Aired Saturday on CNBC, the Women’s Curling game between the USA and Great Britain was played well enough, though neither team’s play was quite at its best.
The interesting thing between these two teams was pointed out by announcers, who stated it to be how the teams members have been picked. According to announcers, Great Britain’s team differs from traditional teams in that each member is hand picked by a difficult tryout process. With traditional methods, friends who enjoy curling get together to form a team, which is how the USA’s team has been put together. This creates a different kind of bond for each team, with each way having its own unique methods of team play.
Early in the game, a nice shot by Debbie McCormick in end one knocks out GBR, leaving only one US stone in the house. GBR knocks this one out to come into a 1 – 0 lead. This score sticks through end two.
End three focuses on rock placement, with the USA’s attempt to place a guard in order to score, and GBR’s consistency in pushing the guards out of the way. GBR’s Muirhead throws a miss in this end, with USA’s Debbie McCormick overshooting and missing the house in two critical shots. This let’s GBR widen the lead, bringing the score to GBR – 3, USA – 0.
Jackie Lockhart throws a hard stone for GBR to knock the USA out of the house in end four, followed by Allison Pottinger bringing a USA stone back in with a nice, easy throw. Jackie comes back with another hard throw, repeating the procedure and knocking the USA out of the house once more. Allison then lands a well placed shot, near center. Eve Muirhead comes through to knock all stones out, leaving only the thrown stone in the blue ring. Debbie McCormick displaces the stone, leaving the USA stone wide open for the next shot by Eve, which she hits effortlessly. Debbie throws the last stone of the end, giving the USA its first point of this game. Score leaves end four at GBR -3, USA – 1.
End five brings in a much needed fantastic shot by USA’s Nicole Joraanstad, giving the US the edge in the house. Allison Pottinger places a guard, which prompts GBR’s Jackie Lockhart to displace it. Next throw for Allison places another guard, with Jackie repeating her displacement of the guard. This same strategy follows for the remainder of the end, with the USA’s guard stone ultimately doing its job, and bringing the end out with the USA taking another point. GBR 3, USA 2.
Joraanstad makes some nice throws for the US in end six, with rocks placed strategically, giving GBR a challenging shot. GBR’s Kelly Wood throws a nice stone to give GBR the better position. Allison Pottinger then places a strategic throw, just missing its planned placement, allowing Jackie Lockhart to hit the US out of the house. Allison comes back to throw a perfectly placed stone, nearly dead center. Debbie McCormick also makes a magnificent shot in this end, landing dead center, and guarding Allison’s stone. With GBR having a close stone in the blue ring, USA calls time out to make some tough decisions in protecting the play. The shot comes in light, yet guards anyway giving the USA another point, tying it up at 3 -3.
End seven works in strategic stone placement for both teams, with nudges being the way to play, rather than knocks. This works to bring Great Britain back into the lead with a score of 5 – 3.
The USA strategizes to blank the eighth end, which it does, leaving the score the same.
Team USA throws some nice shots in end nine. GBR makes some mistakes, though still staying within the realm of the planned strategy. End nine goes into end ten with a score of USA 4, GBR 5.
End ten groups one stone from each team hugging each other in the center of the house, with the US setting up guards for several throws, and GBR knocking them away. The last stone for each team in the tenth end brings suspense, with the two center stones still sitting tight, and the USA still having one stone in the outer green ring. The USA is up, and all guards have been taken out. Debbie McCormick takes the last shot for the USA in this end, placing one more guard on the green ring. Eve is up next, throwing GBR’s final stone. It’s a miss, tying the score at 5-5.
End eleven is tense, with a scattered pattern of stones evenly dispersed between both teams in the house near its finish. Debbie McCormick throws a final one, nicely placed. This leaves the last shot to Eve Muirhead, which she misses. Final score of this game, USA 6, Great Britain 5.