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World Curling: Team USA gains tiebreaker spot

John Shuster's team USA won its final two starts at the World Men's Curling Championships to gain a tiebreaker spot for the playoffs.

Shuster followed a 7-6 win over the Czech Republic Thursday with a 9-6 victory over France to end 7-4 in the round robin.

That tied the US with Norway, Germany and Switzerland.

The tiebreakers matched Shuster against Norway and German against Switzerland with the losers eliminated.

Canada won the round robin title at 10-1, losing its final draw to Scotland 6-5 in an extra end. That gave the Scots second place at 8-3 preventing a fifth team from playing in the tiebreaker.

The two tiebreaker winners will play the 3-4 game in the opening round of the page playoffs. Canada and Scotland will meet again in the 1-2 game.

That winner gets a second round bye while the loser meets the 3-4 winner for the second berth in the title match.

In what may have been the best gift from France since the Statue of Liberty, Team USA survived the final game as the French collapsed in the final two ends while leading 6-4.

In what was likely the biggest collapse of the week, the French missed almost all of their shots in the 10th end to give the US four and the victory.

France was playing without its skip for the second straight match due to illness.

Team USA, however, came out flat after its big win over the Czechs and trailed 2-0 at the start. France lay three in the fifth to lead 5-2 and matched Shuster's one in the sixth with one in the seventh for a 6-3 advantage.

USA got that one back in the eighth, then stole another in the ninth to trail by one before the big final rally .

Jeff Isaacson buried his second shot in the top of the four foot behind the center guard.

Multiple misses by the French allowed the stone to stay put for Shuster to stick a shot on top of it and another in the 12 foot

Facing four, the French tried to draw but came out of the hack with a lot more than draw weight and couldn't make the hit either.

Shuster took the opposite route against the Czechs.

He scored once in the first, ,then stole singletons in the second and third for a 3-0 lead.

The Czechs got two in the fourth and the pair traded single points in the fifth and sixth.

A three spot in the eighth gave Shuster a 7-3 lead before the Czechs answered with two in the ninth and one in the tenth to come up one short of a tie. Shuster saved the day with a takeout on his final throw to prevent the Czechs from another point.



At Moncton, N.B.

Draw 10

USA 111-010-030-0---7

Czech Republic 000-201-002-1---6

- - - - -

France 200-030-100-0---6

USA 010-101-011-4---9

Final standings; Canada 10-1, Scotland 8-3, USA, Norway, Germany, Switzerland 8-3, Denmark 5-6, China, France 4-7, Japan, Czech Republic 3-8, Finland 1-10


USA vs. Norway

Germany vs. Switzerland

Page playoffs

Canada vs., Scotland

Tiebreaker winners