GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA – Nina Roth’s team wasn’t trying to create drama in Monday’s game against Denmark. It just turned out that way.
Roth, the U.S. women’s skip, tucked her last stone of the game behind two Danish rocks to score a single point and earn a 7-6 victory at Gangneung Curling Centre. The team won again later Monday by defeating China 10-4, with the losers conceding the match after eight ends.
That moved the USA's Olympic round-robin record at 4-3 and put the team into fourth place.
In a game that required the measuring device to determine the scoring in several ends, the Americans kept their cool against the Danes to stay in the chase for a playoff spot.
“I felt like we were in control the whole game,’’ said Tabitha Peterson of Eagan, Team Roth’s vice-skip. “Both skips in the second half of the game were making some great shots.
“We’re playing well. We’re trucking along. I feel like we’re slowly improving each game, putting the broom down in the right spot and getting the weights and reading the ice.’’
The curling venue was loud and proud Monday, thanks to a Korean women’s team that is tied for first place. Korea beat Sweden, which entered the game undefeated, 7-6 to pull into a tie at the top of the standings. Both are at 5-1 after six games of the nine-game round robin, with Japan third at 4-2.
Canada, which started the tournament 0-3, now has won three in a row to join Great Britain at 3-3. China is 3-4.
Against China, the Americans jumped to a 3-0 lead after the first end and led 7-1 after three.
The U.S. women still have to conquer a tough schedule to get to the playoffs. They finish against Korea on Tuesday and Sweden on Wednesday.
Some teams have struggled with the Olympic sheets, particularly after the curling stones were sanded before Sunday’s evening session. That makes the rocks slow down and curl more. Peterson said her team was aware of the change, mindful that there would be extra curl, and adapted.
“I’m really proud of how we’re handling the pressure,’’ Roth said. “Every pressure draw I get is just going to make us better.’’