CURLING: Shuster’s rink wins for U.S. in Omaha World Cup

Olympic gold medalist John Shuster (USA)

The second leg of the inaugural World Curling Federation World Cup came to the Ralston Arena in Omaha, Nebraska and some enthusiastic crowds saw the U.S. team, skipped by John Shuster, came away with a victory in the men’s final.

This was a real clash of titans, pitting Shuster’s Olympic gold medalists (with one change since PyeongChang) against the Olympic silver medalists and 2018 World Champions from Sweden, skipped by Niklas Edin.

Both won their groups, and the final was a tight, defensive battle. Shuster’s rink scored first with a point in the second end and Edin tied it in the fifth. But single points in the sixth and seventh ends by Shuster were critical and made the difference in the 3-1 win.

“What a great tournament,” said Shuster. “There was some great curling out here and some really great teams. I’m really proud to get a win any time you have your country on your back.

“It was a lot of fun [to play before a U.S. crowd] – they were into it. For me, it’s always been easier every time we have lots of fans in the stands and we definitely got that feeling here this week, especially this afternoon.”

In the women’s event, Korea and Japan won their groups and the final was a wide-open affair. Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa took the lead right away with two points in the first end, but Minji Kim’s squad came back with four in the second. After five ends, Koreans had a 6-3 lead, but Japan chipped away. Fujisawa’s squad scored single points in the sixth and seventh ends and then got two in the final frame to steal a 7-6 win and the tournament title.

In the Mixed Doubles, Switzerland’s Jenny Perret and Martin Rios struck right away with four points in the first end and cruised to a win over Norway’s Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten, 10-5. The Norwegians qualified for the final by just a point ahead of the U.S. duo of Tabitha Peterson and Joe Polo, 12-11.