The U.S. came into Friday night’s game at the bottom of the standings and needing a win. After facing top ranked Canada and defending World Champions Switzerland in Games 2 and 3, the road didn’t get easier for the Hamilton siblings as they were tasked with taking on a China team that was third at the 2017 World Championships, and second in 2016.
The U.S. jumped out early, stealing two points in the first end, but couldn’t carry that offense forward, falling 6-4 to China’s Rui Wang and Ba Dexin.
The first end was the first time the Hamiltons had scored more than one point in an end since the first game of the competition against Team OAR.
The offense stalled from there though, as they were only able to muster one point over the next four ends, and another single point in the seventh. After leading 3-1 heading into the fourth, China scored a single point in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth ends, forcing a power play by the U.S. in the seventh.
The two teams headed to the final end tied 4-4, but China was able to steal two points for the ultimate win.
China stole points in three ends in the game.
The U.S. has played better than their record shows. Becca Hamilton came into the game shooting 75 percent, tops among all women in the competition. Brother Matt Hamilton came in shooting 73 percent.
However, the loss essentially eliminates the U.S. from reaching the semifinals. They fall to 1-4 with two games remaining. 3 teams are now at 4-1, and the United States cannot finish better than 3-4. They must win their last two matches and receive favorable results in other matches to be able to play a tiebreaker match against another 3-4 team.
The 3 teams at 4-1 (Canada, Norway and OAR) have not qualified for the playoffs, but at the very least would play in a tiebreaker match.
China improves to 2-3 overall.
NBC Research contributed to this story