WOMEN'S CURLING: Brown rink is eliminated from medal contention after losing to Sweden
SOCHI, Russia - The Erika Brown rink was eliminated from medal contention in the women’s curling tournament Saturday after Sweden scored two in the 10th end to defeat Team USA 7-6.
Brown and teammates Debbie McCormick, Jessica Schultz, and Ann Swisshelm had their best outing of the week with an 83 percent performance with Brown shooting 89.
“It was well played and she drew the edge of the button to win. I guess that’s the way it goes. I’m proud of the girls. They played a great game tonight,” Brown told USA Curling after the loss.
“Maria made an amazing shot, it was a really tough shot and she deserved the win with that shot,” McCormick said about Sweden’s final shot to win.
Sweden advances to 5-2 in the round robin standings while the Amercans slipped to 1-6 with two games remaining.
“Listen, I’d rather lose it like that then the way we’ve lost some of the others,” Brown said. “I love it when they’re good, hard battles with lots of great shots. I’m thrilled that it was a game like that. We’ve been waiting to have a game like that and obviously we want to come out on top. That’s the way I think this team plays most of the time and I’m so proud that they came out and played a really great game.”
The U.S. got on the scoreboard first with a draw for a single point to avoid the steal. Sweden, with Maria Prytz throwing last stones, was forced to draw into the four-foot as well and accept just a single point in the second end.
Team USA earned another single in the third as Brown was forced to draw into the four-foot facing four Swedish rocks. The U.S. got a stone tucked behind a corner guard in the fourth end, but Prytz converted an angle raise takeout to score two points.
Prytz saved the Swedes from giving up a big end in the fifth with a double takeout. The Americans made a takeout to seal the deuce and take a 4-3 lead. Sweden answered with a deuce in the sixth end, in similar fashion. Brown made a double takeout and then Prytz converted a takeout for two.
The American ladies answered again with a deuce in the eighth end after Sweden’s stone rolled out after the hit and roll by Prytz. This set up a draw for Brown to take back the lead.
After the ninth end was blanked, Sweden got a stone on the button for first count and worked in earnest to get a second rock in. The two last-rock throwers both played great draws around the guards to the button to position their stones and after the measure, it was determined that Sweden’s final stone was just a whisker closer to the center of the rings for the win.
The U.S. ladies return to the ice Sunday against Canada (7-0), which qualified for the playoffs with a 5-3 win over Russia (3-4) on Saturday.
John Shuster and the American men have two games on Sunday. In the morning session the U.S. (2-4) plays Canada (5-2) while Sweden (6-1) faces the Americans in the night matchup.