The U.S. women's curling team needed a bounce-back win Sunday night to keep their semifinal hopes alive. It came down to the final shot, but in the end a perfect throw by skip Nina Roth gave Team USA the win they required, defeating Denmark 7-6.
Roth was on fire all night, throwing a perfect six takeouts on six attempts in the first six ends of play. She notched her sixth takeout in the sixth end for two points to put the U.S. up 5-3.
The U.S. had scored just single points in the first, third and fourth ends to that point. They left a point on the board in the first after Roth had a hammer throw come up short of the house. They stole the point back in the third though. With two rocks on opposites sides of the house, Denmark's Madeleine Dupont was able to take one out but not the other.
Denmark scored two in the fifth and two more in the seventh to tie the score at 5-5. Each team had single point ends in the eighth and ninth before the U.S. was able to score the game-winner in the 10th. Denmark had two yellow stones guarding just in front of the button, but Roth was able to go around the stones and stop just in time for the point.
“It was a fun game, kind of a rollercoaster. The ice was interesting, the rocks … whatever. We just wanted to keep our cool,” Roth told reporters in PyeongChang after the game. “We were putting them in difficult spots and she had to make a really difficult hard shot to get her one point in the ninth end. Just like I had to make a really hard shot to get my one point in the eighth end.”
The game featured four ties, and though the U.S. never trailed, they also never led by more than two points.
The U.S. improves to 3-3 overall, and are now in a 4-way tie for fourth place. The third win for the Americans equals their win total from the last two Olympics combined, and is only the second time they've reached three wins in an Olympic Games.
Denmark falls to 1-5.
“I think they played fantastic. I knew that they would. They are just a good team, really good,” Dupont said about the American team. “To draw the four-foot under these conditions – that is a tough one. But, I know Nina is good at these shots. When I saw that she had to make it. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy for us to win.”
USA 1 0 1 1 0 2 0 1 0 1 - 7
DEN 0 1 0 0 2 0 2 0 1 0 - 6
Korea 7, Sweden 6
Coming into Sunday's game, everyone knew Korea was a team to be reckoned with, but they proved exactly why in their biggest game of the tournament, defeating previously unbeaten Sweden 7-6.
Sweden was the only undefeated team left in the women's tournament, but that didn't phase the hometown team. Korea led by as many as four late in the game, and held off Sweden's late charge for the win.
In the fourth end, Korean skip EunJung Kim had a throw that went just inches past her own team's guard for a perfect double takeout to lie two in the house. Sweden's Anna Hasselborg was unable to answer, sending a shot that was at least 20 feet short of the house to give Korea two stolen points.
Kim did much the same in the sixth end with another perfect shot, and perfect sweeping by her teammates, to knock Sweden off the button and stay there for another double.
Hasselborg had another shot fall well short of the house in the eighth for a third two point end for Korea to go up 7-3.
Sweden tried to mount a comeback, scoring two in the eight to draw within two, but in the 10th Kim again came away with a perfect takeout to only allow a single point by Sweden and end their game a point short.
Korea and Sweden are now tied atop the standings at 5-1 each.
SWE 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 1 - 6
KOR 0 1 0 2 0 2 0 2 0 0 - 7
Canada 8, Japan 3
Canada stole a point in the opening end of Sunday's game against Japan, and held that lead the rest of the way to an 8-3 victory, their third win in a row.
Leading 2-1 in the fifth, Canadian skip Rachel Homan had a perfect double takout on her final throw, eliminating Japan's chance at two points. Japan instead hit a Canadian stone on their hammer, and stopped well short of the house for four stolen points by the Canadians.
Japan scored two in the next end to bring the score to 6-3, but Homan again had th answer. She landed the hammer right on the button in the seventh, with another rock an inch closer than Japan's on the four-foot circle, giving Canada two more points. Japan conceded after the end.
Canada has now evened their record at 3-3 after starting the PyeongChang Games with three straight losses. They're currently in a 4-way tie for fourth place. Japan falls to 4-2 overall, third in the overall standings.
JPN 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 X X X - 3
CAN 1 0 0 1 4 0 2 X X X - 8
Switzerland 11, Team OAR 2
Every time Switzerland scored Sunday night it was for more than one point on the way to a decisive 11-2 victory over Team OAR.
Switzerland scored in three straight ends, three in the third, two in the fourth and two more in the fifth, to take a commanding 7-1 lead over OAR at the midway point.
OAR left the Swiss team a wide open chance for another big end in the seventh, and Silvana Tirinzoli's Swiss squad capitalized. With three stones already sitting alone in the house, Tirinzoli landed her hammer throw directly on the button for four points and a lead big enoug to force OAR to concede.
Switzerland picks up a much needed second win to bring their record to 2-4 overall. OAR falls to 1-5.