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Curling: Day One

Norway v. These Colors Don't Run

The stars and stripes started out their olympic quest for glory with a convincing 11-5 victory over a Norway squad who could provide no answers to the American onslaught this afternoon. Norway was the 2002 gold-medalist in men's curling in Salt Lake City.

It wasn't all sunshine and lollipops for the Americans, though, as the United States had to use a death-blow five pointer in the eighth end to force Norway to conceed with two frames remaining.


In the fifth end, Skip Pete Fenson hit a triple by curling around a guarding stone placed by Norway and knocking the American opponents out of the scoring area. This subsequently left three American rocks closest to the middle resulting in the three pointer. Team member John Shuster summed up the throw with the following:

"When he made the triple, I had chills," Shuster said. "I went to the other end and I said, 'Are you having fun yet?"'
When push came to shove, the Americans really didn't dominate the statistics game. The Norweigans outpaced the Americans in draw percentage and ended the match with a higher number of takeouts. Where the USA really did its damage though was in takeout percentage, where the red, white, and blue generated a 71% mark to Norway's pitiful 59% tally. That, ultimately, was the story of the night.

Finland v. E Plurbis Unim

After riding high from a dominating performance against Norway, the Americans could not hold off a large charge from another Scandanavian curling machine, Finland.

The United States charge out of the gate quickly, racing out to a 2-0 lead after the second end. Finland, however, refused to bow out and evened up the game with a two-point fourth end. The countries traded tallies in the sixth and eighth end and went into the tenth and final end locked in a 3-3 tie.

The Americans held the hammer in the last end but was unable to capitalize as Finland managed to put one marker on the board late in the end, leaving the Americans to wonder what could have been on the first day of competition. Having dominated the statistics sheet, the United States should have pulled out the victory, but will now have to make up ground tomorrow against woeful New Zealand.

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