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Canada beats Slovenia, advances to quarterfinals at mixed curling worlds

Team Canada at World Mixed Curling Championship Team Canada at World Mixed Curling Championship - Curling Canada

ABERDEEN, United Kingdom — Canada improved to 7-0 and clinched a quarterfinal spot at the world mixed doubles curling championship with a 7-5 win over Slovenia on Wednesday.

Skip Felix Asselin and his Montreal-area rink came back from a 5-4 deficit after five ends with a point in the sixth end and a steal of two in the seventh.

Canada was already assured of top spot in Group B before they hit the ice after Taiwan fell 9-5 to Hungary in an earlier draw.

“We are really happy to have the berth to the quarterfinals — our first goal is locked in,” said Team Canada lead Emily Riley. “I think we are getting better and better at managing the ice and building confidence as we go. It was a great thing to have a good challenge at this point in the week to give us some confidence for the playoffs. We are ready for some good challenges in the playoffs.”

Asselin's team, which also includes vice-skip Laurie St-Georges, second Émile Asselin and coach Michel St-Georges, has one group match left Thursday against Hungary.

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

Hungary (4-3), Taiwan (4-3), Poland (3-3), Slovenia (3-3) and New Zealand (3-4) are in the hunt for Group B's final two playoff spots.

Slovenia opened the match with a single in the first end, and the teams traded deuces over the next four ends to give skip Stefan Sever and his team a 5-4 lead after five.

Canada cracked the game open with a steal of two in the seventh on a squandered Slovenian hit-and-stay on its final stone.

Canada went into defensive mode in the eighth and stacked the rings with its own stones, complimented by guards up front.

That left Slovenia chasing the entire end, and Sever conceded before throwing his final stone.

"Slovenia played a great game and it was great to have that challenge," Riley said. "It was a nice test for our team to have some pressure, be patient, and finish strong."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2023.