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This article was published 14/3/2009 (4337 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

VANCOUVER -- Kaitlyn Lawes of Win­nipeg drew the four-foot ring with her last stone in the 10th end to defeat Rus­sia's Margarita Fomina 4-3 Friday and advance to the semifinal of the World Junior Curling Championships.

It wasn't an easy shot: Lawes had to get past two Russian rocks in the 12-foot and eight-foot rings.

 Skip Kaitlyn Lawes and her Canadians will play Switzerland today.

MICHAEL BURNS ARCHIVES

Skip Kaitlyn Lawes and her Canadians will play Switzerland today.

Lawes showed nerves of steel in the sixth end. Facing three Russian rocks, she coolly drew to the four-foot ring with her final stone to take a 3-1 lead. In the ninth Lawes was short on a draw, allowing Fomina to steal a point and tie the game 3-3.

The win in the 3-versus-4 Page play­off game means Lawes and her rink of third Jenna Loder, second Laryssa Grenkow and lead Breanne Meakin will play Switzerland's Martina Baumann today. The winner will advance to Sun­day's gold-medal game.

Baumann, who finished the round­robin in first place, lost 7-4 to defending champion Eve Muirhead of Scotland in the 1-versus-2 playoff game. Muirhead and her rink of Anna Sloan, Vicki Ad­ams and Sarah MacIntyre advance di­rectly to Sunday's final.

The men's playoff begins Saturday with Canada's Brent Gallant of P.E.I. facing Denmark's Rasmus Stjerne in the 1-versus-2 game. The winner moves into Sunday's gold-medal game.

Lawes, a human nutritional sciences student at the University of Manitoba, came into this year's championships hoping to improve on the bronze medal she won last year.

She opened the scoring with a take­out in the third end, then stole a point in the fourth when Fomina was short on a tough draw shot.

In Friday's other playoff match, Scot­land stole three in the third end. The Swiss had the hammer but third Marisa Winkelhausen, who throws last rocks, wrecked on a guard up front.

The Swiss fought back though, scor­ing two in the sixth, then taking advan­tage of a Muirhead miss in the seventh to steal a point and tie the game 4-4. Muirhead made a takeout to score three in the ninth.

Muirhead will leave Vancouver after the final and travel to Gangneung, Ko­rea, where she will skip for Scotland at the world women's curling champion­ship.

The Swiss women finished the round­robin with a 7-2 record. Scotland, which lost to the Swiss during the round-rob­in, was second at 7-2, followed by Lawes third at 6-3 and Russia fourth at 6-3.

The other men's playoff game Satur­day will see Sweden's Oskar Eriksson, last year's silver medallist, play defend­ing champion Chris Plys of the U.S. in the 3-versus-4 match. The winner of that game plays the loser of the Cana­da- Denmark, with the winner going to the final.

Canada topped the men's round-robin standings with a 8-1 record, followed by Denmark 7-2, Sweden 6-3 and the U.S. 6-3.

A crowd of around 200 people watched Friday's games at the 2,000-seat Van­couver Olympic Centre, the same build­ing that will host curling during the 2010 Winter Games. The world juniors are the first able-bodied competition at the venue.

Canada's Jim Armstrong of Rich­mond, B.C., won the world wheelchair curling championships held in the building earlier this month.

A Canadian men's rink has won the world juniors nine of the last 11 years.

The last Canadian woman to win the world junior title was Marliese Miller of Saskatoon in 2003.

-- The Canadian Press