Cheryl Bernard’s Canadian women’s curling rink narrowly avoided an upset Friday night, squeaking passed Denmark 5-4 in extra ends during draw 6 action from Vancouver.
Bernard battled back-and-forth with Danish skip Madeleine Dupont, who was showing better accuracy through the first half of the match, and took the lead into the eighth end.
Denmark was coming off a huge 11-1 loss to China earlier in the day, and seemed to be poised to avenge the embarrassment.
However, Bernard executed what CTV’s Vic Rauter called “the perfect extra end,” using the hammer to her advantage and drawing to the button with her last rock to secure the victory.
It was the fourth straight nail-biter for Bernard’s rink, and Canada remains tied atop the standings with Sweden, who also sits at 4-0.
Anette Norberg’s, who’s defending gold medal winning Swedish rink defeated China 6-4 to keep pace with Canada, have remained the only other clear contender in the tournament.
Norberg has been on top of her game, and Friday evening China’s skip Wang Bingyu looked sluggish after a big win earlier in the day.
China now sits 3-2, tied for second in the standings with Great Britain.
The British rink lead by Eve Muirhead was expected to compete for the top spot, but after defeating Germany 7-4 earlier in the day, they also struggled on the ice in the evening.
Japan lead by Moe Meguro pulled off their second round robin win, completing the upset by scoring five in the ninth end, and forcing Great Britain to concede defeat, 11-4.
The only other team to play twice on Friday was Russia, who supplied two countries with their first victories of the Olympics.
U.S.A. lead by Debbie McCormick beat them 6-4 in afternoon competition, and Mirjam Ott’s Swiss rink won 8-5 over them in the evening.
The top four of eight teams will move on to the medal rounds. Other than Canada, Sweden, China, and Great Britain all have winning records, only Japan and Germany are close sitting at 2-2.
However, they both require wins in the next matchups to stay in contention.
Next up for Cheryl Bernard and Canada is a date with the United States on Sunday morning.