United States secure first win of Paralympic campaign

  • United States pick up first win Photo © WCF / Céline Stucki

After two successive losses, United States picked up their first Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 win in Sunday (11 March) evening's session of round-robin play at the Gangneung Curling Centre when they defeated Sweden 10-2.

United states opened the scoring in the first end with two points, then stole two points in the second end when Swedish skip Viljo Petersson Dahl missed a takeout with his final stone and followed that with single point steals in the third and fourth ends for a 6-0 lead at the break.

Sweden scored their only points of the game in the fifth end before United States scored two points in the sixth end. United States followed this with another steal of two points in the seventh end, which was enough to force Sweden to concede with the score 10-2.

China continued their unbeaten run with a 7-3 win over previously undefeated Germany. With the game tied at 2-2 after the fourth end break, China took a 6-2 lead in the fifth end after skip, Haitao Wang was able to tap back a German stone with his final shot to score four points on the way to their win. This result gave China their third win of the competition and sees then join Canada and Korea at the top of the rankings on three wins and no losses.

Great Britain bounced back from their morning loss to win 9-2 over Finland. Great Britain stole two points in the first end, before Finland levelled the game with a score of one point in the second end and a steal of one point in the third end. A single point for Great Britain in the fourth end gave them a 3-2 lead at the break.

In the second half Great Britain stole two points in the fifth, sixth and seventh ends before running Finland out of stones in the eighth end to secure the 9-2 win.

The session's final game went all the way to the last stone. Switzerland were trailing 5-4 with the last stone advantage in the eighth end, where skip Felix Wagner was sitting second shot stone, and had an open hit and stay to score the two points for the win. He made no mistake with his final stone, scoring the two points necessary to give Switzerland the 6-5 victory and their second win of the day.

They said it

Aileen Neilson; skip, Great Britain (after 9-2 win over Finland): "We had a loss early on today, so we were really keen to get back on the ice, play some good shots and get a win on the board which we managed to do. We are delighted to be 2 and 1 after the first two days. If you look back, our history, we always learned from losses, we learned from defeats and bounced back and we've managed to do that again today which is very pleasing."

Kirk Black, skip, USA (after 10-5 win over Sweden): "We just finally got on our game a little bit better than what we had. Learned the ice a little bit faster than we normally have been doing, so it feels good to finally get the first W and get this thing rolling. We're a pretty loose group, we like to joke around and have fun, and these first couple of games, it's a little frustrating when you don't come away with it, but we're a close-knit team and we still have our fun, so we came out there and just do what we do."

Session five results: Slovakia 5-6 Switzerland; Great Britain 9-2 Finland; China 7-3 Germany; United States 10-2 Sweden.

Standings after session five (win-loss):

Canada 3-0
China 3-0
Korea 3-0
Great Britain 2-1
Germany 2-1
Switzerland 2-1
Neutral Paralympic Athletes 1-2
Slovakia 1-2
United States 1-2
Finland 0-3
Norway 0-3
Sweden 0-3

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