It was a game of big ends, but in the end, the U.S.’s comeback attempt came up just short in a 10-9 loss to Italy.
The two teams had just four combined ends in which they scored only one point, and they scored five, three, two and three points in consecutive ends.
The game in all had five ends in which two or more points were scored.
Italy’s big lead early could have been a disastrous mistake by the American team. Shuster’s final shot of the third wasn’t thrown hard and overcurled, hitting its own rock and leaving a cluster of yellow rocks for an eventual five points for the Italians.
But Shuster and company erased the deficit in just two ends. Shuster had a double takeout for three points in the fourth, and they were able to steal two more in the fifth. Facing a tough last shot that saw an Italian stone on the button sandwiched between two American stones, Shuster threw a shot perfectly to knock it out of place. Italy’s hammer throw didn’t curl enough to knock the U.S. out of the house, giving up two more points for a 6-6 tie at the midway point.
Italy answered though, notching a double takeout for three points to again take a big lead on Shuster’s squad.
The U.S. opted for a takeout and blanked end in the seventh in order to maintain the hammer for the eighth. It worked, as they were able to get a takeout and two points, cutting Italy’s lead again to just one.
The lead turned into a tie in the ninth when Shuster had a throw ricochet for a takeout, and Italy missed a takeout attempt of their own to let the U.S. steal a point for the tie.
After two ties though, the U.S. never found the lead, with Italy’s hammer throw getting just inches closer to the button than America’s red rock for the 10th and decisive point of the game.
The U.S. falls to 1-1 in the competition. Italy improves to 2-1.