Canada outlasts USA in round robin play in Lethbridge

By Terry L. Davis | April 04, 2019, 2:44 p.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 4, 2019

 

Canada outlasts USA at 2019 World Men’s Championship

 

(LETHBRIDGE, Alta.) – In the battle of North America this morning at the 2019 Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship it was Team Canada that snapped its two-game losing skid as they defeated John Shuster’s United States rink, 6-3.

 

Shuster (Superior, Wis.) and teammates Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), and John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.) had Canada chasing in the first half as they limited their offense but a few missed shots in the second half gave Koe’s team the advantage.

 

“We’re playing great as a team and that game came down to a little bit of execution on our end,” Shuster said. “We had those guys throwing runbacks for the first five ends. We just have to come back and execute better.”

 

Koe’s Canadian rink dropped both of its matches yesterday but are now 7-2 in the round robin and in good shape to advance to Saturday’s playoffs. Japan (8-1) and Sweden (8-1) lead the pack at the ENMAX Centre.

 

“I can’t remember the last time we lost three in a row so that would have been pretty deflating,” said Koe, who won the world title in 2010 and 2016.

 

At 6-3, the U.S. men control their own destiny with three games remaining to secure the country’s fourth straight trip to the playoffs. The U.S. is currently tied with Italy for fifth place. The top six countries advance to the next round.

 

“Our front three guys out-played their front three guys the whole game. I rolled out on a deuce and I rolled out to let them off the hook with a blank. I just wasn’t sharp hitting the first half of the game.

The other guys played awesome,” Shuster said. Both Canada and the U.S. shot 88 percent in this match.

 

Team USA will take on Japan’s Yuta Matsumura rink tonight at 7 MT and close out the round robin on Friday against Sweden and Norway (2-7).

 

“I played much better in the second half than the first so I’m looking forward to playing Japan,” said Shuster, who shot 76 percent in the loss – well below is tournament average of 85, which is second among the 13 competing skips.

 

The first half of the match featured two singles and three blank ends. A fine opening end from the U.S. forced Canada to draw for a single point. The U.S. team couldn’t take advantage of an error by Canada in the second end as Shuster’s first shot rolled out after removing a Canada stone in the back of the house as the Americans were forced to eventually take a point.

 

A nice runback double takeout from Hamilton in the fifth end took away the opportunity for Canada to score multiple points. The U.S. had control of the sixth end early on but a double takeout from Canadian vice skip B.J. Neufeld turned the end around. A missed runback with Shuster’s last stone gave Canada an open draw for two points. Canada played a crisper seventh end than the U.S. and when Shuster’s first stone rolled out after making a takeout, Canada was able to place a third stone in the rings and tighten the scoring area for the U.S. team. Shuster attempted a double takeout to score one but gave up a single steal instead.

 

The U.S. was finally able to capitalize on a blip from Canada in the eighth end when Koe’s draw attempt wrecked on a guard. Shuster followed his first stone into the four-foot to set up the skip’s deuce as Team USA cut into the Canada lead at 4-3. The win was clinched for Canada in the ninth end, however, when Koe converted a heroic in-off to remove the U.S. stone on the button and score two. Down three, the U.S. was not able to get the big score set up that they needed to attempt to force an extra end of play.

 

Line score:

USA                     010 000 020 x – 3

*Canada             100 002 102 x – 6

*last rock in first end

 

Other Draw 15 session scores: Russia 7, Netherlands 4; China 8, Norway 3; Italy 6, Switzerland 5 (extra end)

 

Standings:

Japan                  8-1

Sweden              8-1

Canada               7-2

Switzerland        7-2

Italy                     6-3

USA                     6-3

Scotland             4-4

Netherlands      3-6

Russia                 3-6

China                  2-7

Germany            2-7

Norway               2-7

Korea                  0-9

Q=qualified to playoffs

 

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):

Today, 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:

Canada 6, USA 3

USA 7, China 5

USA 8, Italy 3

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).