Aired on CNBC Monday night, the second game of the day for the USA Men’s Curling Team pitted them against China. USA’s Jacob Smith is off the lineup for this game, stating later on in the night that he will be going back to Florida after the Olympics and retiring from curling… maybe to come back in a few years.
As the game gets going, end one goes out with a miss by John Shuster, which he proclaims a disaster, putting China into position to potentially score three points. China does this, and the end is over with a score of China 3, USA 0.
End two brings a nice shot by Shuster, knocking China out of scoring position with one rock left to throw for each team. China comes back to put one in the center, leaving a wide open shot for the USA. The shot knocks it out and the USA takes the score, moving it to China 3, USA 2. The third end gives China another point, pushing the score to China 4, USA 2.
End four brings some tricky play with both teams placing guards out front and each having two stones in the house, with potential for scoring either way. One rock from each team sits tightly next to the other on the blue ring with another from each sitting on the front of the white ring. The USA throws another one, landing in the green ring, as China follows with bumping it out. USA’s Jason Isaacson comes back with a double takeout. The two stones on the blue ring still stay put, with China’s just slightly closer to center. With two throws left to China’s one, Team USA talks it out and decides to hit China’s guard on the nose. Shuster throws without the desired effect. The guard moves, yet nothing else does. China next sets up another guard with its last throw for this end. USA decides to strike its own stone, hoping to gain the score with a chain effect. The throw misses completely, hitting nothing. China gains points and the score moves to China 5, USA 2.
The fifth end brings a nice shot by Isaacson, giving the USA some room to breathe, yet China still overtakes it. USA comes back to destroy China’s setup, and things are looking good, with one stone left to throw for each team. It didn’t last too long. China smashes both of the USA’s rocks out of the house with its last throw for this end. The last stone for the USA takes the score up to China 5, USA 3.
End six brings a mistargeted throw with the last USA stone, followed by a surprise with China’s throw glancing a guard and missing its target. This gives the USA a point, with the score going to China 5, USA 4. The seventh end sets China up to take the score, giving them an 8 to 4 lead.
In the eighth end, China’s Liu Rui makes a well placed throw, landing dead center. USA comes back to knock it into the blue ring, leaving theirs sitting in front of it on the same ring. China has another stone sitting on the other side of the blue ring, with two USA stones sitting left front on the green ring. With one stone left to throw for each team, China calls time out. The throw lands in the house, right up front on the green ring. Shuster has the last shot of this end, and the USA calls a time out. USA throws to gain just one point, bringing it to China 8, USA 5. Shuster says that he is “sick of this stupid game.”
End nine plays through to be the last one, and the USA concedes with a final score of China 11, USA 5.