In a back-and-forth game that saw both teams enter with a .500 record, the U.S. men’s curling team earned a 7-4 win against Switzerland. American skip John Shuster’s amazing eighth end proved to be the decider in a game that seriously aided their chances for the semifinal.
After the Swiss were only able to score one in the first end, the U.S. responded in the second. With a biter already on the sheet, Shuster drew the hammer into a wide-open house to put the U.S. up 2-1.
Switzerland chose to blank in the third rather than settle for a point but was forced to take one in the fourth anyway to tie it at 2.
The fifth end got dangerous for the United States, as the house was crowded with Swiss stones, but Chris Plys was able to open it up enough for the Americans to go back ahead 3-2.
In the sixth, the U.S. had a scoring stone with just the skips left to go, but the chance to steal was quickly neutralized by Benoit Schwarz of Switzerland, who combined a takeout and a draw to get two points and put his team up 4-3.
With the hammer in tow for the seventh end, a takeout by Plys on his last stone had the U.S. sitting with four scoring stones alone in the house. After Shuster’s first attempt, the Swiss took a timeout knowing the game was potentially on the line. An amazing guard limited the damage but still left the Americans in a position to get two and regain a 5-4 lead.
Schwarz was able to draw in his first stone past a heavily guarded house to put the Swiss in position to score two in the eighth. However, Shuster played what might end up being the shot of the tournament, bouncing his off another American stone to then take out the Swiss scorer and set up a steal of one to go up 6-4.
With the U.S. playing good defense in the ninth, the Swiss were forced to play aggressive on the hammer and go for a huge draw, but it faltered and gave the Americans an insurmountable three-point lead. The U.S. were able to easily defend in the tenth and got the win.
The U.S. and Switzerland faced each other twice at the 2021 World Men’s Curling Championship, with the Americans winning in round-robin play and the Swiss taking the win in an elimination game on their way to bronze.
The U.S. will face off next against Italy, which sits at the bottom of the standings, at 7:05 a.m. ET on Tuesday. Switzerland will wait until 1:05 a.m. ET on Wednesday to play against China.