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MEN'S CURLING: U.S. loses to China; off to 0-2 start

Lead John Landsteiner (L) of the U.S. and second Jared Zezel sweep ahead of a stone during their men's curling round robin game against China at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in the Ice Cube Curling Center in Sochi February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins (GERMANY - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS SPORT CURLING)

The U.S men's curling team's trip to the 2014 Winter Olympics has gotten off to a rocky start.

The Americans, led by Duluth's John Shuster, lost to China 9-4 today at the Ice Cube Curling Center in Sochi, Russia, to fall to 0-2 to begin the nine-match round-robin portion of the tournament. The U.S. lost to Norway to open competition on Monday.

"We got a little behind the eight-ball again," U.S. team member Jeff Isaacson told USA Curling. "We've been behind in every game. It's just a matter of us getting comfortable out there. We need to dig deep, work hard, and hopefully the 'W's' will start coming."

The Americans, also including Jared Zezel, a BSU student from Hibbing, and John Landsteiner of Duluth outshot China, 87 to 80 percent, USA Curing reported, but had a few key misses.

"The guys are playing well in front of me. We just kind of need to band together," Shuster told USA Curling.

The match was 1-1 after the second end before China scored three points in the fourth.

"To give them that three in the third was a killer," Shuster said. "That's the second time in two games that we have gotten behind like that."

The Americans got two points back in the fourth end to climb back within one, but then China scored a double takeout in the fifth end. The U.S. had a chance to score two in the sixth, USA Curling reported, but couldn't sweep the final stone close enough to the pin and wound up with just one point. In the eighth, the Americans' last stone rolled out of the rings after making a takeout — handing China two points.

"Hats off to the Chinese. They made everything," Isaacson said.

The U.S. takes on Denmark (1-1) on Wednesday at 9 a.m. Sochi time / 11 p.m. today Duluth time.

Sweden (3-0), China (2-0) and Norway (2-0) lead the standings. Canada is 1-2.

The U.S. women also fell to 0-2 today, after a 9-7 loss to Russia (2-0). The Americans, led by Erika Brown of Madison, led 4-1 after the third end before the Russians rallied to take a 5-4 lead after the fifth end, and stay ahead the rest of the way. The U.S. was set to face Great Britain (0-1) later today. Canada, Russia and Switzerland lead the standings at 2-0.

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