Canada's men win gold
Kevin Martin's Albertan boys from Edmonton won the gold medal in the nation's No. 2 sport, beating a Norwegian foursome that charmed these Olympics with its celebrated flamboyant pants. The 6-3 victory Saturday gave Canada its 13th gold medal,
Martin didn't have his best day at 78-percent shooting, but he converted a big one to the innermost circle in the ninth and knocked away a great shot by Ulsrud. That gave Canada a three-point cushion going into the 10th.
Martin's teammates came to play, too. Marc Kennedy also had one of his most consistent outings. Morris, shooting third, pulled off a triple takeout in the second end, then a key double takeout in the fifth.
"John was the MVP today," Martin said.
Switzerland wins bronze
After all the near misses, it was Switzerland's time. A bronze, and in curling-crazy Canada where it almost counts a little more.
"Finally, finally," Stoeckli said just several minutes after the match. "That was just amazing."
Stoeckli scored two points with his final stone that nearly traveled too far, lifting his team to a 5-4 victory over Sweden on Saturday for a spot on the podium at last.
The Swedes and skip Niklas Edin were trying to make it two curling medals for their country. A day earlier, the Swedish women defended their gold from Torino four years ago. Edin had a big quadruple takeout in the ninth when four Swiss stones were in scoring position. But the Swiss hung on to step on the podium later that night.
GOLD MEDAL GAME:
Anette Norberg and her Swedish rink played through the din of a cowbell-clanging crowd Friday, going the distance in defending their title from Torino four years ago. They beat Cheryl Bernard's Canadian team 7-6 in an extra 11th end to spoil the party for the host country.
Bernard leaned on her broom as she watched Norberg's final offering settle right on target, then scurried down the ice to try to save the day just one more time. But Bernard's best attempt to bump Norberg's rock a little further away fell short, the crowd hanging on her shot and then turning silent.
BRONZE MEDAL GAME:
China scored three in the first end and a deuce in the third for a 5-1 lead, but the Swiss came back with a three-spot in the fourth and two more points in the sixth to tie it at 6. China answered with two points in the seventh and four in the eighth to eliminate any hope of a comeback. China win 12-6 and takes its first curling medal.
The Norwegian men's curling team, with its popular, loud diamond-print trousers, beat Switzerland 7-5 in the semifinals Thursday, setting up a date with unbeaten defending champion Canada in Saturday's gold-medal game.
"There will be a lot of noise, and I'm sure they're not going to cheer for the pants," Norway third Torger Nergaard said of the raucous, pro-Canada crowd. "They're going to cheer for the old champions."
Kevin Martin, Canada's "Old Bear," will finally get a second shot at gold eight years after his team missed the top of the podium by a mere inch -- against Norway, no less.
The unbeaten Canadians captured a hard-fought 6-3 victory over surprising Sweden in their semifinal. Martin, who was not on Canada's gold-winning 2006 team, will get a chance to defend the title and put an exclamation point on his amazing career.
Sweden and Switzerland will play for the bronze.
In the women's semifinals, Sweden had a comfortable win, while Canada advanced with a nail-biting victory decided when Swiss skip Mirjam Ott misfired on her final shot.
Trailing 6-4 in the final end, the Swiss had one stone near the center of the scoring area with a Canadian rock nearby. Ott managed to knock the Canadian stone out with the last shot, but her own stone slid too far away for her team to score the two points it needed to tie the game.
Anette Norberg, whose starting lineup from Torino was kept intact for another Olympic run, had an easier time, prompting China to concede the match after nine ends. Now comes the challenge of facing the top-seeded Canadians in front of the partisan crowd.
China and Switzerland will meet for the bronze.
Donald Sutherland was in the crowd watching the women's semifinals! How cool is THAT?!
Upset of the day:
The Chinese women did not look like world champions. Sweden had no trouble racking up points on them, giving Norberg and crew an easy pass into the gold medal final game.
David Murdoch's rink was heavily favored going into today's tiebreaker. The men from Great Britain are the current world champions, while their opponents from Sweden are new to the international game. Relatively new that is. Niklas Edin's foursome are young, barely off the junior circuit, but they DID manage to win the European championship last year.
The tiebreaker between these rinks was a surprise. Murdoch's team rarely makes mistakes...it seems like they saved them all for today! But they were forced into them by some aggressive play by the Swedes.
Edin scored two points in both the first and third ends, then another point in the fourth for a 5-2 lead. The Brits rallied to force an 11th end, but Sweden won on Edin's final shot of the match.
And now the young men meet the giants from Canada in the semifinals.
The Canadians completed their perfect run through the round-robin schedule with a 10-3 win over China in seven ends and afterward raised their brooms to acknowledge the fans. But the team skipped by Kevin Martin must wait to discover their opponents in the final four after Great Britain and Sweden finished in a tie for fourth spot and now face a Wednesday play-off.
The U.S. women's team played their last game of the Olympics and didn't go out in style. The Swiss team stole 3 in the seventh, and the women conceded to the much stronger team, 10-3. They finished a disappointing 2-7, after having medal hopes coming into Vancouver last week. Canada's rink won both their games today to finish the tournament at 8-1.
King Harald V of Norway was in the stands today, cheering on his subjects in the patterned pants. Rumor has it the king was given a pair, but did not wear them in public. The famous Norwegian pants have their own Facebook page and have more than 400,000 fans!
Upset of the Day:
The defending world champions from Great Britain had a chance to secure the final spot in the medal round. Instead the Brits were defeated by Norway and must play a tie-breaker against Sweden to earn the right to play Canada on Thursday.
The U.S. men lost their last game of the Olympic round robin today, a shortened 11-5 decision to China in nine ends. They didn't give their fans much to cheer about during a surprisingly poor Olympics. Kevin Martin's Canadian rink stayed perfect again, already clinching first spot in the playdowns.
The Canadian women rebounded Monday afternoon from their first loss Sunday to China by with a surprising lopsided result against defending gold medalist Sweden, 6-2 in a shortened nine ends. The U.S. women still have a chance to get into a tie-breaker, but they will have to beat China tomorrow.
In Canada's game against Sweden, alternate Kristie Moore subbed in for her Olympic debut. And she's nearly six months pregnant! Moore needs to get on the ice at some point to receive a medal if the Canadian rink gets one. She said, "That was pretty cool and pretty special. One day I'll tell the baby it was in the Olympics."
Upset of the Day:
Canadian-bred Chinese curling coach Dan Rafael is so furious with what he calls a lack of passion by his players he said he plans to quit coaching this group once his contract is up. The Chinese women played a lackluster game against Canada in morning play.
Scottish skip David Murdoch's British team handed the foursome a 4-2 loss Sunday. That dropped the Americans to 2-5, practically assuring their elimination from semifinal contention. Murdoch's world champion team is 4-3 and bounced back from a tough loss to Canada a night earlier. Murdoch nailed what has become a routine draw to the button on his throw, pulling out a big win to boost his team's playoff chances.
The American curlers made a lineup change and were much more accurate in their shooting. It didn't matter much -- fired-up Sweden was just too good on the heels of its first Olympic loss. The U.S. women's foursome lost its second shortened game of the day Sunday, falling 9-3 to the defending gold medalist Swedes in nine ends after an earlier loss to Canada.
Debbie McCormick pulled herself out of the fourth position after a bad loss to Canada in the morning draw.
Upset of the Day:
The men's team from Sweden upset the second-place Norway.
The biggest night in curling so far, a match up that we could see in the gold medal game, world champion Britain took on undefeated Canada with the home team winning the day.
The men's U.S. team also had a terrific day as they won their second game of the tournament.
Britain's skip failed to convert a routine shot in the do-or-die 11th end, lifting the U.S. women's curlers to a thrilling 6-5 victory Saturday -- and gave them a glimmer of Olympic hope, too. Skip Debbie McCormick's foursome won its second straight match following an 0-3 start
A spontaneous rendition of 'O Canada' by an enthusiastic home crowd inspires Team Martin to victory over Britain's David Murdoch in the most anticipated game of the whole tournament.
Upset of the Day:
Canada defeated rival David Murdoch and his British team. Kevin Martin's Canadian team had lost the past four meetings to Murdoch, including the 2009 World Championship game.
Regular skip John Shuster was benched for the match because of his poor shot-making. Alternate Chris Plys was promoted to the skip spot and vice skip Jason Smith threw last rock. The U.S. foursome tied it with two in the ninth after France scored a deuce in the seventh for a 3-1 lead. Smith's final throw gave the Americans three stones in the house, and France couldn't get closest at the end.
They raised their brooms in triumph. The American women finally won at curling. "Whoop whoop!" Nicole Joraanstad tweeted. "Felt great to win today. It is now time to start the winning streak!" U.S. skip Debbie McCormick, feeling the pressure after an 0-3 start, led her team past Russia 6-4 Friday in the round-robin portion of the schedule.
- U.S. Skip John Shuster was benched for today's game and alternate, Chris Plys came in to lead the team to victory.
- Honorary Curling Captain, Vernon Davis shows up and inspires both U.S. teams to their first wins of the Olympics.
Upset of the Day:
Japan's women defeated the young Great Britain rink in a lopsided 11-4 game.
John Shuster apologized for his inconsistent shot-making, a performance that has all but doomed the winless American men curlers in the Olympics. The Americans lost to Denmark 7-6 Thursday in yet another extra end. They are 0-4 and will need to win their remaining five matches in the round-robin schedule to stand any chance of reaching the semifinals.
The U.S. women's curlers fell 7-6 to Denmark for their third straight defeat at the Olympics. The U.S. had control of the game until a costly seventh end when Denmark scored a three-spot. U.S. skip Debbie McCormick final draw was well short, and all three of her teammates frantically swept to no avail. Denmark scored a point in the first and second ends before the Americans tied it with a deuce in the third. The U.S. added a point in the fourth and fifth ends.
Highlight: The Danish women sporting pleated black kilts with matching tights and leg warmers. They're making their own statement on the women's side while the Norwegian men have drawn worldwide attention with their loud, diamond-print trousers
Upset of the day:
Switzerland defeats David Murdoch and the men from Great Britain.
Skip Debbie McCormick's squad fell 6-5 to Germany in its second match Wednesday, unable to make up a two-point deficit in the final end. The team again struggled at crucial times with the technical aspects of rock placement and shot-making. Coach Wally Henry, McCormick's father and longtime coach, figures the Americans must win their next two to pull even through the first four contests in the nine-game, round-robin schedule. The top four advance to the semifinals.
Another extra end did in the U.S. men's curlers. John Shuster's foursome rallied from an early four-point deficit but couldn't convert in the additional 11th end, falling 7-6 to Switzerland with their second straight extra-end defeat after losing to Norway a night earlier by a single point.
Highlight: Norway's Pants! (A new pattern.)
Upset of the day: The 19-year old skip, Eve Muirhead, lead her rink from Great Britain to a win over current world champions, China.
A tough start to the Olympic Curling tournament for both American teams. The men's team, led by 2006 Bronze Medalist John Shuster, fell 0-2 after having some trouble with his final stones. He lost to the experienced Germans in the morning (7-5), then missed a shot in the 11th end allowing Norway to steal the win (6-5).
Debbie McCormick and her women's rink had a good start, but eventually lost their first game. Japan scored three points in both the fifth and seventh ends to rally from a three-point deficit, beating the Americans 9-7 in a dramatic finish that brought out an official measurement.
Highlight: Norway's Pants!
Upset of the day: The young Swedish team led by Niklas Edin defeated the current world champs from Great Britain.
After missing the Torino Games by inches, two-time Olympian Debbie McCormick of Rio, Wis. will skip for Team USA in Vancouver.
By virtue of winning the 2010 Olympic Trials, John Shuster's rink will represent Team USA in Vancouver. Shuster won Olympic bronze in Torino.