Although neither Finland nor Team USA had any playoff implications to fight for in their game Saturday night, both were playing for something in their final round robin game.
The U.S. team of Matt and Becca Hamilton were looking to win their second game in a row after losing five straight earlier in the tournament. Finland, on the other hand, was looking to leave PyeongChang with a win after failing to find a victory in their first six games.
In the end, it was Finland’s ability to take advantage of the power play that helped them come away with a 7-5 victory over the U.S.
The U.S. took the hammer in the sixth end and put the power play into effect, but were unable to muster anything more than just a single point, landing their final rock in an empty house to tie the score at 3-3.
Finland returned the favor in the seventh, and found much more offense to maximize their power play, scoring four on a perfect takeout throw by Oona Kauste.
The U.S. scored two points in the eighth end, their only multi-point end of the game, but it was too little too late.
“We missed a lot of the crucial shots when we needed to [make them]," Matt Hamilton said. "It’s more going to be about capitalizing on mistakes from the other team when we move forward and knowing that it’s all about making the right shots and not all of the shots."
Finland was able to steal a point in the first end, dodging a potential for two or three points by the U.S.
But the Hamiltons turned around and did the same thing to Finland in the third, keeping the Finnish from a possible three points by putting their rock closer to the pin by less than an inch to take a 2-1 lead.
After Finland tied the score in the fourth, they took the lead for the first time after the U.S. conceded a point in the fifth in order to take the hammer in the sixth to try the power play option.
The offensive woes for the Hamiltons continued throughout the PyeongChang games. Other than the final end Saturday, they only scored two or more points in three ends in seven games, including two ends in the first game against Team OAR.
“I would say I am let down a little bit. But, I am not concerned at all going forward," Becca Hamilton said. "I learned a lot on the ice that I am ready to take forward to my women’s team as well.”
Finland knocked the U.S. out of the World Championships last year. They finish the PyeongChang games 1-6 overall.
The U.S. finishes 2-5 and in seventh place overall, though both Hamilton’s will compete again in the Games in both the men’s and women’s team events. They will begin practice with their teams on Tuesday for play that begins Wednesday.
“It’s a tough stage to play on, but at the same time we were ready for it,” Matt Hamilton said. “We didn’t quite maximize on our opportunities. Hopefully, we’ll be able to move forward and join with our men’s and women’s team and really put on a good show for everybody.”
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