Friday, December 13, 2013

U.S. men's Olympic hopes rest on tiebreaker

The Olympic hopes of the American men’s curling team is resting on a tiebreaker it will play on Saturday against Korea.

The U.S. has to win that game and then defeat the loser of the 1 vs. 2 match between Germany and the Czech Republic. The winner of that latter contest moves on to Sochi.

All four of those teams finished the round-robin at 5-2. Based on round-records, Germany was awarded first place, Czech Republic second and the U.S. and Korea tied for third.

The position of the teams, playing in Fussen, Germany, wasn’t determined until the final stone of an extra end in the final game of the round robin, according to this WCF press release.
The dramatic climax came in the game between Japan and Germany. The Japanese men were already out of contention but that did not stop them fighting all the way, forcing an extra end with a single steal in the tenth end to level the game at 7-7. 
When Germany's fourth player Felix Schiulze came to play his last stone, he had to out-draw a Japanese stone partly frozen on the eight-foot ring. To his relief he managed it, much to the delight of the home crowd. 
The result of this was that Germany, the Czech Republic, Korea and the USA all shared the same won five, lost two record. 
Using their win-loss record among these four, Germany ranked first and the Czech Republic, who beat New Zealand by 7-6, ranked second, meaning that these two will play the 1v2 Play-off game on Saturday night at 20:00 (CET).

In women’s play, China and Japan have earned spots in the 1 vs. 2 game despite there being one more round-robin game remaining.

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