The last time Matt and Becca Hamilton faced off against Russia in mixed doubles curling was at the 2017 World Championships, a match in which they were defeated 7-5 and eliminated from contention.
During Wednesday night’s opener of the 2018 Winter Olympics, the Hamiltons got their revenge in a big way, defeating Team OAR 9-3 in seven ends.
But they lost their second match of the day to Canada, leaving the #HamFam, as the Americans have become known on Twitter, with a .500 record after the first of four days of mixed curling qualifiers.
Against Russia, the Americans jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after Becca cleared the house with a double-takeout on the final throw of the end.
Team OAR got two back in the second, but from them on out it was all Team USA. The Hamilton’s won by mere millimeters in the third, then were able to steal a point in the fourth to take a 5-2 lead midway through the game.
Team USA continued to add to their lead in the fifth by scoring two after Aleksandr Krushelnitckii of burned a rock, continuing the woes of Team OAR and forcing them to use the power play in the sixth end.
While OAR got a point back in the sixth off of the power play, their mistakes caught up to them. All the Hamilton’s had to do was place a rock on a wide-open button in the seventh to get a six point lead and force OAR to concede the final end.
Canada was coming off a 6-9 loss against Norway, and Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris found themselves losing to the American duo after the first and third ends.
But they added four stones to jump to a 5-2 lead, and held off a rally from the Hamiltons that kept the game close to the very last shot.
The Hamiltons are next in action Friday, the same day as the opening ceremony.