U.S team did not need to throw the final stone with the winning stones in place already.

 

“I was proud of the guys to come out there and make six out of six in front of me there in the last end to give me that chance,” Shuster said.

 

The loss knocked Scotland down to 1-3 in the round robin standings.

 

“These losses aren’t easy to take,” Mouat said. “We’re not making 100 percent shots, we’re only making 75 percent and we need to start making 100 percent. A lot of teams are playing really well against us, we’re struggling to pick up our twos. We’re still looking to qualify – we’re not out of it yet, we’ve only played four games. We’ll definitely try to string a few wins together and see if we can get to 7-5 or even better.”

 

The U.S. men will have a quick turnaround as they face Russia’s Sergey Glukhov at 7 tonight. The Russians picked up their first win earlier today as they defeated Korea, 6-4, in an extra end. Scotland has the evening session off.

 

Line score:

USA                     020 103 010 2 – 9

*Scotland           201 010 103 0 – 8

*last rock in first end

 

Other Draw 7 session scores: Canada 10, Norway 2; Italy 8, China 2; Switzerland 7, Netherlands 6

 

Draw 6 session scores: Sweden 8, Germany 2; Russia 6, Korea 4 (extra end); Japan 9, Netherlands 7 (extra end)

 

Standings:

Canada               5-0

Japan                  4-0

Sweden              4-0

Switzerland        4-0

USA                     3-1

Italy                     2-2

Netherlands      2-3

Scotland             1-3

Germany            1-3

Russia                 1-3

China                  0-4

Korea                  0-4

Norway               0-4

 

How to watch: In partnership with World Curling TV, the Olympic Channel and NBCSN are providing live coverage of eight of Team USA’s 12 round robin games plus the playoffs. To see the complete schedule, go to https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Curling/Features/2019/March/26/TV-schedule-for-World-Mens-Championship.

 

Live scores & social media: Live scores are posted at http://www.worldcurling.org/wmcc2019. USA Curling is posting game recaps and photos after each U.S. game at www.usacurl.org. The official event hashtags are #wmcc2019 and #curling.

 

Playoff format: At the conclusion of the 12-game round robin, the top six teams will advance to the playoffs. The teams ranked No. 1 and No. 2 will move directly to the semifinals. The other four playoff rinks will compete in qualification playoffs. The winners of the semifinals move on to the gold-medal game while the losing sides compete for bronze.

 

Team USA schedule (all times local, Mountain Time):

Monday, 7 p.m.: USA vs. Russia (Sergey Glukhov)

Tuesday, 2 p.m.: USA vs. Switzerland (Peter de Cruz)

Wednesday, 9 a.m.: USA vs. Italy (Joel Retornaz)

Wednesday, 2 p.m.: USA vs. China (Qiang Zou)

Thursday, 9 a.m.: USA vs. Canada (Kevin Koe)

Thursday, 7 p.m.: USA vs. Japan (Yuta Matsumura)

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

Friday, 7 p.m.: USA vs. Norway (Magnus Ramsfjell)

 

Round robin results:

USA 9, Scotland 8

USA 8, Germany 6

USA 6, Korea 3

Netherlands 6, USA 5

 

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomOS, Toyota, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Carhartt, CryoMAX 8-Hour Cold Pack, Sitrin, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, Thorne, ISS (Ice, Sports & Solar), and Twin Cities Orthopedics, and is partnered with Brakebush, Laurie Artiss Ltd. – The Pin People, United Airlines, 12th End Sports Network, IHG, and CurlingZone.

 

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For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, terry.davis@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile).