2014 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors

No lead is safe at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors

Unpredictability has added an element of intrigue to 2014 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Liverpool, N.S.Games that threatened to zoom out control for some teams turned into victories in a topsy-turvy afternoon of curling.

Nova Scotia frot endKarlee Burgess and Janique LeBlanc

Nova Scotia front end Karlee Burgess and Janique LeBlanc

Local crowd favourite and rookie sensation Mary Fay of Chester, N.S., took her unbeaten record against Ontario’s Molly Greenwood, also without a blemish on her win/loss totals. Fay stole a single in the third end, then scored two in the fifth end to lead 4-1 and was (seemingly) in control. Greenwood’s team regrouped at the fifth-end break, guiding her Ontario foursome to score in the next four ends and forcing Fay to surrender in the ninth end, by a score of 9-4. Ontario is 3-0 and Nova Scotia sits at 2-1.

Sarah Koltun of the Yukon, who will represent the Territories in a couple of weeks at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Montreal, faced a Québec foursome badly in need of a win to right its own ship. Camille Boisvert and her Club de curling Etchemin (near Quebec City) team stole a total of three points in the third and fourth ends and coasted the rest of the way, winning 7-4.  Both teams are now 1-2.

Newfoundland & Labrador’s Sarah Hill stunned Manitoba’s Meaghan Brezden with a six-ender in the second end to lead 6-1. But the craziness continued as Brezden (with Abby Ackland delivering final stones) chipped away with a pair in the third end, a steal of one on the fourth, a deuce in the sixth end and a big steal of three in the seventh to finally take the lead. The final score was 10-8 in favour of Manitoba. Newfoundland/Labrador is at 0-2 and Manitoba improves to 2-1.

B.C.’s Kalia Van Osch and Alberta’s Kelsey Rocque met in a key matchup in Pool A. Rocque took control of a tightly played game with scores of two in both the sixth and seventh ends to win 6-4. Rocque is now 2-0 while B.C. is 2-1.

In men’s games this afternoon, a six-ender once again played a prominent role in the outcome of a Maritime tilt between Nova Scotia’s Robert Mayhew and P.E.I.’s Kyle Holland. Holland made good use of the hammer, scoring deuces in the first, third and fifth ends to lead Mayhew by three points heading to the fifth-end break.  Mayhew stormed out of the break the next end dropping the score of six points to leap ahead 9-6, eventually posting a 12-6 win. N.S. is now 3-1 while P.E.I. drops to 1-2.

In a battle of undefeated teams, Alberta’s Carter Lautner, with a 3-0 record, and New Brunswick’s Rene Comeau with a 2-0 record, met at the Liverpool Curling Club. Lautner posted a four-ender in the third end and then stole one in the fourth end to lead 5-2. In the next five ends though, Comeau took control of the game, scoring three deuces with the hammer to lead 8-7 coming home. When Alberta’s Lautner missed his last stone, Comeau stole four points winning 12-7 and upping his record to 3-0 while Alberta fell from the ranks of the unbeaten to 3-1.

It’s a two-horse race in Pool A with only Ontario (Ryan McCrady) and Manitoba (Braden Calvert) having winning records; both are now at 4-0.

McCrady scored three in the fifth end to lead 5-1, coasting to a 7-4 win over Newfoundland/Labrador’s Stephen Trickett.

Calvert was facing neighbour to the west Saskatchewan and skip Tyler Hartung. Calvert scored four in the third end and he, too, kept it simple the rest of the way finishing the game with a 6-2 triumph.

Round-robin games are taking place at both Queens Place Emera Centre and the Liverpool Curling Club in the beautiful South Shore region of Nova Scotia.

The teams have been seeded (based on last year’s results) into two seven-team pools for each gender and will first play a six-game round robin within each pool from Saturday through Tuesday. The top three teams in each pool, plus two teams with the next best won-lost records, then advance to the Championship Round for a further four-game partial round robin from Wednesday through Friday, with their earlier records carried forward.

Once the top three teams for each gender have been determined, all playoff games will be played at Queens Place Emera Centre. The women’s final is Saturday, Jan. 25, while the men’s final is Sunday, Jan. 26. Both finals will be televised live on TSN/RDS2 at 4 p.m. AST/3 p.m. EST.

For the second consecutive year, the competition format involves all 14 Member Associations of the Canadian Curling Association (10 provinces, plus Northern Ontario, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon).

The full scoreboard can be viewed at http://www.curling.ca/scoreboard

The leaderboard can be viewed at http://www.curling.ca/2014juniors-en/standings/