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Canada skip Kevin Koe delivers the final rock against Switzerland at the the men's world curling championship in Lethbridge, Alta. on April 5, 2019.Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

The parity among the elite teams has been on full display this week at the world men’s curling championship.

It has resulted in a playoff picture that remained unsettled after Friday’s early draw at the Enmax Centre.

Some clarity arrived once the penultimate draw was completed as Canada’s Kevin Koe (8-3), Peter De Cruz of Switzerland (8-3) and American John Shuster (7-4) joined Sweden’s Niklas Edin (11-1) and Japan’s Yuta Matsumura (9-3) on the right side of the six-team cutline.

Koe dumped De Cruz 10-3 in the morning and was set to close out his round-robin schedule against Jaap Van Dorp of the Netherlands on Friday night.

The last draw would determine the playoff matchups on Saturday.

“There’s no easy games out here,” Koe said. “It just seems like anyone can beat anyone. A good team is probably not going to make the playoffs here.”

Edin locked up the No. 1 seed and a berth in the semifinals with an 8-4 morning win over Shuster. The defending champion then topped Italy’s Joel Retornaz 7-4 to ensure that eight-win teams would get in.

Matsumura moved into second place after his 7-5 victory over Russia’s Sergey Glukhov. Scotland’s Bruce Mouat (7-4) dumped Germany’s Marc Muskatewitz 9-2 to set up a win-and-you’re-in game against Italy (7-4) on Friday night.

“There’s a bit of separation from the top teams and the bottom teams,” Koe said. “Not a lot of upsets here. I guess when that happens, more than half the field is going to have a chance.”

Tiebreaker games are not used at this event. Head-to-head records and cumulative last stone draw statistics are used to break ties.

The No. 2 seed will get the other semifinal berth. Qualification games (No. 3 versus No. 6 and No. 4 versus No. 5) are set for Saturday morning with winners to advance.

“Definitely not afraid of it if that’s the route we’ve got to go,” Koe said. “If you can get in those games and play well and get on a roll, you’ve got as good a chance as anybody.”

Medal games will be played Sunday.

Koe opened with a deuce against De Cruz and scored five when Switzerland’s final stone picked in the second end.

“That was pretty much ball game,” said Canada lead Ben Hebert. “Hey, you need breaks. We haven’t had a lot of breaks this week to be honest with you. So I’m thrilled to get a couple.”

The teams shook hands after the minimum six ends.

Germany beat China’s Qiang Zou 6-4 and Russia defeated Norway’s Magnus Ramsfjell 8-5 in the morning. Van Dorp edged South Korea’s SooHyuk Kim 8-7 in the afternoon.

Van Dorp (4-7) dropped an 8-0 decision to Koe in November 2017 in their only previous meeting.

Germany and Russia finished at 4-8. China and Russia were 2-9 entering the night draw and South Korea was in last place in the 13-team field at 1-11.

The last Canadian team to miss the playoffs at this competition was the rink skipped by Jack MacDuff in 1976. He went 2-7 that year in Duluth, Minn., and missed the four-team cut.

Canada has never missed the playoffs at both the men’s and women’s world championships in the same season.

Canada’s Chelsea Carey finished eighth at last month’s playdowns in Silkeborg, Denmark. The women’s world championship was first held in 1979.

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