PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. — A tiebreaker is needed to determine the final playoff spot at the mixed doubles Olympic curling trials.
Chelsea Carey and Colin Hodgson will face Nancy Martin and Catlin Schneider in a tiebreaker game on Friday to determine which team earns the eighth and final playoff spot.
Carey/Hodgson (5-3) defeated Marliese Kasner and Dustin Kalthoff (1-7) 10-3 in the final round-robin draw of the trials on Thursday night to set up the tiebreaker.
Among the five teams with 5-3 round-robin records, Carey/Hodgson and Martin/Schneider had the highest cumulative last-stone draw totals, leaving them to play each other.
"We've had a history of slow starts in mixed doubles events. It was not necessarily a slow start but we seem to respond well to having our backs against the wall, so hopefully that holds true in the tiebreaker tomorrow as well," said Carey.
The top two teams from each pool, along with the next four teams with the best win-loss records enter the playoffs. The teams will play in a modified double knockout playoff to decide which four teams qualify for the Page playoff.
The winner of the tournament will represent Canada when mixed curling doubles makes its debut at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games.
The Pyeongchang Games are scheduled for Feb. 9-25.
Jocelyn Peterman/Brett Gallant and Laura Crocker/Geoff Walker each clinched first in Pools A and B respectively with 8-0 records.
In Pool A, Jennifer Jones and Mark Nichols (6-2) booked their trip to the playoffs with an 8-4 win against Emilie and Robert Desjardins. Jones/Nichols scored three points in both the second and fourth ends on their way to victory.
Dana Ferguson and Brendan Bottcher (6-2) placed second in Pool B despite losing 5-4 to Sherry Middaugh and John Epping (2-6).
Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris (5-3) clinched a playoff berth with an 11-3 win against Nicole Westlund-Stewart and Tyler Stewart (0-8) during the late draw. A steal of four by Lawes/Morris in the first end set the tone of the game.
"We really dug deep and it was a huge day for us. We couldn't afford one loss. I was really proud of how we pulled together and played our guts out," said Morris.
Val Sweeting and Brad Gushue (5-3) came out strong in the second half of their game against Kalynn Park and Charley Thomas (3-5). They scored two points in the sixth and three in the seventh en route to a 10-5 win and secured a playoff spot.
Jill Officer and Reid Carruthers (5-3) lost their game earlier in the evening and had to wait for the conclusion of the final round-robin draw to see where they stood in the rankings. Despite losing to Peterman and Gallant 8-2, they locked up one of the final playoff spots.
The tiebreaker winner will take on top-seeded Peterman/Gallant in the first round of the playoffs. In other first-round matchups, Crocker/Walker play Sweeting/Gushue, Jones/Nichols take on Officer/Carruthers, and Ferguson/Bottcher are up against Lawes/Morris.
The Canadian Press