Written By Matthew Gephart
SOCHI, Russia – Coming into day five of Round Robin Sessions, the US Team has a tough road ahead of them, needing to win every session they have left for the week here in Sochi. With a combination of wins and a combination of losses the US still could find themselves in a tie-breaker if they do lose one session to any of the teams here in the Round Robins. The US hopes to inch closer to a medal contention with two wins today as they face China and Sweden in sessions nine and ten.
The US Team started out the day facing China, a team also looking for medal contention with a few wins in the Round Robin. Starting off with the hammer, an ongoing pattern for the US Team, they came out taking one point from the Chinese during the first end.
Without the hammer in the second end of the session, the US Team was able to place one stone and increase their lead to 2-0. As was for the third and fourth end as well, scoring one point each and increasing their lead by four. In the third end, US Skip Patrick McDonald needed to make a perfect draw past two Chinese stones to force them to play a difficult double takeout, which the Chinese skip missed on the final throw.
The fifth end was the only end that the US Team gave up a point, where the Chinese were able to place two stones closest to the button and actually score two points, bringing the score to 4-2 in favor of the United States. The US even had the hammer in this end, but poorly placed stones and missed shots allowed the Chinese to steal away two points on the board.
Back on track, the sixth end left the US with two more points, making up for the previous end where they gave up the stones to the Chinese. This end the US scored two points and increasing their lead again to four, making the board 6-2 going into the seventh end.
The seventh end was the highlight for the US team in this session, where they were able to place four stones and force the Chinese team to concede the eighth end, giving the US Team the first win of the day they needed to advance to medal contention.
After the morning session, the US faced the Swedish team and yet again gained the hammer for this session. Capitalizing on that, the US Team scored one point in the first end, then giving the hammer to the Swedish team who was able to take the lead scoring two stones closest to the button and bringing the score to 2-1.
Gaining back the hammer for the third end, the US was able to score another point and tie the session. The fourth end was finally the US Team’s momentum changer, where US Skip Patrick McDonald made a perfect draw to work around a guard and set up a three point throw to finish the end.
Having the lead once again, the US worked their way around Swedish stones to score another two points in the fifth end and take the lead 7-2.
The sixth end left the Swedish Team an open ended point when the US team missed their shot by centimeters sailing past a Sweden stone closest to the button. The US Team still led the Swedes 7-3 going into the seventh end, and was able to score one point forcing Sweden to concede the eighth end, and keeping hopes alive for another day to contend for a medal spot in the finals.