Netherlands holds back USA as Men's World Championship begins in Lethbridge

By Terry L. Davis | March 30, 2019, 9:49 p.m. (ET)
March 30, 2019
Team USA drops opening game of 2019 World Men’s Championship
(LETHBRIDGE, Alberta) – It wasn’t the ideal start to the 2019 Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship for John Shuster and Team USA as the Netherlands defeated the American men this afternoon in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
The up side is that there are 11 more round robin games to be played at the ENMAX Centre for Shuster (Superior, Wis.) and teammates Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), and John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.) as they look to end USA’s 41-year drought of winning this event.
Jaap Van Dorp’s team from the Netherlands got off to a better start to today’s opening draw and held on for a 6-5 victory with last-rock heroics.
“It kind of all started in the second end there. Early in an event you don’t know what kind of curl you’re going to get out of the ice, and I had to throw into a place that was uncomfortable. I let go of it and I thought we were fine but then it ran down the sheet and we gave up a steal of two. We worked hard to get that hammer to start the game and to give up two isn’t ideal,” Shuster said.
After the opening end was blanked, the U.S. team needed to make a nose hit while facing four stones in the second end but Shuster’s final takeout rolled out of count after removing the opponent's stone to give the Dutch men two points.
The American team started to make more shots in the second half and ended up statistically shooting 84 percent compared to 85 by the Dutch.
“It took us awhile to start being comfortable throwing whatever weight we called,” Shuster said. “Obviously, you put yourselves behind in the standings right away – you never want to start with an opening-draw loss, but in the same breath it’s a long week and if those guys [Netherlands] keep playing like that, they’ll get a fair number of wins.”
The U.S. offense would be limited once again in the third end and Shuster made a nose hit to score a point this time. In return, the American men forced Dutch last-rock thrower Wouter Gosgens to draw against two U.S. stones in the four-foot to gain a point in the fourth end. After being held to a single in the fifth end, the U.S. men tied the game with a single steal after a nice freeze with Shuster’s last stone gave the Americans better position in the four-foot.
The Netherlands would be forced into another single in the eighth end and the Americans converted a very nice raise double takeout to score two points in the ninth to take the lead for the first time. The U.S. was playing the 10th end well but the team’s final two draws of the game didn’t end up where they needed to be, and the Netherlands made a nice draw into the four-foot to score two points for the win.
The U.S. men have the next two draws off and return to the ice at 2 p.m. MT Sunday to take on Korea’s SooHyuk rink, which took Canada to an extra end before losing 6-5. In the evening draw, they will battle Germany’s Marc Muskatewitz.
Line score:
Netherlands      020 100 010 2 – 6
*USA                   001 011 002 0 – 5
*last rock in first end
Other Draw 1 scores: Scotland 8, Russia 2; Japan 6, Italy 4; Canada 6, Korea 5 (extra end)
Canada               1-0
Japan                  1-0
Netherlands      1-0
Scotland             1-0
China                  0-0
Germany            0-0
Norway               0-0
Sweden              0-0
Switzerland        0-0
Korea                  0-1
Italy                     0-1
Russia                 0-1
USA                     0-1
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
Live scores & social media: Live scores are posted at USA Curling is posting game recaps and photos after each U.S. game at 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):
Sunday, 2 p.m.: USA vs. Korea (SooHyuk Kim)
Sunday, 7 p.m.: USA vs. Germany (Marc Muskatewitz)
Monday, 2 p.m.: USA vs. Scotland (Bruce Mouat)
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:
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.
For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications,, 608-338-9900 (mobile).