GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA – The United States men’s curling team lost its second match in a row Friday, falling to Sweden 10-4 when the Americans conceded after eight ends at the Gangneung Curling Centre.
That defeat followed a 10-9 loss to Italy on Thursday night. The Americans faced Denmark later Friday looking to avoid dropping to 1-3 in pool play.
The United States men’s team is skipped by Chisholm native John Shuster and also includes Duluth’s Tyler George And John Landsteiner and Matt Hamilton of McFarland, Wis.
Both losses saw the Americans’ opponents come up with a big score early on. Friday, the Swedes — skipped by Niklas Edin, who carried the Swedish flag in for the Opening Ceremony — scored four points in the first end, and Shuster’s rink could not recover from that. The lead grew to 7-1 after four ends, and the U.S. conceded after Sweden scored two points in the eighth.
On Thursday, Italy, skipped by Joel Retornaz, earned five points in a disastrous third end for Team USA, when every American shot was slightly off target. After the U.S. battled back to tie the score at 9-9, Italy earned a last-rock victory in the 10th end.
“In the end of the day — don’t give up five,” Landsteiner said. “But, we still battled and we were just short of winning.”
Women fall to 1-2 as well
The U.S. women’s curling team, coming off a 7-4 victory over Great Britain, dropped to 1-2 in round-robin play after a 6-5 loss to Switzerland on Thursday.
Leading 2-1, Switzerland (1-1) picked up a single score in the fourth end and followed with a steal of two points in the fifth to take a 5-1 advantage.
The United States pulled within one when it scored twice in the seventh and added another point in eighth. But Switzerland registered a point in the ninth to push its lead to two.
The United States could only get one point back in the 10th.
“I think Switzerland just played really well and kept the pressure on us,” U.S. skipper Nina Roth said.
Roth’s teammates are Tabitha Peterson of Eagan, Aileen Geving of Duluth and Becca Hamilton of McFarland, Wis.