With no clear favorite in the women’s curling tournament, the opening 9-3 win in seven ends for the U.S. over the ROC might prove to be crucial come the semifinals.
Although neither the Americans or Russians made the semis in PyeongChang, both won medals at the world championships and had high expectations coming into the Olympics.
After leading off by exchanging takeouts for most of the first end, American skip Tabitha Peterson took advantage of the hammer to score two points with a well-placed draw.
Tabitha’s sister, Tara Peterson, opened the following end with a shot inside the button that helped limit the Russians to one point.
With three Russian rocks inside the house, a double takeout by American vice-skip Nina Roth helped prevent a steal and get the point back for a 3-1 lead.
The fourth end looked like it was shaping up for the Russians to make a double of their own, but a crucial miss by skip Alina Kovaleva with the hammer gifted a steal of one to the Americans.
Kovaleva didn’t learn her lesson in time for the next end. Instead of settling for one point with a single takeout, she attempted another double takeout and missed again. Team USA stole two points this time to go up 6-1.
It looked like the U.S. was on its way to winning without a sweat, but a miss by Becca Hamilton put the Russians in position to potentially get back three. Thankfully for the U.S. team, the damage was limited to two points for the ROC.
With the hammer in tow, the U.S. was able to score three points in the seventh. Staring down a six-point deficit with only three ends left, the Russians conceded the match.
Each team will regroup quickly to play again at 1:05 a.m. ET with the Americans facing off against Sweden and the Russians going up against China.