Norway remains unbeaten with win over U.S.

Thomas Ulsrud

Thomas Ulsrud. Photo: Wikipedia.

MONCTON, New Brunswick — The U.S. men’s curling team had a chance to hand Norway its first loss at the 2009 World Men’s Curling Championships, but ultimately fell short, losing 7-5 Monday morning in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Skip John Shuster missed an opportunity in the ninth end, but his final stone rolled out of the house. The loss drops the U.S. to 2-2 overall while Norway remains at the top of the standings at 4-0. “If I play a little bit better today, we probably win,” Shuster said afterward.

Shuster was visibly upset with himself in the ninth. He had the hammer, but picked up only a single point, tying the match entering the final end, when Norway would have last shot. In the 10th, Shuster’s last rock appeared to have picked – get knocked off-line by a foreign object on the ice.

“I saw a little chunk. I think I might have been heavy though. I don’t know what it was, it looked like a thread,” he said. Regardless, Shuster seemed to miscalculate high of his target. “It over-curled and it probably cost us the game,” Shuster said, although Norway had the hammer.

Norway’s skip, 37-year-old Thomas Ulsrud, a two-time worlds bronze medalist, also had some shots he’d like back. “We were not sharp today,” he said. “We gave away some easy points.” Ulsrud likes the potential of the young American team, though. “They are definitely a good team, a team to reckon with,” he said.

Players had trouble adjusting to the ice Monday, as it was much faster. The arena was significantly cooler after the curlers had to sweat through the first days, which made the ice slow. “Now that the ice is getting better, I’m just kind of having trouble adjusting,” Shuster said.

The U.S. plays again later today against China, which is the only team yet to win a match.


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