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Brad Gushue enjoyed a bounceback effort on Friday as Canada thumped Japan’s Shinya Abe 9-3 in six ends at the world men’s curling championship.

Gushue and his St. John’s, N.L., team of Mark Nichols, E.J. Harnden and Geoff Walker improved to 9-2 with their last round-robin game against Switzerland (6-5) set for later Friday.

Gushue was coming off a 6-5 loss to unbeaten Niklas Edin of Sweden in the second of his two games on Thursday, ending a five-game winning streak. Canada gave up three points early in that game and couldn’t complete a comeback.

After Japan (3-9) evened the score at 1-1 after two ends, Gushue’s side flipped the game on its head by scoring three in the third and four in the fourth end.

“We just wanted to deal with the frost and deal with the rocks a little bit better,” Walker said. “We were happy with the way we finished the game after a rough start and happy with the way we grinded, but we wanted to get back to the basics today, things like putting on a little extra rotation and sweeping the rocks a bit differently in the frost.”

The Canadians followed up with a single in the fifth before Japan converted on a deuce in the sixth before conceding the game with four ends remaining. With the game well in hand, alternate Kyle Doering subbed in for Walker in the sixth end.

“We got off to a better start, which allowed us to play easier shots, which was the key,” Walker said. “We could play a lot of hits instead of draws in the challenging stuff. It was just a different mindset and embracing the ice surface we’re going to get each game.”

Canada can earn a bye into the semi-finals with a win or a Scotland loss to Sweden. Canada is tied with Scotland for second in the standings at 9-2, but holds the tiebreaker with a win in their matchup earlier in round-robin play.

The top six teams qualify for the playoffs, with the top two seeds advancing directly to the semi-final. The medal games will be held on Sunday.

Switzerland was eliminated from playoff contention after its 7-6 loss to Germany (8-4), which qualified. Sweden (11-0) remained undefeated with a 7-4 win over South Korea (2-10) and the United States (7-5) got into the playoffs with a 6-3 win over Czechia.

Italy (7-4) is also among the final teams to qualify despite losing 8-7 to Germany in Friday’s morning draw.

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