(OMAHA, Nebreaska) - If game one is any indication, fans at Baxter Arena are going to get their money’s worth as Nina Roth’s team scored with the last rock in an extra end to win the first playoff game to determine the women’s curling team for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games.
Roth (McFarland, Wis.) and teammates Tabitha Peterson (St. Paul, Minn.), Aileen Geving (Duluth, Minn.), and Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) defeated Sinclair’s team in an extra end, 6-5, as the playoff round of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling began.
“It’s a great feeling especially since this was their opportunity to have hammer. I think we played it really well and next time we’ll get to start with hammer so we’ll have that advantage. I’m looking forward to pushing it again tomorrow,” Roth said after the win.
The two sides will return to the ice at 1 p.m. Friday for the second game in the best-of-three series.
“We’ve had a lot of adversity all season so we’re pretty good dealing with that. We’ve got some routines in place and we’re just going to rest up, get fired up, and make sure we’re physically and mentally prepared for tomorrow,” Sinclair said.
After holding Sinclair’s team to a single in the opening end, Team Roth patiently waited for a scoring opportunity, which came in the fourth. Team Roth was able to take advantage of a less-than-precise freeze attempt from Sinclair’s team to convert a takeout to score two points and get on the scoreboard. Both sides displayed fantastic sweeping with their final stones of the fifth end to remove their opponents’ stones in the four-foot positioned behind a center guard. With the final takeout, Sinclair’s side earned a deuce to take a 3-2 lead.
Team Roth was working toward a deuce in the seventh end but a double from Sinclair forced Roth to make a takeout for a single point. In the eighth end, a great hit-and-roll from Carlson looked to set up another deuce for Team Sinclair. Roth, however, countered with a freeze that forced Sinclair to eventually draw for a single point.
Roth’s team got an opportunity to score multiple points in the ninth end and took two when Sinclair’s freeze attempt was left in the open for Roth to remove with the final stone.
In the 10th end, Carlson buried her second vice skip stone in the back of the button behind a guard. Sinclair placed a second counter in the rings but it was a little too deep in the back of the four-foot and left a pocket for Roth to draw down into for second position. Sinclair wasn’t able to pop it out and only earned a single point. In the extra end, Roth’s team took advantage of a few stones from Sinclair’s side that weren’t precise enough, leaving Roth with a takeout for the win.
“We decided to take a little different spin on it and kind of put some pressure on them early. And we had some good opportunities to steal an end, but I think we handled it well,” Roth said. “We just want to get a good night’s sleep tonight and be as loose as we were today. Having the music between ends was great, keeping things light and fun. We worked so hard to get here and we want to enjoy it.”
The women’s game will re-air tonight on NBCSN at 9 p.m. CT following the live coverage of the first men’s playoff game between John Shuster and Heath McCormick at 6 p.m. CT. A complete TV and webstream schedule is below.
Line score, women’s playoff #1:
*Jamie Sinclair 100 020 010 10 – 5
Nina Roth 000 200 102 01 – 6
*last rock in first end
Playoff TV/webstreaming schedule (all times CT):
1:30 p.m., women’s playoff #1 (Sinclair v. Roth), live via webstream at www.NBCSports.com
6 p.m., men’s playoff #1 (Shuster v. McCormick), live on NBCSN & live online
9 p.m., women’s playoff #1 replay, NBCSN
1 p.m., women’s playoff #2 (Sinclair v. Roth), live via webstream at www.NBCSports.com
6:30 p.m., men’s playoff #2 (Shuster v. McCormick), live on NBCSN & live online
10:30 p.m., women’s playoff #2 replay, NBCSN
10 a.m., women’s playoff #3 (Sinclair v. Roth), if needed, live via webstream at www.NBCSports.com
6:30 p.m., men’s playoff #3 (Shuster v. McCormick), if needed, live on NBCSN & live online
Please note that if only one playoff game is needed on Saturday it will be in the 6:30 time slot.
John Shuster (Superior, Wis.), Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.), and Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.)
Heath McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario), Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Korey Dropkin (Duluth, Minn.), and Tom Howell (Milwaukee, Wis.)
Jamie Sinclair (St. Paul, Minn.), Alex Carlson (St. Paul, Minn.), Vicky Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), and Monica Walker (St. Paul, Minn.)
Nina Roth (McFarland, Wis.), Tabitha Peterson (Eagan, Minn.), Aileen Geving (Duluth, Minn.), and Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.)
USA Curling is hosting the event with Baxter Arena and the Omaha Sports Commission, in partnership with the Aksarben Curling Club and the United States Olympic Committee. The men’s and women’s teams that win the Trials will be named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team, pending approval by the United States Olympic Committee.