Skipper John Shuster took a big risk in the eighth end of the round-robin match against Italy, electing to try and go for a takeout to get two points and tie the match instead of hitting the button for one.
The gamble did not go the Americans’ way, as Shuster hit his own stone, knocking both his own two off and giving Italy a steal of four points to cement a 10-4 victory for the Italians.
Not only does the loss come at the hands of an Italy team that was 1-5 heading into this morning’s action, but it drops the United States to 4-4 with only one more round-robin game to go.
Shuster and Co. currently sit in the fourth and final spot in the standings to advance to the semifinals, but depending on how the rest of this morning’s matches go, they could be on the outside looking in heading into their last round-robin game.
Up until the eighth end, it was a back-and-forth battle between the U.S. and Italy.
Italy secured the first point in the match with one in the first end. But the U.S. answered with a deuce in the second end to grab a 2-1 lead.
The Italians scored a deuce in the third end to jump back out in front 3-2 before the Americans knotted the match 3-3 with a point in the fourth end.
In the fifth end, a well-placed final rock by skipper Joel Retornaz gave Italy its second deuce of the day, giving the team a 5-3 lead. The United States were able to gain a point back in the sixth end, cutting the lead to one.
But once again, Italy came right back and regained the two-point lead with a single tally in the seventh end. Shuster’s error in the eighth sealed the victory for Italy.
It’s a must-win situation for the United States now heading into their final game against a Denmark team has just one win on the round-robin. That match is set for Wednesday at 8:05 p.m. ET.