Switzerland halts USA win streak in Lethbridge

By Terry L. Davis | April 02, 2019, 7:27 p.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 2, 2019

 

Switzerland puts stop to USA win streak at 2019 World Men’s Championship

 

(LETHBRIDGE, Alta.) – Team USA’s four-game win streak came to a screeching halt after a disastrous ninth end against Switzerland led to a loss this afternoon at the 2019 Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship.

 

Up until the ninth, John Shuster (Superior, Wis.) and teammates Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), and John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.) had a very nice game going against Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz rink.

 

However, a series of misses by the U.S. led to the Swiss making a takeout to score four points that fueled a 7-4 victory over the Americans at the ENMAX Centre.

 

“If we keep playing like that – eliminate that bad end – life is pretty good. Even if we had given them two or three. I think we curled less than 50 percent that end,” Coach Don Bartlett said about the ninth end. “You just can’t do that – you can do it with the hammer, but you can’t do it without the hammer. The eighth end before, Switzerland had a horrible end – but they had the hammer and we only stole one. You just can’t have that bad of an end without the hammer.”

 

Despite the shaky ninth end, the U.S team shot 89 percent and are still in a comfortable position with a 4-2 record in the 12-game round robin. Switzerland kept is perfect record intact to improve to 6-0 to keep pace with Canada’s Kevin Koe rink.

 

“They’ve been playing really good – even the game we lost, the first game, the other skip made about six or seven great freezes so sometimes you just have to tip your hat,” Bartlett said. “In this game we were 89 (percent) even with that bad ninth end so we’re curling really good. The front end was in the 90s so it was just a bad time to have a bad end.”

 

With Benoit Schwarz throwing last rocks, Switzerland overcame a strong first end by the U.S. with a nice double takeout to score two. The Americans countered with a deuce of their own when Shuster made a takeout in the second.

 

After three blank ends where the U.S. team wouldn’t allow Switzerland to get a good end set up, the American men continued its defense and solid shot-making into the second half to force Switzerland to make a draw into the full four-foot against four U.S. stones to score a single point. A missed takeout from the U.S. late in the seventh end forced Shuster to make a precise draw to the button to score one and avoid a steal.

 

Team USA got a rock in good position in the four-foot in the eighth end to set up a steal as Schwarz’s takeout attempt with the final stone whizzed by and out the back of the house.

 

A series of misses by the U.S. team in the ninth end, however, spelled disaster. The Swiss had four stones in the house and Shuster’s freeze attempt to a Swiss rock in the four-foot was left in the open for Schwarz to pick out to score a game-changing four points.

 

The U.S. tried in earnest to set up a big end in the 10th but Schwarz was able to double out the two U.S. stones that were nearly frozen together in the back of the house for the win.

 

The U.S. team has the night draw off and returns to the ice on Wednesday morning to take on Italy’s Joel Retornaz (3-2) and will follow up with an afternoon game against China (1-5).

 

Line score:

*Switzerland     200 001 004 x – 7

USA                     020 000 110 x – 4

*last rock in first end

 

Other Draw 10 session scores: Russia 7, China 1; Norway 9, Netherlands 4; Canada 7, Germany 4

 

Draw 9 session scores (9 a.m. today): Scotland 6, Sweden 5; Japan 8, Korea 7 (EE); Italy 10, Norway 4

 

Standings:

Canada               6-0

Switzerland        6-0

Japan                  5-1

Sweden              5-1

USA                     4-2

Italy                     3-2

Scotland             2-3

Netherlands      2-4

Russia                 2-4

China                  1-5

Germany            1-5

Norway               1-5

Korea                  0-6

 

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):

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:

Switzerland 7, USA 4

USA 10, Russia 3

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).