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First win for Canadian junior men

Team Canada junior men, led by skip Braden Calvert, stole their way to an 8-7 win over Italy at the World Junior Curling Championships today in Flims, Switzerland.

It was the first win of the round robin for Winnipeg’s Calvert and his team of Kyle Kurz, Lucas Van Den Bosch, Brendan Wilson, alternate Matt Dunstone and coach Tom Clasper.

Kyle Kurz and Lucas Van den Bosch (Photo WCF/Richard Gray)

Kyle Kurz and Lucas Van den Bosch (Photo WCF/Richard Gray)

After giving up three points in the second end, Calvert came back with a single, then stole two more points in the next two ends to tie it up at the fifth-end break. The Canadians trailed 5-4 after seven, but they stole a deuce in eight and controlled the rest of the game to secure their first win.

“That was definitely a big comeback,” said Calvert. “We just stuck with our game plan and it finally paid off in the end. It definitely takes a hit to the team’s confidence when you go behind by three so early on. We knew we just had to get the two (points) and force the one repeatedly and we did that and we were lucky to get out on top today.”

The Canadians started the round robin with two losses on Wednesday (against Russia and Sweden), so Calvert said it felt good to get some breaks.

“We’re playing pretty well,” he said. “We had a tough day yesterday so it was good to make a comeback like that – it gives you an extra confidence boost. Now we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”

On the women’s side, Kelsey Rocque lost two close games, starting with a 6-4 decision to undefeated Russia in morning action. Rocque and her team of Keely Brown, Taylor McDonald, Claire Tully, alternate Alison Kotylak and coach Amanda-Dawn Coderre were tied 3-3 after six, but Russian skip Alina Kovaleva held the Canadians to single points and stole one in the eighth on the way to a 6-4 win.

“We’re playing all right, I guess,” said Rocque after the loss. “I’ve been struggling a bit. We just aren’t capitalising.”

The 8-6 loss against South Korea was a tight battle that went to an extra end – a surprise to the Canadians, who thought they had the winning point on a biter, only to see it ruled out on a measurement.

In the extra end, without hammer, Rocque made a gentle tap to lie one, but South Korean skip Kyeong-Ae Kim peeled it out with her last rock to score two.

Both men’s and women’s teams have two games on Friday. The women will meet Sweden’s Isabella Wranaa and Switzerland’s Corina Mani, while the men will face off against Scotland’s Kyle Smith, the 2013 world junior gold medallist, and China’s Tianyu Zhang, who is still looking for his first win.

The live coverage schedule is available along with news, live scores and galleries on the event website: http://wjcc2014.curlingevents.com

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The World Curling Federation (WCF) is the international sport federation governing the Olympic winter sport of curling and the Paralympic winter sport of wheelchair curling. The WCF is one of seven International Sports Federations currently part of the Winter Olympic programme. It represents 53 Member Associations and is generally acknowledged to direct one of the fastest-growing international winter sports. www.worldcurling.org