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Saskatchewan men clinch first; Alberta meets Saskatchewan in women’s tonight for first place

Braeden Moskowy’s Regina foursome clinched first place in men’s at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors in Calgary, defeating Ontario’s Mat Camm of Ottawa, 9-7 in a hard-fought, topsy-turvy Draw 12 affair.

Not only did Moskowy’s Callie Curling Club team earn a bye to Sunday’s final, but it also remained unbeaten at 11-0, with a final round robin match against Alberta this evening.

In women’s, though, Calgary’s Nadine Chyz lost to British Columbia’s Dailene Sivertson of Victoria, 9-7, after the Alberta skip missed a raise with her last stone for the win.

The victory not only kept Sivertson’s playoff hopes alive, as her team is now 7-4, but it was also the first loss for Alberta, now at 10-1.

Chyz will play Saskatchewan’s Trish Paulsen of Saskatoon in tonight’s final round robin draw, with first place and a bye to Saturday evening’s final on the line. That’s because Paulsen defeated Ontario’s Clancy Grandy, 8-5, to improve to 9-2.

Meanwhile, Sivertson plays Manitoba’s Breanne Meakin tonight, with third place and a semi-final berth on the line. Meakin defeated Yukon, 9-4 to remain in the hunt. Whatever happens, it means there will not be any tiebreakers on the women’s side, since New Brunswick lost to Quebec, 7-6, to drop to 6-5.

In other women’s games, Newfoundland/Labrador defeated Northwest Territories, 15-1, while Northern Ontario clipped Nova Scotia, 6-5 in an extra end.

The Moskowy-Camm tilt was everything it promised to be. Camm, with hammer, opened with a deuce, but Moskowy responded with his own pair in the second.

Team Alberta at the 2011 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors(Photo by: Harry Boss)

Camm then opened a 5-2 lead with a single in the third, and a steal of two in the fourth. After the teams traded singles, Moskowy counted a huge three in the seventh to tie the match at six, then stole a crucial deuce in the eighth end to take control, 8-6.

In the 10th, with Saskatchewan up 8-7, Moskowy was looking at three Ontario counters, but made a double and took one for a 9-7 victory.

“We’ll try to get through this one (their final game against Alberta tonight) and head into the final with good momentum,” said Moskowy, a 20-year-old Business student at the University of Regina, who finished third at last year’s M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors in Sorel-Tracy.

“I struggled pretty badly early. We had some really good chances, a couple of ends set up but I just couldn’t finish them,” he said. “We made some shots in the second half and that kind of got us going. That was a good test for us. The three was set up pretty good (in the seventh). I actually screwed up my first one. Then Mat was trying to bail out and didn’t quite get there. If I’d made my first, I think we would have got the three anyway. That was huge. That put us right back in it.

“Then (on the steal), his (Camm’s) last rock just ran straight on him in a tricky spot on the ice.”

On three days rest before Sunday’s final at 5:30 pm MT, Moskowy added, “To come out in the first end of the final after we’ve been sitting for three days is going to be tough, but we’ll practice, try and stay sharp and relax.”

With Saskatchewan clinching first in men’s, Ontario must win tonight against Yukon (Thomas Scoffin) to ensure itself second place and a berth in Sunday morning’s semi-final.

Right behind is New Brunswick (Jon Rennie of Fredericton) and Newfoundland/Labrador (Colin Thomas of St. John’s), both at 7-4.

New Brunswick defeated Quebec, 8-7, while Newfoundland/Labrador was a 10-4 winner over Northwest Territories.

If they both win in tonight’s final draw (5:30 pm at the North Hill, 6:30 pm at The Glencoe), there will be a tiebreaker Friday at The Glencoe at 2:00 pm between them. If only one wins, there will be no tiebreaker, as the winner will claim third place and a semi-final berth on Sunday morning.

New Brunswick meets Northwest Territories while Newfoundland/Labrador faces Northern Ontario.

In other men’s games, British Columbia beat Alberta, 6-5 in an extra end; Manitoba defeated Yukon, 9-4 and Northern Ontario edged Nova Scotia, 11-10.