2018 Winter Olympics: U.S. men's curlers beat Canada again, will play for gold medal
For the first time ever, the U.S. men's curling team will play for an Olympic gold medal.
The team from the Duluth Curling Club beat arch-rival Canada 5-3 on Thursday in a semifinal at the Winter Olympics in South Korea - the second time the Americans have beaten Canada in a week - to reach the gold-medal game.
The U.S. will face Sweden in the gold-medal game at 12:30 a.m. Duluth time on Saturday.
The U.S. team includes skip John Shuster, a Chisholm native now living in Superior, Tyler George and John Landsteiner of Duluth, Matt Hamilton of McFarland, Wis., and alternate Joe Polo of Duluth. They’re coached by Phill Drobnick of Eveleth.
“Personally, it’s very meaningful. Knowing the work that we’ve done together and seeing my teammates being the best versions of themselves along with myself is really, really exhilarating,” Shuster, who won a bronze medal in 2006, said in a USA Curling news release. “Our team has had its back against the wall plenty of times. But come on, it’s the Olympics! Who’s going to give up? I’ve had some phenomenal teammates through this whole process and each one of them has played a part in getting us here. We’re just ready.”
USA Curling reported that it is the first time since 1981 that the U.S. men have reached a world or Olympic final.
“It’s unbelievable. I don’t know if I am going to sleep tonight. I think we are going to play even better, because there’s no pressure of ‘what if we get fourth?’ ‘what if we walk away with nothing?’ ” Landsteiner said in a news release. “With that pressure gone and the desire to get gold over the silver – I’m excited for what that game is going to be like.”
The Americans stole two points in the eighth end against Canada to take the lead, and held on down the stretch. They're now guaranteed an Olympic medal - which will be the first for the U.S. since the men won bronze in 2006, and only the second overall.
Canada had won the past three Olympic gold medals in men's curling. They'll now face Switzerland in the bronze-medal game.