USA Curling

Feb 13 USA women get into win column in Sochi

By Terry Kolesar | Feb. 13, 2014, midnight (ET)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 13, 2014

USA women get into win column in Sochi

(SOCHI, Russia) - Step one in Team USA's comeback plan fell perfectly into place as Erika Brown led the American women to an 8-6 win tonight over Japan in round robin play at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. 

It was the first win for Brown (Oakville, Ontario/Madison, Wis.) and teammates Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.), Jessica Schultz (Minneapolis, Minn.), and Ann Swisshelm (Chicago) at the Ice Cube Curling Center after suffering heartbreaking losses in four previous outings. The win improves Team USA to 1-4 in the standings with four games left to try to make it to the playoffs. The loss drops the Japanese women, led by Ayumi Ogasawara, to 2-2.

"We all played really well. The steal of two was key. Once we got the lead I thought we managed the game pretty well," said McCormick, who is making her fourth Olympic appearance. "We did the smart thing in the ninth by peeling the guard. Giving up two was acceptable, three was not. Then Ann had those two awesome ticks in the 10th."

The American ladies still have Denmark (0-5), Sweden (4-1), Canada (5-0), and Korea (2-2) left to play. "We're not losing our fire or desire," McCormick said. "We will just take it one game at a time, one end at a time, one rock at a time."

Team USA produced its best performance thus far in the tournament, out-shooting Japan 81 to 78 percent.  

"It was nice to get back to playing at the level we know we can play at, and to show what we can do when we are firing on all four cylinders," said Schultz, 29, who works as a physical therapy assistant in the Twin Cities. 

The U.S. missed out on a few key scoring opportunities that could have put the game away earlier. 

In the first end, the U.S. ladies had a chance at two points but couldn't remove enough of the Japan stone tucked behind a corner guard to score more than one. Then a key miss in the second end with the first skip stone allowed Japan to score two points.

The U.S. had a chance for the deuce in the third end but Brown's final stone slipped through the back of the house and the U.S. only scored a point. The momentum, however, slowly started to turn in favor of the U.S.

The fourth end started shaky for the American ladies but quickly turned around with two great shots from Brown to place five stones in scoring position. Japan played a hit but two American stones were left closer to the button for the double steal. 

The U.S. had the pressure on Japan in the fifth end and Ogasawara had to draw for a single point. USA wasn't able to take advantage of an opportunity for two points in the sixth end but eked out the single to take a two-point lead.

Brown made a double takeout with her first stone of the seventh end to put three American stones in scoring position. She followed up with a takeout that forced Japan to draw for a single point.

In the eighth end, the U.S. ladies made a key draw to the side of the button to score two points and take a comfortable three-point lead. Japan made an open takeout to take two points right back but Team USA closed out the game in the 10th. 

The American women return to the ice at 2 p.m. MSK tomorrow against Denmark (0-5). John Shuster and the U.S. men (1-3) face Germany (0-4) in the morning session and host Russia (1-4) in the evening.  

Line score:
Japan (Ogasawara) 020 010 102 0 - 6 
*USA (Brown) 101 201 020 1 - 8 
*last rock in first end

Women's Draw 6 scores: USA 8, Japan 6; Korea 8, Russia 4; Canada 8, Switzerland 5; Sweden 7, Denmark 6

Standings, Women:
Canada 5-0
Sweden 4-1
Switzerland 3-2
China 2-2
Japan 2-2
Russian Fed. 2-2
Great Britain 2-2
Korea 2-2
USA 1-4
Denmark 0-5

Standings, Men:
China 4-0
Great Britain 4-1
Sweden 4-1
Norway 3-1
Canada 3-2
Denmark 2-3
USA 1-3
Russian Fed. 1-4
Switzerland 1-4
Germany 0-4

Teams are competing in a nine-game round robin through Feb. 17 followed by playoffs on Feb. 19-21. 

NBC is airing all of the curling action either live or tape delay as well as live online. Go to http://www.nbcolympics.com to learn more.

Here is a look at Team USA's remaining round robin competition schedule (all times local, Moscow/MSK):

U.S. Women:
Friday, Feb. 14: USA v. Denmark, 2 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 15: USA v. Sweden, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 16: USA v. Canada, 2 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 17: USA v. Korea, 9 a.m.

U.S. Men:
Friday, Feb. 14: USA v. Germany, 9 a.m.; and USA v. Russia, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 16: USA v. Canada, 9 a.m.; and USA v. Sweden, 7 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 17: USA v. Switzerland, 2 p.m.

Follow USA Curling on Twitter (@terry_usacurl) and check our website (www.usacurl.org) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/USA-Curling/107975609011) for updates throughout the Olympic Games. 

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For more information: 

Terry Kolesar, Press Officer, Team USA
terry.kolesar@usacurl.org 
+1-719-207-5083 (mobile-Russia)

Rick Patzke, Assistant Press Officer, Team USA
rick.patzke@usacurl.org
+1-719-207-5089 (mobile-Russia)

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Visit the USA Curling website at www.usacurl.org and connect with USA Curling on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Foursquare.

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