The leaders stayed unbeaten but they’re feeling heat from their pursuers, after Draw 10 action at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors in Calgary.
Alberta, skipped by Nadine Chyz of Calgary, continued to roll, now at 9-0 after a 5-4 squeaker over Prince Edward Island (Sarah Fullerton of Cornwall).
So did Saskatchewan’s Braeden Moskowy of Regina, also at 9-0 after a hard-fought 5-2 win over Newfoundland/Labrador (Colin Thomas of St. John’s).
But the gap didn’t widen as their closest challengers also prevailed. Saskatchewan’s Trish Paulsen of Saskatoon moved to 7-2 with a 9-2 victory over Newfoundland/Labrador’s Erin Porter of St. John’s, while Ontario’s Mat Camm of Ottawa was a 10-7 winner over Northern Ontario (Cody Johnston of Thunder Bay). He’s also at 7-2.
It was only Paulsen’s second game at the North Hill this week, after playing seven games at The Glencoe, but her team now remains at the North Hill for the balance of the week.
Her first game at the North Hill on Monday evening resulted in a 7-6, extra end loss to Manitoba’s Breanne Meakin of Winnipeg.
On the adjustment teams have to make, moving from one club to another, the 20-year-old Paulsen, a Human Resources student at the University of Saskatchewan, said, ”It’s not too bad. It (the rock) moves a little more here. We’ve been practicing here, just like every other team. The ice is a little different, but not drastically different.”
In last year’s M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors in Sorel-Tracy, Paulsen, along with her sister Kari, who played lead, had a good run, finishing fourth. This year, Paulsen added Kari Kennedy at third, who was runner-up in 2008 in Sault Ste. Marie to Kaitlyn Lawes when playing third for Stephanie McVicar, promoted Kari to second and welcomed lead Natalie Yanko.
“(Last year) we lost a tiebreaker to British Columbia. It was kind of a heartbreaker but we’re back now and ready to play.”
But national experience is invaluable and Paulsen knows it.
“It helps you a lot. You know what to expect going through a tiebreaker. You know what to expect going through the round robin. You know you have to win your last game. There’s a lot of teams here, I think over half of them, that we know from last year. They know what to do, too. We’ve just gotta play hard.”
Manitoba, which edged Northwest Territories (Taryn Williams of Yellowknife), 6-4, is currently in third with a 6-3 mark. Four teams are next at 5-4. British Columbia (Dailene Sivertson of Victoria), which dropped an extra end 9-8 decision to Nova Scotia (Lindsay Doucet of Chester), Ontario (Clancy Grandy of Waterloo), which also lost 9-8 in an extra end to Northern Ontario’s Kendra Lilly of Sudbury, idle New Brunswick (Jennifer Armstrong of Fredericton) and Northern Ontario.
In the other game, Yukon (Sarah Koltun of Whitehorse) whitewashed Quebec (Alanna Routledge of Montreal), 12-2.
In men’s, Camm, after falling behind 5-3 at the fifth end break, rallied with three in the sixth for a 6-5 advantage, then put the game away with a four-spot in the eighth.
“They were throwing real well,” said Camm, a 20-year-old Environmental Biology student at Algonquin College. “ We were trying to keep up early.”
It was also only their second game at the North Hill as well, after losing to New Brunswick, 6-3 on Monday afternoon.
“We feel like we getting to know the ice, which is key,” he continued. “Getting a handle on the ice, getting a handle on the rocks. We’re happy with the way thing are going now. We came out and practiced last night and we’ve learned a little bit more.
“You can feel it (momentum), just by how we’re making shots. We can motivate each other. Keep it going. It (the feeling) goes through the whole team.”
Nova Scotia (Kendal Thompson of Halifax) moved into third with a 6-3 mark, after a 9-4 victory over British Columbia (Jonathan Gardner of Vernon). With the loss to Saskatchewan, Newfoundland/Labrador fell to fourth at 6-4, followed by Alberta, New Brunswick and Yukon, all at 5-4.
Alberta (Colin Hodgson of Calgary) was a 7-6, extra end winner over Prince Edward Island (Spencer Pitre of Charlottetown), Yukon (Thomas Scoffin of Whitehorse) prevailed 9-3 over Quebec (Vincent Bourget of Baie Comeau), while New Brunswick (Jon Rennie) had a bye.
The other match saw Manitoba (Sam Good of Stonewall) clip Northwest Territories (Colin Miller of Yellowknife), 9-3.
Play continues with Draw 11 at 5:30 pm at the North Hill, 6:30 pm at The Glencoe.