Matt Hamilton’s birthday present: U.S. Olympic curling victory over Canada
All Matt Hamilton wanted for his 29th birthday was an Olympic men’s curling victory over Canada.
It took an extra end, but the McFarland native got his wish.
John Shuster’s last shot of the 11th end just eluded a center guard to knock out Canada’s stone for a 9-7 U.S. victory on Monday.
It was the first time the U.S. has defeated Canada in Olympic men’s curling.
“Not too shabby,” Hamilton said. “Unless there’s a Ferrari parked outside for me, I don’t think there’s a better present.”
The American team skipped by Superior’s Shuster is 3-4 and likely needs to win its last two games of the round-robin portion of the tournament to have a chance at making the semifinals.
“It was good to bounce back. You just hope it’s not too late,” Shuster said. “We kept ourselves in the mix and got a big win over an extremely good curling team. I was really proud of the way the team came together and played today.”
The teams traded steals of a point — the U.S. in the sixth for 5-3 lead and Canada in the eighth to tie the game at 5-5.
The U.S. scored two in the ninth end but Canada responded with two in the 10th to force the extra end.
Shuster led the Americans at 82 percent shooting in the game. Hamilton, the second player, was at 78 percent.
The U.S. plays Switzerland on Tuesday (5:05 a.m. Madison time).
The American team with McFarland’s Nina Roth and Becca Hamilton helped its playoff chances with a 10-4 victory over China.
The U.S. scored three in the first end and four in the third to take a commanding 7-1 lead. China conceded after the eighth end.
Roth’s team is 4-3 and tied for fourth place with two matches remaining. The top four teams make the semifinals.
Hamilton led the U.S. at 94 percent shooting. Roth was at 86 percent.
The U.S. plays South Korea on Tuesday (11:05 p.m. Monday Madison time).
Waukesha’s Mitch Whitmore finished 15th in the 500 meters in 35.13 seconds.
He was 0.72 seconds behind winner Havard Lorentzen of Norway, who bested the Olympic record of Verona native Casey FitzRandolph by 0.01 seconds. Fitzrandolph’s Olympic record of 34.42 seconds had stood since 2002.