Canada's Gallant, Peterman clinch world mixed doubles curling playoff berth early

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GENEVA — Canada's Jocelyn Peterman and Brett Gallant secured a playoff spot at the world mixed doubles curling championship with Wednesday's 6-2 win over England.

Winnipeg's Peterman and Gallant of St. John's, N.L., have two more round-robin games to play Thursday at the Sous-Moulin Sports Centre, but the Canadians were guaranteed one of six playoff berths with the victory over siblings Anna and Ben Fowler.

Canada (6-1) can finish no worse than third in Pool B. It plays its final preliminary-round games Thursday against Australia (3-4) and the United States (4-3).

"If we continue to play the way we’re playing and we continue to get comfortable with the ice, we’ll be in a good position,” Gallant said.

"We’re positioning our draws better than we were at the start of the week, and that’s been the key to our game. Getting those angles set up, and we’re starting to make a few more shots a game, and that’s really been helping.”

The top three teams in each pool of 10 make the playoffs. Scotland's Eve Muirhead and Bobbie Lammie (7-0) were also playoff-bound out of Pool B.

The top-ranked duos earn byes to Friday's semifinals with the remaining four playing off earlier that day. The medal games are Saturday.

A Canadian team has never won a world mixed doubles title in the event's 13-year history.

Peterman and Gallant, who are engaged to be married in June, won a silver medal in 2019 in Stavanger, Norway.

“We like playing together, and we enjoy it," Peterman said. "It’s fun on the ice, and we’re not really thinking about the pressure ever. We just like playing and making great shots, and this discipline is fun for us to highlight that."

The pair was hand-picked by Curling Canada to wear the Maple Leaf in Geneva because the COVID-19 pandemic scrubbed the national championship.

Canada stole a point in the first end, held England to one in the second and was held to one in the third Wednesday. The Canadians then stole single points in the fourth, fifth and sixth ends.

Peterman's tick shot to move a corner guard in the fifth eliminated any chance for England to set up for a multi-point end.

“It’s a tough shot because it’s a bit frosty out on the wings there,” Gallant said. "To make that one takes a bit of pressure off me, because if you miss that one then you’re kind of chasing a little bit.”

Gallant locked a draw frozen onto the button in the sixth end for another steal. After mustering a single pint in the seventh, England conceded.

Gallant played second for Brad Gushue's team that earned world men's championship silver earlier this month in Las Vegas and Olympic bronze in Beijing in February. He will join Brendan Bottcher's team next season.

Peterman played second for Jennifer Jones at the Olympic Games. She'll join a team skipped by longtime Jones third Kaitlyn Lawes next season.

Canada's Wade White and Sherry Anderson also qualified for playoffs in the world senior curling championships, held in conjunction with the mixed doubles in Geneva.

Anderson is chasing a record third straight world senior women's title. Her Saskatoon team improved to 4-1 with a 10-1 win over the Czech Republic.

White's foursome from Lac La Biche, Alta., remained undefeated at 5-0 following a 9-3 decision against Italy.

White faces the United States and Anderson takes on Italy to close out the preliminary round Thursday.

The playoffs are Friday followed by Saturday's medal games.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 27, 2022.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had Canada's record at 6-2 instead of 6-1.

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