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Barring major upset, four playoff teams set at Scotties

British Columbia skip Kelly Scott throws a rock against Newfoundland & Labrador during the thirteenth draw at Scotties Tournament of Hearts curling championship in Kingston, February 21, 2013.


The four playoff teams are almost set at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

After Manitoba clinched a spot earlier in the day, Ontario's Rachel Homan rink joined them with a nail-biting 6-5 win over Nova Scotia.

Manitoba, Canada and British Columbia also picked up wins on Thursday night, putting Canada's Heather Nedohin (7-2) and B.C.'s Kelly Scott (6-3) in the driver seat in terms of clinching a berth in the weekend play.

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Every other team has lost four or more games, meaning Canada needs only one win and B.C. two to ensure they move on.

Both of those teams will face a 1-8 club from the Territories in one of their final two round robin games on Friday. B.C.'s second game, meanwhile, comes against Quebec (3-6).

So, barring major upsets in any of those three contests, the field for the Page playoff is set.

"It's all good," Scott said. "Right where we wanted to be. When we got those three losses early on, we kind of thought okay let's get on a roll now. Two days of the roll and we want to keep that going."

Teams with an outside shot of making the postseason include Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, although both have dates with an undefeated powerhouse in Jennifer Jones's Manitoba team.

That likely means the top four teams as of Thursday night will be playing for position, with a spot in Saturday's first versus second and third versus fourth game to be determined.

Teams in the No. 3 against No. 4 game are guaranteed to have a tougher road to the final, as they'd have to win that game on Saturday, the semi-final on Sunday morning and the final on Sunday night.

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It's doable – Nedohin pulled it off en route to winning last year's event – but substantially more difficult than winning the No. 1 versus No. 2 game and earning a bye to the final.

"It's a little bit more comfortable playing the one-two," Homan said. "But our team's playing well, so it doesn't matter really for us. We'd love to be in the one-two, but if we're in the three-four, we'll take it."

"We're a little under the radar," Scott said. "We're not the front-runners this week so we're scrapping. That's going to be our style for this Scotties."

In addition to Ontario's win, the other results Thursday night were Manitoba crushing Quebec 7-1, B.C. beating Saskatchewan 7-2 and Canada downing Alberta 5-3.

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Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More


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