After helping the U.S.to a bronze medal at the 2006 Turin Games, the Americans' next two trips to the Olympics were unmitigated disasters: last place in 2010 and next-to-last place in 2014.
Shuster followed that with a perfectly delivered strike into the house that took out not one but both Swedish stones, giving the USA a total of five points in the end and setting off a celebration among the American fans, who throatily chanted "U-S-A!"
"It's a little surreal right now still, just coming off of where we were to where we are now", American curler Tyler George said.
"I'm thrilled not only for those 10 players but the entire team that they have had a different experience". Many called it unsportsmanlike, while others defended it as an emotional reaction.
Such was the worldwide dismay at Larocque's actions, the general manager of Canada's national team programme was also forced to intervene.
Canada will likely play for bronze without top-liner Gilbert Brule, who was ejected for a brutal hit to the head of David Wolf at center ice, one of several bad penalties by an uncharacteristically undisciplined team. "I can't tell you how un-nervous I was sitting in the hack to throw it". His late father, Denis, also a goalie, won bronze at the 1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo Games.
Five consecutive victories culminated Saturday night in something that has never happened before: an Olympic gold for the USA curlers as they defeated Sweden, 10-7, before a flag-waving throng from back home. "We took a lot of time deciding if we wanted to play a hard shot for two points".
"From the day that the 2014 Olympics came to an end, every single day was with this journey in mind", Shuster said.
Ebbett and Kelly added a goal apiece in the third, and Wojtek Wolski also scored for Canada, which finished with bronze in 1968 and 1956.
If you told me before the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics started that the U.S. men's curling team would win their first ever gold medal, I wouldn't believe you.
After nine nail-biting rounds, the USA team took victory with a 10-7 score. That assured the Swedes of one point, and Niklas Edin put a perfectly delivered stone through the area that stopped close - scoring two points.
But a late U.S. goal from Monique Lamoureux took the match into sudden-death overtime at 2-2, and she netted the decisive goal to snatch the gold. She said that her "emotions got the better of me" as she was devastated that her team did not take gold.
At the Piitoayis Family School in Calgary's Inglewood neighbourhood, vice-principal Iikiinatookaa Yellow Horn texted player Brigette Lacquette, who mentors the school's kids through the Classroom Champions program. I'm just happy we were able to start strong and not allow them to get away from us early. I know it's not what Canada was hoping for, and it's not what we were hoping for.
"We've got Oktoberfest", the 25-year-old said with a smile.
"I'm proud of everybody here", George said.
It was the first - and, before Sunday - the only Olympic medal an American curling team has ever won.
"We just stick to our abilities", Plachta said.
Trying to make history, this underdog team is dubbed "The Rejects".