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Team Canada on Brier playoff bubble after loss to Newfoundland's Gushue

Team Canada skip Pat Simmons and second Carter Rycroft look on during their draw against Team Newfoundland and Labrador at the Brier curling championships in Ottawa, Canada, March 9, 2016.

CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS

Team Canada's playoff chances have taken a significant hit at the Tim Hortons Brier.

The Pat Simmons rink dropped a 7-3 decision to Brad Gushue of Newfoundland and Labrador in today's early draw at TD Place.

Canada fell to 4-4 with the loss while Gushue improved to 6-1. Northern Ontario's Brad Jacobs, who did not play in the morning session, is in first place at 6-0.

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Simmons must now treat his three remaining round-robin contests as must-win games.

Alberta's Kevin Koe topped B.C.'s Jim Cotter 7-2, Ontario's Glenn Howard dumped Prince Edward Island's Adam Casey 9-4 and Saskatchewan's Steve Laycock edged Jamie Koe of the Northwest Territories 5-4.

Round-robin play continues through Friday morning. The top four teams in the 12-team field will qualify for the Page Playoff.

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