Canada close to mixed doubles playoff spot women’s and men’s senior teams qualify

STAVANGER, Norway — Canada’s Jocelyn Peterman and Brett Gallant are one step closer to reaching the playoffs at the 2019 world mixed doubles curling championship.

Winnipeg’s Peterman and Gallant of St. John’s, N.L., defeated Hong Kong’s Ling-Yue Hung and Jason Chang 9-3 Wednesday to improve to 6-0.

Canada leads Pool A heading into Thursday’s final games, with Japan and Sweden next at 5-1. Canada finishes round-robin play against Japan on Thursday.

The top two teams from each pool qualify for the playoffs, while four of the six third-place teams with the best distances in the draw shot challenge — a pre-game draw to the button — will qualify for the final playoff spots.

Canada currently ranks second among all 48 teams with a total draw shot challenge of 20.37 centimetres.

“Our draw shot challenge so far has been really good. We knew that’d be important because we knew there was going to be three really good teams in our pool. We knew even if we got into a tie, or end up in third place, that we’d want to have that really good draw shot challenge,” Gallant said.

Hong Kong started with the hammer, but Canada stole two when Hong Kong was light on its draw attempt.

Canada limited Hong Kong to one point in the second end, then had back-to-back three-point ends to blow the game open.

“It was a good game. The ice was a little bit different than we’ve had all week so it took a little bit of time to adjust to that and start making some precise shots again,” Peterman said.

Meanwhile, Canada’s senior men’s and women’s teams qualified for the playoffs in their respective events.

Bryan Cochrane’s Ontario rink sent Norway’s Flemming Davanger to his first loss with a 10-7 victory. Cochrane scored four in the third end to open a 7-1 lead and held on from there.

“We decided to go right after them and we got that nice three in the first,” Cochrane said. “We played pretty well and we made a lot of nice shots in the end where we got four as well. We gave up a couple of points we didn’t want to, but overall when we had to get points we went at them. We were aggressive and it worked out nicely.”

Cochrane’s team is now 5-0 and locked up first place in its pool with the victory. Even if Canada loses the final round-robin game against Italy on Thursday, it will finish first due to its head-to-head record with Norway (5-1).

Saskatchewan’s Sherry Anderson led Canada’s senior women’s team into the playoffs with a 9-6 win against Grace Bugg of Hong Kong.

Anderson took control of the game by scoring four in the third end and three in the sixth. Hong Kong kept itself in the game with a timely steal of two points in the fifth end.

Canada leads the women’s Pool A standings at 6-0, followed by the United States (5-1). The two teams meet Thursday with top spot in the pool on the line.

Playoffs in all three events start Friday, with finals on Saturday.

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