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M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors Preview

The M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships will take place in Calgary, Alberta from January 29-February 6.

It’s the sixth year of title sponsorship by M&M Meat Shops, Canada’s leading retail chain of specialty frozen foods.

Thirteen men’s and 13 women’s teams (representing the 10 provinces plus Northern Ontario, Northwest Territories and Yukon) will compete. Round robin games will be played at both The Glencoe Club and North Hill Community Curling Club.   At the conclusion of the round robin, and, after any tiebreakers, the first place teams advance to their respective finals, while the second and third place finishers meet in semi-finals.

Both the women’s and men’s finals will be played at North Hill Community Curling Club and will be televised live across Canada on TSN.   The women’s final takes place on Saturday, February 5 at 5:30 pm MT/7:30 pm ET, while the men’s final is on Sunday, February 6, also at 5:30 pm MT/7:30 pm ET.

The winners will then represent Canada at the 2011 World Junior Curling Championships, March 5-13 in Perth, Scotland.   Canada has won a leading 16 world junior men’s titles since 1975 and eight women’s crowns since 1988.

The Canadian Junior Men’s Championship began in 1950 in Quebec City. Alberta has since won a leading 15 Canadian junior men’s titles, the last by Charley Thomas in 2007, and five junior women’s crowns, the last by Heather Nedohin (Godberson) in 1996, since the inaugural event in 1971 in Vancouver. The men’s and women’s championships were contested separately until being combined, beginning in 1987 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

Alberta has previously hosted six Canadian junior men’s and five Canadian junior women’s championships, the last in Calgary in 1998, when won by Ontario’s John Morris and New Brunswick’s Melissa McClure.

This year, Alberta is represented by two teams from Calgary, skipped by Colin Hodgson and Nadine Chyz.

Also qualified for the event are, on the women’s side, British Columbia’s Dailene Sivertson of Victoria and Northern Ontario’s Kendra Lilly of Sudbury, the second and third place finishers, respectively, in last year’s M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, won by Ontario’s Rachel Homan.

On the men’s side, Saskatchewan’s Braeden Moskowy of Regina, last year’s third place finisher to Ontario’s Jake Walker, is returning.   His challengers include Northern Ontario’s Cody Johnston, runner-up in 2009 and Ontario’s Mat Camm, who competed in December at the Canada Cup against such champions as Kevin Martin and Glenn Howard.

Last year’s winners Homan and Walker went on to earn a silver medal and a bronze medal, respectively, at the World Juniors in Flims, Switzerland.