VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- With the game in the balance, Saturday night's much anticipated men's curling showdown between Canada and Britain came to a halt in the final end when the sellout crowd spontaneously starting singing "O Canada."
Trailing by one, Canada was then inspired enough to finish the game by scoring two points for the victory, beating its top rival 7-6 to remain unbeaten in the Olympic tournament.
"The national anthem, wasn't that something?" Canadian skip Kevin Martinsaid. "You noticed that we didn't play during that. Just let it out, that was amazing. Even in tune and probably 5,000 strong singing. Something you remember for the rest of your life. That's one you want to put in the old memory bank, right in the back of your head. I won't forget that one, because I've never heard that in any sport I've ever been to."
Scottish skip David Murdoch's last stone fell short, giving the Canadians the deuce and sending the home crowd -- which included Canadian hockey legend Wayne Gretzky -- into a frenzy.
Gold medal favorite Canada has won all six of its matches in Vancouver with three remaining in group play, while world champion Britain has won three and lost three and is in danger of missing the semifinals. The Brits had defeated Canada in their last four head-to-head meetings.
"We had a great chance in the 10th there. Unfortunately we were a little short with it. ... It's a bit concerning," Murdoch said. "That means every game's a must-win now for us to finish 6-3."
As for Murdoch's reaction to the unexpected rendition of the Canadian national anthem?
"I thought it was hilarious," he said. "It's not something that you're ever going to see ever again, is it? A curling game's coming to a complete standstill due to the crowd cheering the national anthem. It's great to see."
In the other evening matches, France beat Sweden 5-4, and Switzerland defeated China 9-5. In the morning session, Norway topped Denmark to keep sole possession of second place in the standings, the United States defeated Sweden 8-7, and Germany beat France 9-4.