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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 21, 2010

Winter Olympics: Canadian women beat U.S. to stay unbeaten in curling


JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer

VANCOUVER, British Columbia The U.S. women curlers are headed for a lineup change, too.

Struggling skip Debbie McCormick said Sunday she would pull herself out of the fourth position and instead throw third stone for a night match against defending gold medalist Sweden. Coach Wally Henry, McCormick's father, said the move would take some pressure off the three-time Olympian until she gets her feel again.

The Canadian women's curlers made quick work of the U.S. team Sunday, winning 9-2 in a shortened seven-end match to stay unbeaten.

"I'm a team player," McCormick said. "I would do anything to win."

McCormick came out to the venue for extra practice Saturday night but still couldn't pull out the big shots Sunday when she needed them.

Although the men's team benched skip John Shuster for Friday's win over France, moving McCormick out of the last spot has never happened with this close-knit foursome before.

"Obviously that means I'm not playing up to my potential right now," an emotional McCormick said. "That's the only thing that's hard about it."

Cheryl Bernard scored four points in the third end after the Americans had gone ahead with one in the second. The Canadians (5-0) left three stones in scoring position before Bernard's final offering was spot-on. That after also taking out a U.S. stone.

Bernard shook her head in delight when she nailed her shot in the third, yet another big one for the veteran Canadian captain. Canada looked fresh playing after a day off Saturday.

This was a rare blowout for Canada. Bernard already had two extra-end victories and two others in the 10th when she had to nail her final throw.

Bernard said she, too, would take herself out of the final position if it came to that.

"At an Olympic games, if I was struggling, I would," she said. "It's very classy of Deb. She's a great player."