The U.S. men’s curling team knew it needed to snap its five-game losing streak beginning on Wednesday to have any hope of making the playoffs at the world championships in Las Vegas.
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Team Persinger failed to do so in a close 7-6 loss to Russia in the first game of the day, but rebounded against Germany later on with an 8-5 win to end the team’s losing streak at six. It was the first U.S. victory since the opening game of the tournament against Japan on Saturday. Team USA is now 2-6.
Germany also came into the game with just one win. The U.S. took a 1-0 lead in the second end with a double takeout but Germany pulled ahead in the third with a deuce. The two would continue to exchange leads until the eighth when the U.S. held Germany to a single but nonetheless went into the ninth with the score tied, 5-5.
Greg Persinger’s rink had been in a similar position late in the game on several occasions so far this tournament and hadn’t been able to make the shots when they needed, but this time they came out with a deuce to take a 7-5 lead into the 10th end.
The U.S. has games remaining in the round robin against Italy, Canada, China and Switzerland beginning Thursday. All but Canada entered Wednesday’s games with records of .500 or worse. Only the top six teams will make the playoffs.
“We’ve still got six games left and have a good opportunity to get ourselves to .500 or better. As we saw in the women’s (world championship) this is a new format that .500 would likely get you a playoff bid,” coach Phill Drobnick told USA Curling after Tuesday’s loss to Sweden.