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USA women fall just short in bid to make playoffs

LETHBRIDGE, Alberta -One bad end haunted the Americans when they met Canada six days ago in their first round robin game. It was one bad end again Friday as USA's win streak was stopped by Canada's Heather Nedohin rink in a 9-8 tiebreaker loss at the 2012 World Women's Championship.

The U.S. lost its first four games of the championship at the but came storming back to win seven straight games and force a tiebreaker match with Canada for the final playoff berth.

The fifth-place finish by Allison Pottinger, Nicole Joraanstad, Natalie Nicholson of Bemidji, Tabitha Peterson and alternate Cassie Potter of St. Paul and formerly of Bemidji earns the U.S. eight points toward qualifying for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, in the first year where points can be secured.

"I think we learned a bunch about ourselves as a team this week. We're really gritty, and we want to come back and do better," Pottinger said. "I think that's the thing that's going to keep us fired up for the next couple of years. I am incredibly proud of the girls. Even today they played super well. It was not them that let us down this game."

Canada now moves on to face Korea in the Page Playoff game today. Sweden and Switzerland played in the Page 1-2 game Friday night with the winner moving on to the final and the losing side playing the winner of the Page 3-4 game in a semifinal on Saturday.

The U.S. was trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007 but came up just short after a disastrous second end that gave Canada four and left the Americans chasing.

The next opportunity for the U.S. to earn women's Olympic-qualifying points will be at the 2013 Women's World Championship, which will be staged March 16-24, 2013, in Riga, Latvia. The U.S. men will have their first opportunity when the 2012 World Men's Championship gets underway March 31 in Basel, Switzerland.