Sweden 7, Team USA 4
The last time Team USA’s men’s curling team took on Sweden in the Olympic Games, the U.S. finished the nights with a gold medal around their necks.
Thursday’s game between the two teams didn’t have the same amount of hardware on the line as that contest in 2018, but it was an important game for both teams as they look to collect wins to start the 2022 Olympics.
In the end, mistakes by the U.S. piled on and Sweden took advantage for a 7-4 win.
Here’s how the game was won by Sweden:
Sweden’s Niklas Edin had a double takeout on Sweden’s final shot to force the U.S. to settle for a draw shot and a single point. The U.S. had been hoping for a multi-point end up to that point.
Sweden scored two in the second, and USA scored a single in the third to tie the score at 2-2.
Sweden got another double takeout of Team USA’s only stones on their second to last throw of the fourth. Team USA skip John Shuster tried for a double of his own, but didn’t get the roll needed, only clearing one Swedish rock, and setting up an easy draw shot to give Sweden another 2-point end.
The U.S. lied two stones protected by three Swedish rocks with just a few rocks remaining.
But as soon as the U.S. saw hope for a big end, a mistake on a draw shot moved their inside rocks back, leaving an opening on the button for Sweden. The Swedish made the shot and get a takeout on their second to last throw.
Shuster’s next throw missed the house entirely and ran all the way through.
With so many rocks in the house, Shuster opted to not allow Sweden to take more than one point, throwing away their hammer to concede the steal and allow Sweden to go up 5-2 at the halfway mark.
The U.S. got two back in the end with a shot by Shuster into the 8-foot on the hammer throw.
The U.S. sat rocks on the front and back of the 4-foot circle, and Edin answered with a double takeout for one to go up 6-4.
Edin had a crosshouse double takeout on Sweden’s second-to-last throw, setting up a tough situation for the Americans.
On the hammer shot, Shuster opted to not go for the easy draw for one, but instead tried to do the same as Edin and get a double takeout on opposite sides of the outside circles.
His throw was a bit too soft and went out of the house, allowing the Swedish squad to steal one and take a second 3-point lead.
Shuster intentionally blanked the ninth to retain hammer for the tenth.
Edin got a single takeout with one stone remaining, and Team USA called timeout to think about how to get their final stone rocks into the house.
Their final throw, a bump shot attempt into the house, came up short, prompting Shuster to concede, realizing his squad had no chance of scoring at least three with one stone remaining.
The U.S. (1-1) will return to the ice at 8:05 p.m. ET on Thursday to take on Great Britain.
Sweden will also play at 8:05 p.m. ET on Thursday against Italy.