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Gushue, Jones open Canadian mixed doubles curling playoffs with victories

Jocelyn Peterman and Brett Gallant show off their gold medals after the presentation to the 2016 Canadian Mixed Doubles champions at the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon, Sask. They went on to represent Canada at the worlds in Sweden. 
(©Curling Canada/Darlene Danyliw photo)
Jocelyn Peterman and Brett Gallant show off their gold medals after the presentation to the 2016 Canadian Mixed Doubles champions at the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon, Sask. They went on to represent Canada at the worlds in Sweden. (©Curling Canada/Darlene Danyliw photo) - The Guardian

Charlottetown's Brett Gallant and Joycelyn Peterman will meet Officer and Carruthers in playoff action Saturday

PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. - Brad Gushue and Val Sweeting will face John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes in the Page 1-2 playoff at the Canadian mixed doubles curling trials after picking up victories on Friday evening.

Gushue and Sweeting toppled Mark Nichols and his partner Jennifer Jones 10-3 in the second round of the playoffs to advance.

Meanwhile, Morris and Lawes toppled Joycelyn Peterman and Charlottetown's Brett Gallant 7-5 for their spot in the Page 1-2 playoff.

Gushue and Sweeting lost their first two games of the trials, but rallied by winning seven of their last eight games.

“I think we're pretty good,” Gushue said.

“Having said that, I don't necessarily want to play a lot of these guys out here either. I feel confident in how we played today and certainly if we can continue that into tomorrow and hopefully on Sunday we're going to have a good chance.”

Gushue and Sweeting and Morris and Lawes will play each other Saturday afternoon, with the winner advancing to Sunday's final. The winner of the championship draw will represent Canada when mixed curling doubles makes its Olympic debut next month at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

“I think no matter who you're playing in the 1-2 game it's going to be a battle,” Morris said.

Chelsea Carey and Colin Hodgson continued on their path towards the gold-medal game through the B-side of the playoffs.

The pair scored an 11-5 victory against Dana Ferguson and Brendan Bottcher to advance in the B-side playoffs, while Ferguson and Bottcher were eliminated.

Also, Jill Officer and Reid Carruthers defeated Laura Crocker and Geoff Walker 6-4 to stay alive on the B-side. Walker and Crocker are eliminated.

It will be do-or-die for the four remaining teams in the double-knockout playoffs on Saturday.

Carey and Hodgson face Jones and Nichols and Officer and Carruthers take on Peterman and Gallant.

The winning teams will advance to the Page 3-4 playoff. The winner of that will go to Saturday's semifinal against the loser of the Page 1-2 game.

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