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U.S. men’s curling team must win 2 games to make Sochi Olympics

John Shuster

John Shuster‘s really going to have to earn his third trip to the Olympics.

Shuster and the U.S. curling team won two games Friday to stay alive at the Olympic Qualification Event in Fuessen, Germany. That tied the U.S. with the Czech Republic, Germany and South Korea at 5-2 after round-robin play.

But only three of those four teams could advance to the three-team playoffs, where two advance to the Sochi Olympics. Therefore, a tiebreaker came into play -- the four teams’ records against each other in round-robin play.

The Czech Republic and Germany had matching 2-1 marks. The U.S. and South Korea were 1-2.

So, the Czechs and Germans advanced to the three-team playoffs. The U.S. and South Korea will play Saturday at 10 a.m. ET with the winner advancing to a game Sunday against the Czech-Germany loser. The winner of that Sunday game will join the Czech-Germany winner at the Sochi Olympics.

Make sense?

The U.S. has qualified a men’s and women’s team at every Olympics since the sport was re-added to the Olympic program in 1998. Its women’s team is already set for Sochi.

Shuster’s rink won its last three round-robin matches at the Bundesleistungszentrum to keep its Olympic hopes alive, finishing with a 10-4 win over Finland on Friday night.

The U.S. is the highest-ranked nation in the field of eight.

“We really put some pressure on early and got a big three in that first end by executing early, which we hadn’t done all week,” Shuster said, according to a press release. “So we got a better start and hung on there for a while and played a couple really good ends later on defense.”

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