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Canada opens women's curling with win

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Tuesday, February 12, 2002
Americans edge Japan on final shot, start 2-0

Associated Press

OGDEN, Utah -- Skip Kari Erickson knocked out a Japanese stone on the last shot to rally the U.S. women to an 8-7 victory in their opening Olympic curling match Tuesday.

In other women's matches, two-time defending world champion Canada edged Norway 6-5, Switzerland defeated Russia 7-6 and Sweden topped Britain 7-4.

In late women's games, the U.S. beat Sweden 6-5, Germany defeated Denmark 9-5, Canada edged Russia 7-6 and Britain blew out Japan 9-1.

In men's play, Canada upped their record to 3-0 with a 9-4 victory over Finland. Sweden defeated Germany, 7-2, Switzerland topped Denmark 10-6 and Norway routed France 9-2.

The top four teams in each of the 10-squad tournaments advance to the medal rounds.

After falling behind 6-1 to Japan, the U.S. women scored three in the sixth end, or inning, and got one each in the seventh and eighth to tie.

With the Japanese leading by one in the final end, Erickson's second stone took out a Japanese rock, giving the U.S. squad an 8-7 victory.

"We were a little rusty but started to feel more comfortable with the ice in the second half of the game and started to make our shots," Erickson said.

Tied with Sweden at 5-5, Erickson again gave the United States the win on her last shot.

"I had to do it," Erickson said. "This is kind of what my job is. I just have to do my job."

The Canadians are the only 3-0 team in the men's tournament.

"The three games that we've played were all contending teams," skip Kevin Martin said. "For us it is a race to seven wins."

Seven wins would clinch a spot in the medal round, which begins Feb. 20.