"If you want to play anybody at the Olympics with medals on the line - it's Canada", said US curler Tyler George of Duluth, in a news release from USA Curling. The result was quite the opposite for the American women. They need to win their final game on Wednesday - the men play Great Britain (11:05 p.m. Tuesday Madison time) and the women play Sweden (5:05 a.m. Madison time) - to have a chance to make it into a tiebreaker for the final semifinal spot.
The American women finished the tournament tied for fifth place at 4-5. The U.S. team beat both of those countries in the round robin and earned the direct path to Thursday night's semifinals based on head-to-head record. Shuster delivered a dramatic 9-7 victory, scoring the winning points with a whisker-thin margin in an extra end at Gangneung Curling Centre.
The men's team scored three points in the fifth end to take a 4-2 lead over Switzerland, then opened up the game with three more in the seventh.
The British conceded after the USA stole four points in the eighth end.
Meanwhile, the USA men's team pulled off a dramatic win against Canada Monday to remain in medal contention. A victory would have moved the US women into a playoff with Japan for a spot in the medal round, but Sweden broke a 6-6 tie with three points in the final end.
The teams traded single points in the eighth and ninth ends, leaving Sweden with the last shot in the 10th. After Stjerne missed his draw on his last stone, Koe was able to draw to the four-foot to score three.
"We had our fate in our hands and didn't quite finish it out and execute", Roth said.
The U.S. got into a little trouble in the third end but a raise double takeout with Shuster's first skip stone made the final draw less complicated. Sometimes it doesn't quite work out for us.
In the eighth end, the USA placed a second counter in the rings to put the pressure on Great Britain. They came in as unit and stuck together as a unit.
"We obviously wanted to contribute to the big Team Canada here and get on that podium somewhere".
"We're happy to be in that game, we're excited and I don't think we're going to play with any fear. We had our chance".
The American curling team will next face Great Britain Wednesday to conclude round robin play.