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Sports Chelsea Carey’s Canadian rink misses playoffs at women’s world curling championship

Alberta skip Chelsea Carey delivers a rock as her rink plays Northern Ontario at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts at Centre 200 in Sydney, N.S. on Feb. 17, 2019.

Andrew Vaughan/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canada has missed the playoffs for the first time in 20 years at the world women’s curling championship.

Chelsea Carey’s Calgary-based rink was officially eliminated in the penultimate round-robin draw on Friday when Japan beat China and Germany lost to Finland.

Those results put an end to Canada’s faint hope of earning the sixth and final playoff spot in the 13-team event before Carey’s final round-robin game against Denmark on Friday afternoon.

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Canada finished the event with a 5-3 win over Denmark’s Madeleine Dupont later Friday. Canada, the United States and Japan all had 6-6 records, but the Japanese went through on tiebreakers.

“Obviously, we’re gutted with the results and not making the playoffs here,” said Carey, who also skipped Canada in 2016 with a different crew. “But we did a lot of good things and it just didn’t go our way. I’m proud of the girls, it was all their first time at this event and they were incredibly composed.

“Everybody was calm, we supported each other, we did a lot of good things – it just didn’t work out for us. So we wanted to come out strong tonight and finish on a positive note.”

Canada had won the past two world championships, with Ottawa’s Rachel Homan in 2017 and Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones in 2018 running the table en route to a gold medal.

Carey’s chances to advance were all but done after a 5-3 loss to reigning Olympic champion Anna Hasselborg of Sweden in the morning draw.

Two misses loomed large for Carey, third Sarah Wilkes, second Dana Ferguson and lead Rachel Brown.

In the seventh, Ferguson’s takeout just rubbed on a guard, leading to a go-ahead deuce for Sweden.

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In the eighth, Carey’s hit-and-roll went inches too far and was second shot, forcing her to draw for one instead of scoring a possible deuce.

“We learned a lot of things, for sure,” Wilkes said. “It’s a very long week – a similar number of games to the Scotties, but it’s so different. Wearing the Maple Leaf is such an honour but it’s heavy, too. So we know how that feels and it’s a learning opportunity for the future. Everyone tells you about it, but until you feel it, you don’t really know.”

The last time Canada missed the playoffs was 1999 when Colleen Jones (4-5) finished in a three-way tie for fifth place in Saint John, N.B.

The playoffs in Silkeborg will kick off Saturday at with Russia’s Alena Kovaleva (9-3) playing Japan, and Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni (8-4) playing China’s Jie Mei (7-5) in the first round.

Later on Saturday, Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg (11-1), who topped the round-robin standings, will play the lowest-ranked winner of the first-round games in one semi-final, while second-place Minji Kim of South Korea (9-3) will play the higher-ranked winner in the other semi.

The medal games will be held on Sunday.

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