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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Team North America in the lead after team games at Continental Cup

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Team North America helped it's bid to become the first back-to-back winner in the history of the Continental Cup by winning two games and tying another in Saturday night's closing round of traditional team games.

With the results, North America claimed 2.5 of the three available points, opening up a 17.5-12.5 lead in the overall standings.

A total of 60 points are available, meaning the first team to 30.5 points will win the Continental Cup. As reigning champions, North America needs only 30 points to win.

North America's Jeff Stoughton of Winnipeg recorded the most crowd-pleasing win of the evening, using a double-takeout to score four en route to a 6-2 win over Team World's Niklas Edin of Sweden.

"It's a good thing we listened to the crowd," said a laughing Stoughton. "We were just looking at how we could jam the rock. We were going to play the double the whole time. We wanted to see which way we wanted to hit it to miss the back two or at least jam off it so it was fun. It was nice to let the crowd influence you a little bit."

In other action, Team North America's Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg made a double takeout with her last rock of the game for a 6-5 win over Team World's Satsuki Fujisawa of Japan.

"I wouldn't want anyone else throwing that rock," said Jones's vice-skip Kaitlyn Lawes. "She had a fantastic game. She had draw weight in her pocket, she was making the big shots when we needed to come through — when I would miss."

In the other Saturday night game, Team North America's John Shuster of Duluth, Minn., stole one in the eighth end when Team World's Thomas Ulsrud of Norway was just a hair tight with his last rock, producing a 6-6 tie and half a point for both sides.

Skins games begin Sunday afternoon with Team World's Margaretha Sigfridsson of Sweden playing Team North America's Jones, and Team World's Eve Muirhead of Scotland taking on Team North America's Erika Brown of Oakville, Ont./Madison, Wisc.

In men's skins, Team World's Edin plays Team North America's Shuster, and Team North America's Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., takes on Team World's Ulsrud.

The mixed skins features a Team North America squad skipped by Rachel Homan, playing Team World's Brewster. The evening skins matchup features Team North America's Stoughton against Team World's David Murdoch.

Each skins game is worth five points in the overall standings.

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