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"Oh yeah," he said. "We've had our backs against the wall before."
In the opener, Shuster and the rest of his foursome had plenty of chances, but the Americans failed to follow through against the experienced Germans.
German skip Andy Kapp never even had to release his final rock. He took out two U.S. stones with his next-to-last throw to secure the victory. The shot-making by Shuster & Co. wasn't nearly as spot on. Shuster liked his shot selection -- the rock just didn't curl the way he hoped.
While the Americans had their share of red, white and blue supporters in the stands at the 5,600-seat Vancouver Olympic Centre, it was the home fans who rocked this house.
Cowbells clanged and feet stomped as skip Kevin Martin and the favored Canadians had to go the distance to hold off Norway. Canada later improved to 2-0 by beating Germany 9-4 at night.
The Americans and Germans played an aggressive third end, with a combined nine rocks in the house at one point. But the U.S. foursome failed to come away with a point as Germany got two for a 3-1 lead. They evened it in the fourth with a deuce. Shuster's throw to close the sixth end went to official measurement, but Germany was closer to button and took a 5-3 lead.
The Americans plan to maintain their easygoing demeanor even after their rough start. Shuster was the only player in the morning matches sporting a baseball cap, and he bumped fists with teammates and seemed plenty loose before the first rock was thrown.
They don't plan to change their approach now.
Elsewhere, Britain, the 2009 world champion and Canada's top rival, was upset in its opener. David Murdoch's team lost 6-4 to Sweden. Switzerland held off Denmark 6-5.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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