Canada fell 8-3 to Sweden’s defending Olympic champions in the quarterfinals of the 2021 World Women’s Curling Championship in Calgary.

Steve Seixeiro-World Curling Federation

Steve Seixeiro-World Curling Federation

The Kerri Einarson squad from Manitoba couldn’t get untracked, and were limited to scoring singles early in the match. Without last rock advantage, the Canadians dropped three consecutive deuces to Anna Hasselborg’s defending Olympic champions—in the third, fifth and seventh ends—to fall behind 7-3.

Sweden, much decorated but still seeking their first world championship trophy—they captured silver in 2018 and ’19—move on to face RCF in one semifinal.

Steve Seixeiro-World Curling Federation

Steve Seixeiro-World Curling Federation

The other semi will feature USA versus Switzerland. USA skip Tabitha Peterson and her squad defeated surprising Denmark skipped by veteran Madeleine Dupont 8-7 in the other quarterfinal.

Down 3-1 early on, the Americans scored two three-enders to hold leads of 4-3 and 7-5 before Denmark tied the score in the ninth end.

Facing a pair of Danish counters in the 10th, Peterson calmly drew squarely to the pinhole for the victory.

Steve Seixeiro-World Curling Federation

Steve Seixeiro-World Curling Federation

RCF and Switzerland were granted byes into the semifinals after topping the field in round robin play. The Swiss team, skipped by Silvana Tirinzoni with Alina Paetz throwing last stones, are the defending world champions.

All six playoff teams qualified their member nations for berths into the 2022 Olympic Winter Games curling competition in Beijing.

Both Canada and Denmark overcame tough starts to scrape their way into the playoffs. After missing a shot to beat Sweden in the very first draw, the Canadians fell to 1-5 before winning six of their final seven round robin games.

The pressures of representing Canada on the world stage continued to be discussed among fans throughout the week. Once the team reached five losses, some high-performance curlers spoke out, with one declaring the Einarson foursome would go on a winning streak.

If the protesting Czech Republic had managed to defeat Denmark in their third Friday game—the Danes stole the victory—Canada would have faced USA in the quarterfinals.