The United States rink skipped by John Shuster returned to the ice Sunday morning but was defeated 7-6 by Switzerland in the first playoff round to end their run at the 2021 World Championships in Calgary, Alberta.
The playoff round, which was suspended for a day while curling and health officials resolved multiple positive coronavirus tests from multiple teams, resumed Sunday morning and was still expected to conclude with simultaneous gold- and bronze-medal games on Sunday night.
One player in the Sunday morning match had returned a positive test but was allowed to compete after a subsequent negative test and confirmation that the player had been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in his home country before the tournament, according to tournament officials. Players wore face masks on the ice, which were not required earlier in the tournament.
The Swiss took the lead with three in the third end. The American team representing the Duluth Curling Club of Shuster, Chris Plys, Matt Hamilton, John Landsteiner and alternate Colin Hufman, tied it 3-3 in the fifth and 5-5 in the eighth. Switzerland executed a triple-takeout shot to set up a two-point lead in the ninth. Down 7-5, the U.S. had a chance to tie the game one more time, but managed only one in the last end as the Swiss went on to face Sweden in the semifinals.
Despite the defeat, the U.S. team's qualification for the playoffs ensured a berth for an American team at the 2022 Winter Olympics in China.