03/18/2016 19:51 EDT | Updated 03/19/2017 01:12 EDT

Canadian rink focused on itself at women's curling world championships

SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. — It doesn't matter who Canada plays at the women's curling world championships.

Skip Chelsea Carey and third Amy Nixon know little about Denmark, Canada's opponent on Saturday in the first draw of at the international event. Instead, the Canadians' focus throughout the tournament is on what they can control: their own play.

"We honestly aren't very familiar with them," said Carey of the Danes on Friday afternoon after practice. "They don't play the tour a whole lot. We've seen them at the odd event but we haven't played against them.

"That doesn't really matter, we're just going to go out and play our game regardless. It doesn't really matter who we're playing against."

Nixon, who won bronze at the 2006 Olympics and bronze at the worlds in 2012, echoed her skip's assessment of the Danes when asked what she knew of Canada's first opponents.

"Very little," said Nixon with a laugh. "I can basically tell you that in 2012 at the worlds I came in halfway through the game and played second against some of these players. That's all I've got."

Added Carey: "I've watched (Denmark skip Lene Nielsen) at the Olympics and that kind of thing so we know that they're a good team but we haven't played against them that much."

It's not a lack of respect for their opponents. Carey, Nixon, second Jocelyn Peterman and lead Laine Peters are instead concerned with meeting their own goals on the ice.

Canada has not won gold in the event since Jennifer Jones's rink was crowned in 2008. It will be tough to end that drought this season with former world champions Eve Muirhead of Scotland and Binia Feltscher of Switzerland in this year's field, among other tough opponents.

On top of that, this is Carey's first season with the Calgary-based rink, taking over for former two-time Canadian champion Heather Nedohin.

As a result, Canada is trying to shrug off the weight of any expectations from fans or media and instead focusing on chemistry, strategy and the intricacies of their own play as they continue to find their rhythm as a team.

"We don't have any expectations, I wouldn't say," said Carey, who won the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and the right to represent Canada on Feb. 28. "We have goals and we have things that we personally want to do that don't necessarily line up with results.

"We just want to go and do the same things we were doing at the Scotties and put ourselves in the best possible position to play as well as we can and if we do that then hopefully we get a good result, but we can't control the result."

Canada plays Denmark in Draw 1 on Saturday afternoon, then returns to the ice on Sunday morning to face reigning world champion Switzerland in Draw 3. The Canadians will then face the United States in the fifth draw Sunday afternoon.

Carey and her rink saw the ice at Swift Current's Credit Union i-Plex, home of the Western Hockey League's Broncos, for the first time on Friday and they were impressed with its quality.

"The ice looks great," said Carey. "We're excited to get going. It wasn't as green as it sometimes is at practice, which is good, it's already worn in and ready to go."

Round-robin play continues through Thursday, with the playoffs beginning on Friday and the final on March 27.


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John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press