Scots finish first in round robin at curling worlds

LOWELL, Mass. -- Scotland finished in first place after
round-robin play at the Curling World Championships, beating
Ireland 7-6 in the teams' final match Thursday night.

The Scots, led by David Murdoch, finished 9-2 and will face
Canada on Friday in the playoffs, with the winner advancing
directly to Sunday's final.

Jean-Michel Menard led the Canadians to a 9-6 victory over Pete
Fenson and the United States in the last match to finish at 8-3.
Canada beat Finland 6-4 earlier, and the U.S. lost to Finland 7-5.

Norway, led by Thomas Ulsrud, beat Australia 5-4 and Japan 8-5
earlier in the day to finish tied for third with the Americans at
7-4. Norway and the U.S. will meet in the playoffs Friday night,
with the winner advancing to the semifinal matchup Saturday with
the loser of Scotland-Canada.

In other matches, Switzerland beat Ireland 8-2, before losing to
the Scots 6-2; Denmark defeated Germany 7-6 and Sweden 8-5; Sweden
beat Germany 8-3 and Australia edged Japan 7-6.

Finland, Sweden and Switzerland finished tied at 6-5, Denmark
and Australia were at 5-6, Germany 4-7, Japan 2-9, and Ireland