It wasn’t the start the U.S. women’s curling team was hoping for.
In the first game of the tournament, Japan stole two points in the first and second ends and three more in the third, putting the Americans in a hole they wouldn’t climb out of in a 9-6 loss.
The U.S. was down 8-1 at the midway point in the game, though they allowed just one point by Japan in the final four ends.
Skip Nina Roth made a game of it in the sixth after getting a double takeout to score three points and cut Japan’s lead in half.
After stealing another point in the sixth, Roth’s team had a chance for more in the seventh on what has probably been the closest measurement of any curling game in PyeongChang thus far. Both teams had one stone almost exactly the same distance from the button, and it took three turns of the measuring stick to determine Japan was closer by mere millimeters. The Japanese were awarded one point to go up four rather than the U.S. further cutting into the lead.
Japan scored the final point in the night, and the five point hole was too much to consider playing the final end.
Despite the loss, the American team could be seen smiling and saying on the ice they were satisfied with the way they played the second half of the game. Roth’s team, which has been playing together for two years and finished fifth at the most recent World Championships, will look to bounce back on Wednesday night against Great Britain.
USA 0 0 0 1 0 3 1 0 0 – 5
JPN 2 2 3 0 1 0 0 1 1 – 10
Other scores from the night:
Great Britain 10, Team OAR 3
Great Britain scored two, three and four points in single ends on the way to a 10-3 victory over Team OAR to start the PyeongChang games.
Britain scored three points in the first end, and two more in the third to take an early 5-1 lead.
After Britain stole another point in the fourth, OAR tried to mount a comeback, scoring two points in the fifth.
Britain put the final hammer down, literally, with Eve Muirhead’s hammer throw in the seventh that took out OAR’s only stone and gave her team four points and a seven point lead, forcing a concession by the Russians.
Muirhead’s team, all from Scotland, comes into PyeongChang after having finished in fourth place at the most recent World Championships. Britain won bronze at the Sochi Games four years ago. The win was an upset of OAR, who finished second at the most recent World Championships.
GBR 3 0 2 1 0 0 4 X X X – 10
OAR 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 X X X – 3
Sweden 9, Denmark 3
Sweden scored two points in the third, five, sixth and eighth ends Tuesday on the way to a 9-3 victory over Denmark in the first round of round robin play.
Denmark scored in just two ends – one point in the fourth and two in the seventh – before conceding after the eighth end.
Sweden is the defending Olympic silver medalist, and was third at the World Championships last year.
DEN 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 X X – 3
SWE 1 0 2 0 2 2 0 2 X X – 9
Switzerland 7, China 5
Switzerland and China battled through five lead changes and two ties Tuesday before the Swiss were able to score two in the ninth for the 7-5 opening night victory.
China scored the first points of the game, and led 3-2 after four ends. Switzerland scored one in the fifth to tie the score at the midway point.
It was a strong showing for China, who comes into PyeongChang ranked No. 10 out of 10 teams. Switzerland, on the other hand, is currently ranked No. 2 in the world. They finished eighth at the World Championships last year and fourth at the last Olympics.