Germany tops U.S. in women's curling

BY foxsports • February 17, 2010

What better way to kick off your Wednesday than with curling from the Vancouver Olympics. If missed the game between the U.S. and German women, you're in the right place. FOXSports.com blogged all the action.

Germany defeats U.S. 6-5

End 10

The U.S. needs a small miracle to pull this one out, needing to steal two points. The Americans put up a valiant effort but can't quite pull it out. The final German hammer knocks a U.S. stone out of the house to clinch the win, 6-5.

Thanks for joining us today!

End 9

McCormick misses a big opportunity for the U.S. to score multiple points on the second to last stone. The U.S. salvages a point but still faces a huge uphill battle in the final end. 6-4, Germany.

Fun fact: According to Wikipedia: "Unlike other sports, there is no negative connotation associated with conceding in curling. In fact, in many competitions, a team is required to concede when it is mathematically impossible for them to tie a game. In more social situations, it is often considered a breach of etiquette (or at least looked down upon) to keep playing when the game is well out of reach."

End 8

Great action in the eighth end, as the advantage swings back and forth. A fine shot puts the Americans closest to the button with only the German hammer left to throw. But Schoepp has an opening and capitalizes, clearing out the U.S. stone and putting two more on the board for Germany. 6-3, Germany leads.

Movie time: If “The Big Lebowski” featured curling instead of bowling, it would have left us with these legendary movie quotes:

Maude Lebowski: What do you do for recreation?
The Dude: Oh, the usual. I curl.. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback.

Walter Sobchak: Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is curling. There are rules.

End 7

The U.S. is set up to steal at least a point after seven stones each in End 7 but there is still work to be done. A great final shot from the U.S. puts the Americans in position for two points and  turns it over to Schoepp for the final stone. She knocks one stone out but the U.S. still swipes a point.

Fun fact: The Olympic curling event consists of 10 teams in one giant pool. Each team plays every other team once for a total of nine games in the round robin format. The top four in the pool advance to a playoff for the medals. The U.S. lost its opener to Japan and would be 0-2 so far if this score holds.

End 6

Back to the action. The U.S. was left reeling after that dreadful fifth end. The U.S. is forced to settle for one point with the hammer. Huge advantage to the Germans.

Fun fact: Performances at the 2007, 2008 and 2009 World Curling Championships determined the qualifying countries for the 2010 Olympics. So if you want a shot at Sochi in 2014, you better get rid of your weak links now.

End 5

Update from a nearby sheet of ice: Japan leads Canada 3-2 after four ends. As for Germany and the U.S., we've got another crowded house. Monika Wagner of Germany bumps a fellow red stone into good position near the button as each team has four stones left.

We're rocking eight stones in the house with three left to throw -- two for Germany, one for the U.S. The Germans have one sitting right on the button, the U.S. has three inside the four-foot circle. Schoepp absolutely fires one down the ice to break up the pack in the middle. Now the U.S. has the innermost stone.

Another misfire from McCormick gives Germany a chance to score. Schoepp atones for her previous bad throw with the hammer, clearing out two U.S. stones and earning three points. It's 4-1 Germany.

Fun facts: Another fun wiki factoid: “The game of curling is thought to have been invented in late medieval Scotland.” So curling and golf come from the same place. We’re starting to detect a pattern here. Who, then, is the Tiger Woods of curling? TMZ is all over this.

Also, if you’re tempted to cheer after German miscues during the match, kindly refrain. Doing so apparently is against the “Spirit of Curling."

End 4

A little more action to start the fourth end! A trio of rocks in play in the early going should set us up for a more interesting conclusion to the end. The U.S. is in position for two points after four stones.

But the Germans clear out both those stones on the next throw and now have the edge. On the second to last stone, McCormick bumps out a key German stone and puts the U.S. in a good position to score in this end.

Schoepp misses everything on the next throw, setting up the U.S. to get multiple points with the hammer. But McCormick gets ambitious and botches a tough attempt to go for three. Instead, the U.S. ends up with one and we're tied.

Fun facts: These same U.S. women's curlers got top billing over the Canadian men's hockey team last night on U.S. television coverage as their opening game against Japan ran long. If you haven't caught the fever yet, now's the time.

Also, thank you to the Norway men's curling team for providing us with the outfits pictured at right.

End 3

Plenty of other great action going on around the Vancouver Olympic Centre. China is taking on Great Britain, Switzerland battles the Swedes, and Japan is taking on the hometown heroes from Canada.

Back to the U.S.-Germany action ... we're still keeping a tidy house midway through the third end. Germany sends its sixth stone past the T-line, then the U.S. tucks one right in front, just off center. The next German stone clears both out of the way.

Debbie McCormick of the U.S. team knocks that stone out of the way, leaving each team with one stone to go. Andrea Schoepp of Germany clears the U.S. out of the way again before McCormick's hammer completely empties the house. Another blank end as the U.S. plays some strategy to keep control of the hammer.

Fun fact: We turn to our good friends at Wikipedia:

“Curling is a team sport with similarities to lawn bowling and shuffleboard played on a sheet of carefully prepared ice.”

Note to self: When wintering in Boca, never take a shuffleboard bet from a Minnesotan. They’re probably a ringer from the curling sheet.

The wikimeisters further illuminate the mysteries of the game: “Two teams of four players take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones down the ice towards the house (a circular target marked on the ice).”

This shatters the long-held belief that “in da house” as in “. . . Snoop Dogg’s IN DA HOUUUUUSE!” is a hip-hop/rap phrase. Obviously, it has its origins in curling.

End 2

Overheard in the newsroom: Far too many commercials are really disrupting the viewing experience. We'll see if the strategy picks up in this second end.

After the first batch of throws, we're once again trading stones in the house. It's a contrast to the more crowded style of play we saw from the U.S.-Germany men's match we saw yesterday. With an empty house, the U.S. intentionally sends the hammer long to keep the last-stone advantage for End 3. No points in End 2. Still 1-0 Germany.

End 1

The countries trade blows for the first few stones, taking turns knocking each other's stones out. The Germans have the hammer for this end, giving them a distinct advantage in this style of play.

The Germans err on the fifth stone, knocking the U.S. stone out of the house but watching their own slide out as well. They resume tradine stone for stone. It's an absolute war of attrition out there.

It all comes down to the hammer. Annnnd the Germans knock the U.S. stone out, earning the first point.


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