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Canada beats Poland, New Zealand to lock down playoff spot at mixed curling worlds

Felix Asselin Felix Asselin - The Canadian Press

ABERDEEN, United Kingdom — Canada qualified for the playoffs at the world mixed curling championship with wins over Poland and New Zealand on Tuesday.

Skip Felix Asselin and his crew out of the Glenmore Curling Club in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que., improved to 6-0 and led Group B with two matches remaining.

In its first match of the day, Canada scored two in the third and fifth ends en route to a 6-3 win over Poland in seven ends.

Canada also needed just seven ends to defeat New Zealand 6-3, taking control of the match early with four points in the second end.

“Everyone is feeling very good,” said vice-skip Laurie St-Georges. “We keep the momentum on our side during games and we are hungry to play more.”

The wins guaranteed Canada at least a top-three finish in Group B. Canada can wrap up top spot in the group with a win Wednesday over Slovenia.

The four group winners at the end of the round robin advance directly to the quarterfinals, while teams who place second and third in each group will play qualification games to determine the other four quarterfinalists.

Taiwan defeated Slovenia 8-2 on Tuesday to improve to 4-1, good for second spot in Group B. Slovenia fell to third at 3-2 while New Zealand, which opened the tournament with three wins, was fourth at 3-3.

Canada has the tiebreaker over Taiwan after winning the meeting between the teams earlier in the tournament.

"We are definitely going game-by-game but we feel like we can win our pool,” St-Georges said. "The goal was to qualify, and we feel more and more comfortable with the ice and we're making more and more team shots as we go. It feels great."

Canada’s final round-robin match is Thursday against Hungary (2-3).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2023.