The Canadian women’s curling rink eked out an 9-6 victory over Britain on Wednesday to improve to 3-0 in round-robin play at the Sochi Olympics.
The Canadians, skipped by Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg, and the British foursome skipped by Eve Muirhead, waged a tight battle throughout the game.
Canada had scored three in the fifth end to take a 6-3 lead but Britain kept chipping away and pulled to within one in the eighth. Jones restored a two-point lead with a single in the ninth and added an insurance point in the 10th.
Canada — in search of its first gold medal in the women’s tournament since Nagano in 1998 — also scored a pair in the third and singles in the first and seventh ends.
Muirhead and her British squad (1-2), took doubles in the fourth and sixth ends and singles in the second and eighth.
Muirhead, who arrived at the Olympics as one of the favourites, had a chance to take the game to an extra end at 8-8 by scoring two points with the last shot.
Instead, she gambled on removing three Canadian rocks in the house and going for three points, which would have won the game 9-8. The move backfired.
“It was a gamble but ... that’s the skip,” Muirhead said. “They get the glory when they make them or the slack if they miss them.”
Jones said she “probably would have thrown the draw to go to the extra end.”
“It was a tough triple to get everything to spin out,” Jones said, “but I guess she makes them a lot.”
Canada, which earlier recorded wins over China and Sweden, will play twice on Thursday, against Denmark followed by Switzerland.
The Americans will likely need to win all five of their remaining round-robin games to stand a chance of reaching the semifinals.
“We are going to stay upbeat whatever happens,” U.S. skip Erika Brown said. “We worked really hard to be here. We are doing our best out there and we’ll keep fighting.”
In other play, China beat the U.S. 7-4, Sweden downed South Korea 7-4 and Japan doubled Russia 8-4.