Korea gets big win over U.S., Americans losing chance at curling semifinals

Korea gets big win over U.S., Americans losing chance at curling semifinals

Needing a win to keep the hopes of reaching the semifinals alive, Team USA saw the wheels fall off against Korea in the second game Thursday night, losing in six ends 9-1.

Both the U.S. and Korea came into the game 1-2 with four matches remaining.

The U.S. sibling duo of Becca and Matt Hamilton came into the game with the highest shooting percentage among the eight teams in the field, Becca shooting 78 percent and Matt 83 percent. However, through three ends against Korea Matt Hamilton was shooting under 50 percent, and it showed.

After falling 7-1 through four ends, a visibly frustrated Matt Hamilton ditched his hat in a last ditch effort to do anything to change his team’s misfortunes. But not even the hat could help the Hamilton’s recover.

“Didn’t handle the ice this game and it’s tough to stay energetic and hyped up when things aren’t going your way,” Matt Hamilton said to reporters following the game. “But nothing you can but come back the next game and make something happen.”

Playing the power play option in the fifth in hopes of drumming up more offense, the Hamiltons instead had even more mistakes, and couldn’t even finish with a point in the end. Korea stole another to go up seven.

The U.S. has now gone 21 ends without scoring more than a single point, dating back to the first game of the tournament against Team OAR.

The U.S. didn’t start the game with the hammer for the first time in PyeongChang, and gave up two points to Korea in the first end after the Koreans cleared the house on a double-takeout, and landed on the button with the final throw.

The U.S. responded with one point in the second, but Korea again capitalized with the hammer in the third, scoring two more in the end, and three more in the fourth to take a 7-1 lead at the midway point.

“We like playing under pressure but today Korea just outshot us,” Becca Hamilton said. “They played great.”

The U.S. team will now hope to salvage a win against China Friday morning, and hope other teams falter to have any chance and making the semifinals.

More than anything, the Hamiltons just hope playing with their backs against the wall pushes them more.

“I’m hoping it just motivates us and gets us really hype,” Matt Hamilton said. “We’re excited to get back out tomorrow and show we’re not a 1-3 team.”

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