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Canadian women 5-0 in curling

SOCHI, Russia -- Canada moved to the brink of the semifinals in women's Olympic curling by beating Denmark and Switzerland on Thursday to remain undefeated after five games of round-robin play.

Sweden is just one win behind the Canadians after stealing a point in the final end to beat Denmark 7-6.

The United States stayed alive in the tournament by picking up an 8-6 win over Japan in another evening session game. Erika Brown's rink is 1-4 and still could qualify by winning its final four games.

World champion Britain was under pressure after losing two of its first three games but beat China 8-7 in the morning session to revive its chances of reaching the semifinals.

Canada won both of its matches 8-5 to top the standings outright.

Switzerland's unbeaten run ended with a 9-8 loss to two-time defending champion Sweden, leaving both teams with 3-1 records.

World champion Britain was under pressure after losing two of its first three games but beat China 8-7 to revive its chances of reaching the semifinals.

A day after making a mistake with her game-deciding final shot in a 9-6 loss to the Canadians, British skip Eve Muirhead was left with a routine draw into the 4-foot ring to seal victory against the Chinese.

This time, she nailed it.

"I'm really glad we came back with the strong performance there," Muirhead said, "and really glad I managed to play a great shot to finish off that game.

"We realized how important that game was ... to get that win was essential."

The Canadians have won their opening five games, defeating big rivals Sweden and Britain along the way, as they seek their country's first Olympic gold medal in the women's event since 1998.

In skip Jennifer Jones, Canada has probably the hottest women's player in Sochi and she opened up a close game against the winless Danes by picking up three points in the ninth end to give her team the 8-5 cushion.

The Swiss had beaten the United States, Denmark and South Korea in their first three games but decided to change their lineup against Sweden, dropping Janine Greiner to alternate and calling up Alina Paetz.

The result? A first loss of the tournament as Sweden skip Margaretha Sigfridsson got a point at the final end with the hammer.

"We won all our first three games," Switzerland player Carmen Yeung said, "but we did not play well. Today we were facing Sweden and Canada so we needed to change something."