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Canada clinches semifinal berth

OGDEN, Utah -- Canada's unbeaten women curlers clinched a
spot in the semifinals with a 9-4 victory over Japan Saturday while
the Americans stayed in contention for a semifinal berth with two
victories.

U.S. skip Kari Erickson made a game-breaking shot in the fifth
to give the Americans an 8-0 lead on their way to an 11-4 rout of
Russia in the morning to stop a three-match losing streak.

"It was very nice to pull out big shot," said Stacey Liapis,
Erickson's sister and teammate. "We just haven't been able to pull
them off for a while."

Then the Americans came back late to beat Germany 7-6 with a
point in the final end. Germany and the United States are tied for
the fourth with 4-3 records with two matches to go. The top four
teams advance to the medal round starting Feb. 20.

The United States plays Britain on Sunday.

In other games, Britain beat Denmark 8-6 and Germany beat Sweden
7-5.

In late games, Canada beat Denmark 9-4, Sweden beat Switzerland
8-7 and Norway beat winless Japan 8-5.

Canada, the defending gold medalist, has a 8-0 record with
Britain and Switzerland at 5-2.

In men's games, Denmark defeated the United States 9-7, putting
the Americans (3-4) in seventh place with just two games remaining.
Sweden defeated Finland 11-4, Switzerland beat Britain 10-4 and
Norway beat Germany 10-5.

Germany and Switzerland are tied at 4-3 for the fourth and final
semifinal slot.