The defending gold medalist U.S. men’s curling team bounced back from their loss to Sweden with a 9-7 win against Great Britain in the second day of play at the Winter Olympics.
After the U.S. opted to blank to retain the hammer, skip John Shuster set the Americans up for a 2-0 lead in the second end with two slow-moving draws.
The British responded in the third when skip Bruce Mouat delivered a takeout with the hammer that tied the game back up.
A miss by Mouat in the next end opened the door for the Americans. With the U.S. lying four stones inside the house, Great Britain called a timeout, but was only able to take out one. Shuster took out the British stone without hesitation and the U.S. took a 5-2 lead.
The British came back with a well-played end of their own in the fifth. The U.S. opted for a safe strategy with their takeouts, giving up two points to move the game to 5-4.
Building on that momentum, Mouat played a masterful draw that landed on the button on his first stone and then guarded against the American hammer on his next. A steal of two put Great Britain up one in the sixth.
However, in a high-pressure seventh, the U.S. showed no nerves and regained the lead 7-6 thanks to a takeout to finish the end.
Great Britain couldn’t take advantage of the hammer, and settled for one to tie up the game at seven with two ends left.
The ninth proved to be the deciding end. American vice skip Chris Plys seemed to lay his second stone inside the British, but it was close enough to be in question. Even so, Shuster opted for a draw rather than a takeout on his first stone. Mouat responded with a draw of his own that he landed inside, which was promptly taken out by the U.S. to give them a two point lead.
With Americans John Landsteiner and Matt Hamilton playing their stones to guard to start the tenth, the British were boxed in and took the loss.
The Americans will return to the ice Saturday at 1:05 a.m. ET against Norway, while Great Britain will have to regroup quickly with a Friday morning match against Norway at 7:05 a.m. ET.