The U.S. and Team OAR battled through four lead changes and two ties in 10 ends of regulation Thursday. In the end, it was the extreme sweeping of Becca Hamilton, Aileen Geving and Tabitha Peterson that helped Team USA pick up a 7-6 win.
Nina Roth's U.S. team scored more than one point in just one end Thursday, but were able to hold OAR to single points in all but one end.
OAR scored two in the second after Roth barely missed a double takeout. The U.S. answered in the third with a hit and stay to score two of their own.
The two teams scored three points each in the final six ends. Down one in the 10th, OAR was able to bump off of a U.S. yellow rock at the top of the button to tie the score at 6-6.
All Roth needed to do in the 11th was float right into the four-foot circle for a single point. It looked as if the throw may have been a bit too light, but Hamilton and Geving swept as hard as they could, with Peterson coming in for the extra hand to give the stone just barely enough life to get an inch closer than the red at the top.
“It felt really good out of my hand and then I saw the girls pound it," Roth told reporters after the game. "They’re great at judging and reading rocks, so they kind of knew they had to pound it and then it started curling, so all I could do was yell at them, which I did!”
“All teams benefit from having good sweepers," Hamilton said. "Aileen and I are pretty good on the brooms and we knew with that last rock we had to sweep. We knew where we had to put it and we did just that!”
The U.S. had a stolen point in the fourth end, their fourth stolen end in four games.
“We all played great, but we just need to sharpen up a little bit,” Hamilton said. “We were just on the wrong side of the inch on a couple of them there where we gave up [points] and could’ve had two or forced them to one.”
Roth and company improve to 2-2 overall with a big contest against Canada coming up next. Canada, the defending gold medalist, is hungry for a win after starting the tournament 0-3.
OAR falls to 1-3 overall.
Sweden remained unbeaten in Olympic play Friday with an 8-7 victory over Switzerland.
Anna Hasselborg and her Swedish team found themselves down early. After knocking their own rock through the house, they blanked the fifth end to go into the break down 4-2.
But Hasselborg and company responded in the sixth, scoring a total of six points in three straight ends, including three stolen points in the seventh and two more in the eighth, to take a commanding 8-4 lead.
After scoring one in the nith, Switzerland had a chance to tie in the final end, sitting three stones in the house. But Hasselborg simply knocked one out, forcing the Swiss to come up just short of forcing extra ends.
Sweden, the defending Olympic silver medalists and World Championship bronze medalists, is now the only unbeaten team left in the women's tournament, improving to 4-0 overall. Switzerland falls to 1-3.
Great Britain never allowed Denmark to score more than a single point in any end on the way to a 7-5 victory.
Eve Muirhead's team scored two in the second, sixth and eighth ends, good enough for the win, their third in four games.
Britain improves to 3-1 overall. Denmark, coming off of an upset victory over gold medal favorites Canada, falls to 1-3.
China handed Japan their first loss of the PyeongChang games with a 7-6 victory in 11 ends.
China was down 5-3 through seven ends Thursday, but were able to get a takeout for three points in the eighth to take their first lead of the night.
While China was unable to find another point in regulation, they scored again when it mattered most. Japan scored one in the 10th to tie the score at 6-6, but in the 11th all Japan needed to do was land on the button for the win. Much like in the U.S. game, it took all three sweepers - Jingyi Ma, Jinli Lin and Yan Zhou - to reach the button, but finally the yellow stone got in as the Chinese squad raised their arms in celebration.
China improve to 2-2 overall. Japan falls to 3-1.