The U.S. men’s curling team got the help it needed Wednesday in its pursuit of the final spot in the semifinals.
With losses Wednesday by both Switzerland and the team from the Russian Olympic Committee, all John Shuster’s team needs to do now is defeat Denmark in the final game of round-robin play and they’ll clinch a spot in the final four for the second straight Olympics.
Switzerland lost to China on Wednesday, 6-5, and the ROC lost to Great Britain, 8-6, effectively eliminating both teams from the medal rounds.
The U.S., the defending Olympic gold medalists, are coming off a 10-4 loss to Italy. The team is currently 4-4 in round-robin play, putting them solely in possession of the fourth and final semifinal spot.
The U.S. will play Denmark in its final game on Wednesday at 8:05 p.m. ET. If Denmark — currently 1-7 and in last place in the standings — defeats Team USA, Shuster’s team can still move on if Norway loses to Italy. Those two teams will also play on Wednesday at 8:05 p.m. ET.
If the U.S. loses and Switzerland wins its final game, five teams will be tied for fourth place at 4-5 overall, including the winner of Norway-Italy. The final semifinal spot, though, would still come down to either the U.S. or Norway by virtue of tiebreakers.
Great Britain is currently No. 1 in the standings, followed by Sweden and Canada. Those are the only three teams qualified for the 4-team semifinals so far.
Great Britain owns the tiebreaker over Sweden for the top spot by virtue of a GBR win over Niklas Edin’s team on Tuesday.
Great Britain will finish round-robin play against Canada and Sweden will face Switzerland in its last game. Both of those games will also take place at 8:05 p.m. ET Wednesday.
Men’s curling standings
1 – Great Britain (7-1)
1 – Sweden (7-1)
3 – Canada (5-3)
4 – Team USA (4-4)
5 – China (4-5)
5 – ROC (4-5)
7 – Italy (3-5)
7 – Norway (3-5)
7 – Switzerland (3-5)
10 – Denmark (1-7)