Canada defeats Sweden and Czechs in Ford World Curling Championship

Canada's Jeff Stoughton secured not only a playoff berth, but a top-two finish in the preliminary round at the Ford World Curling Championship on Wednesday.

Victories over Sweden and the Czech Republic put Canada at 9-0 with four draws remaining in the preliminary round. Stoughton's Winnipeg team remained the only unbeaten country in the 12-team field.

Canada downed Sweden's Niklas Edin 10-6 after beating Jiri Snitil of the Czech Republic 9-4.

The hosts have wins over the countries closest to them in the standings and would thus finish higher in the event of a tie. Only Scotland's Tom Brewster, at 7-1 Wednesday, could finish with a better record than the Canadians.

The top four teams make the Page playoff and the format rewards a top-two finish with a second playoff life. The No. 1 and No. 2 meet Friday with the winner advancing directly to Sunday's final. The loser can still get to the final via a semifinal win Saturday over the winner of the sudden-death playoff between the third and fourth seeds.

Thomas Dufour of France was 6-3 after a 6-5 loss to Germany's Andy Kapp. The Swedes remained in the playoff hunt despite the loss to Canada, tied at 5-3 with Switzerland's Christof Schwaller. The Germans and Norway's Thomas Ulsrud were not yet eliminated from playoff contention at 4-4.

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