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Canada, Sweden lock down playoff berths at Ford Worlds

NORTH BAY, Ont. — Team Canada is playoff-bound at the 2018 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship, and the host team will be joined this weekend by Team Sweden.

Both teams claimed victories on Thursday morning at the North Bay Memorial Gardens to book their tickets in the final six, and keep their hopes alive for byes directly into Saturday’s semifinals. The top two teams following round-robin play will play in the semis, while the third-place team will meet the sixth-place team and fourth will play fifth in the quarter-finals on Saturday morning.

Canada’s Jennifer Jones — with vice-skip Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jill Officer, lead Dawn McEwen, alternate Shannon Birchard, team coach Wendy Morgan and national coach Elaine Dagg-Jackson — maintained its perfect pace with an 8-7 win over Russia’s Victoria Moiseeva (6-3).

The victory, which improved Canada’s record to 9-0 — extending Canada’s world women’s win streak (including Rachel Homan’s 13 wins last year in Beijing) to 22 — wasn’t nailed down until Jones made a delicate last-rock draw to backing in the four-foot.

The win marked the return of Morgan to the coaching bench for Canada; she returned earlier this week from Pyeongchang, South Korea, where she was the Team Leader for Canada’s Paralympic wheelchair curling team, which won a bronze medal this past weekend.

“Now that I’m here, I just don’t want to interrupt their mojo,” said Morgan with a smile. “This event is a bit of a grind, and today’s hump day, so maybe it wasn’t everybody’s best effort at all moments, but we got through it, as the good teams do.”

The Swedes also picked up its ninth victory, and bounced back nicely after taking their first loss, falling to Canada on Wednesday night. Sweden scored three in the sixth end en route to a 6-4 win over Japan’s Tori Koana (4-5).

Lead Klára Svatoňová, and Czech Republic skip Anna Kubešková discuss shot options. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

In other Thursday morning action, the Czech Republic’s Anna Kubešková improved to 5-4 with a 9-6 win over Switzerland’s Binia Feltscher (3-6). The Czechs matched their best win total ever in world women’s championship history after Kubešková was 5-6 last year in Beijing.

Also, Denmark’s Angelina Jensen (3-6) scored a 10th-end deuce for an 8-7 win over Scotland’s Hannah Fleming (3-7).

South Korea’s EunJung Kim (6-2), Jamie Sinclair of the U.S. (4-4), China’s Yilun Jiang (3-6), Italy’s Diana Gaspari (2-7) and Germany’s Daniela Jentsch (1-7) had byes on Thursday morning.

The 2018 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship continues with draws Thursday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (all times ET).

Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2018 Ford World Women’s are available at www.worldcurling.org/wwcc2018/livescores

TSN and RDS2 will provide complete coverage of Canada’s games at the 2018 Ford World Women’s. Go to www.tsn.ca/2017-18-curling-broadcast-schedule-1.593081 for the complete schedule.

For ticket information for the 2018 Ford World Women’s, go to www.curling.ca/2018worldwomen/tickets/

This story will be available in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2018worldwomen/?lang=fr