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U.S. Women Out of Curling Contention

February 19, 2006

PINEROLO, Italy (AP) _ The U.S. women’s curling team was eliminated from medal contention on Sunday when Canada beat Italy 11-4 in nine ends, leaving no room for the Americans in the semifinals.

The Americans then lost 9-8 to Switzerland on a last shot that gave the Swiss three points in the final end. But by that point, it didn’t matter.

Canada improved to 5-3 and joined three other teams _ Sweden, Norway and Switzerland _ with at least five wins. With the loss, Cassie Johnson’s U.S. team can finish no better than 3-6 in the nine-game round-robin.

Despite losing five of their first six games, the United States had a slim hope of making the medal round. But it needed to win its last two, for Canada to lose and for Japan to beat Britain.

Japan, Russia and Denmark also were eliminated. Italy previously was knocked out of contention.

Italy never challenged the Canadians, falling behind 7-2 after five ends, or innings.

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