Team USA played right with Canada for all but one end in their mixed doubles curling round robin matchup Thursday morning. That one frame, however, proved to be the difference maker.
Canada turned a tie game into a 5-2 advantage when it netted three points in the fifth end and held off a late comeback from the United States team — composed of siblings Matt and Becca Hamilton — to secure a 6-4 win.
“Unfortunately we were on the wrong side of the inch tonight,” Becca Hamilton said to reporters after the game. “We have to tighten up a bit and hopefully get more wins tomorrow. I have full confidence that we can bounce back."
The teams alternated scoring through the first four ends. But, in the fifth frame, Canada took advantage of United States’ miscues to grab control of the game.
“They jumped on all of our misses in the fifth end,” Matt Hamilton said. “Other than that, we played a pretty solid game. I’m not too discouraged.”
The Hamilton siblings responded with scores in the sixth and seventh end to cut their deficit to just one. Canada, however, clinched the win with a point in the eighth and final frame.
“We made some really great shots, but it was the fifth end I think that's what did it,” Becca Hamilton said. “We had a couple of missed shots.”
The United States began mixed doubles round robin play with a 9-3 win over the Olympic Athletes from Russia. Following the loss to Canada, Matt Hamilton said that his team was one frame away from a 2-0 start to the 2018 Winter Olympics.
"We’ve had one bad end out of 15,” He said. “So fix that and we are going to be a force."
With the win, Canada moved to 1-1 in round robin action. It was upset by Norway 9-6 in its Olympic opener Wednesday night.
"It feels good after the first tough loss to bounce back and get a real tough one against the USA,” Canada’s John Morris said following the game. “They gave everything they had against us early on, we cut a little bit of a break to get the three steal, and then just kept managing the game well. It feels good to be 1-1."
The United States mixed doubles team returns to action Thursday at 6:35 p.m. ET against Switzerland, which sits atop the round-robin standings with a 2-0 record. Six teams, including the United States and Canada, are currently tied for second at 1-1.