The last time Matt and Becca Hamilton faced off against Russia in mixed doubles curling was at the 2017 World Championships, a match in which they were defeated 7-5.
During Wednesday night’s opener of the 2018 Winter Olympics, the Hamilton’s got their revenge in a big way, defeating Team OAR 9-3 in seven ends.
The Americans, or #HamFam as they’ve become known on Twitter, jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after Becca cleared the house with a double-takeout on the final throw of the end.
Both Hamiltons were making their Olympic debuts.
"“Nice to get out on the ice, surprisingly didn’t feel any jitters,” Matt said to reporters following the game. “We had a really good team practice yesterday and got the rocks dialed in. Felt confident going out there. Really happy being out on the ice and it paid off for us. We played strong and had a good win. The only thing that I would’ve changed is that I wouldn’t have fallen!”
Matt shot 83 percent in the game, while his sister shot 88 percent.
Team OAR got two back in the second, but from then on out it was all Team USA. The Hamiltons won by mere millimeters in the third, then were able to steal a point in the fourth to take a 5-2 lead midway through the game.
"You know in mixed doubles you’re never safe with a three-point lead," Becca said to reporters following the game. "Anyone can score big ends, so we’re just focusing on capitalizing on their misses and coming out with the win at the end of the day."
Team USA continued to add to their lead in the fifth by scoring two after Aleksandr Krushelnitckii burned a rock, continuing the woes of Team OAR and forcing them to use the power play in the sixth end. While OAR got a point back in the sixth off of the power play, their mistakes caught up to them. All the Hamiltons had to do was place a rock on a wide-open button in the seventh to get a six-point lead and force OAR to concede the final end.