On a night like Saturday, there's very few teams who could defeat Japan. Unfortunately, Team USA was the one who had to go up against them.
Japan held John Shuster's team to just two points in seven ends of play in an 8-2 rout of the Americans.
The U.S. made just 61 percent of their takeouts, whereas Japan was successful on 94 percent, and had 31 takeouts in all. The Japanese squad, led by skip Yusuke Morozumi, scored in the first three ends - two in the first, and one each in the second and third - to take a quick 4-0 lead. Shuster missed double takeout attempts in both the second and third ends, setting up difficulties he would face all night.
“Slow start. Maybe not ready to go in the morning," USA lead John Landsteiner told reporters after the game. "I don’t know why. We did the same routine, everything. Didn’t get the hammer, gave up the deuce. Just everything kind of went the wrong way starting out."
The U.S. finally found the scoreboard in the fifth end when they were able to clear the house and land Shuster's final throw on the button for two. That was the only end they would score all game.
Japan answered with two of their own in the sixth and seventh ends. After Morozumi landed his final throw of the seventh next to another stone right on the top of the button, Shuster went hard for a triple takeout attempt that again failed as the U.S. stone sailed off the left side of the board, leaving two yellows inside for the game winners.
“I thought we threw the rocks great. We had a couple of ends where we were set up real good. Just had some misses at the wrong time,” USA third Tyler George said. “Sometimes the scoreboard doesn’t really indicate how close the game was. Japan played great. If you make mistakes against a team that’s playing really well at the wrong time, you are going to pay for it. It wasn’t just John (Shuster), we all made a few mistakes when we couldn’t afford to.”
Both teams were tied for fourth in the team standings heading into the game. The U.S. falls to 2-3, now tied for fifth. Japan improves to 3-2, tied for third overall.
Norway took advatage of two 4 point ends to hold off Denmark Saturday, 10-8.
Down 2-1 in the fourth end, Norway's Thomas Ulsrud had a perfect takeout for four points and the lead they wouldn't relinquish.
After giving up one in the fifth, Ulsrud and company again put together a perfect end, setting up three stones in an empty house, and scooting their hammer throw just enough inside for another four points.
Denmark tried to mount a comeback, scoring two in each of the seventh and eighths ends, but after finding themselves down three in the 10th, they could manage just a single point for the loss.
Norway improves to 2-3 overall, while Denmark falls to 1-4.
After starting a perfect 4-0, Canada suffered their second straight loss in the PyeongChang games, falling to Switzerland 8-6.
Switzerland made their presence known early, scoring four points in the first end. Canada responded with two in the second, but the Swiss continued to add on, taking a 7-3 lead into the halftime break.
Canadian skip Kevin Koe had a perfect takeout for two points in the sixth, and his squad stole another point in the seventh to cut the lead to one. After blanking the eighth end, Switzerland scored another in the ninth, and skip Benoit Schwarz had a perfect double takeout of Canadian stones on the second to last throw. Koe missed on his next shot, forcing a concession and Swiss win.
Both teams are now tied for second in the standings at 4-2.