PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA - The United States is still alive in men's team curling at the Olympics. In a big, improbable way.
The men's team on Wednesday in Pyeongchang defeated Great Britain 10-4 in eight ends to improve to 5-4 in the tournament. Less than 10 minutes after the victory, the back-against-the-wall Americans found themselves into the semifinals for the first time since 2006 when Japan lost to Korea.
The U.S. will be the No. 3 seed in the semifinals. It will take on Canada at 5 a.m. (Central time) on Thursday. The Americans began their three-game winning streak in Pyeongchang with a 9-7 victory over the Canadians in the round robin stage.
Wednesday's victory over Great Britain followed a Tuesday evening win over Switzerland and put Sunday's back-to-back losses - that dropped the U.S. to 2-4 and in seventh place in the 10-team field - well behind in the memory bank.
Against Great Britain, the U.S. opened the match with two points in the first end but found iself down 3-2 after four ends.
Then in the fifth, skip John Shuster, of Chisholm, executed a three-point end that shifted momentum back on his side of the Atlantic.
In the eighth, Great Britain hit its own rock late in the end that opened the door for Shuster to put four stones in scoring position. Great Britain gaffed again by leaving its final rock well short of the center circle, sealing the win for Shuster and Company after the big steal.
The United States, under Shuster, had gone 2-7 in round-robin play in the 2010 and 2014 Olympics.
In women's play, the United States lost to Sweden 9-6 Wednesday and were eliminated from the tournament with a 4-5 record. A victory would have moved the U.S. women into a playoff with Japan for a spot in the medal round, but Sweden broke a 6-6 tie with three points in the final end.