Ontario’s Ryan McCrady opened the 2014 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Liverpool, N.S., with a solid 10-5 win over perennial favourite Saskatchewan skipped by Tyler Hartung.With a lively crowd in attendance for the opening draw, Hartung opened the game with a deuce in the first end but quickly fell behind when McCrady’s Rideau CC foursome from Ottawa, scored four in the second end. With the score tied at five playing the seventh end, McCrady made a quiet out-turn back to score three points followed up by a steal of two in the eighth end, where Saskatchewan conceded.
New Brunswick’s Rene Comeau of the Capital Winter Club in Fredericton upset local favourite Robert Mayhew and his Nova Scotia foursome in an entertaining game. Mayhew posted a four-ender in the sixth, posting a seemingly comfortable 6-3 lead playing the 7th. However, the resilient Comeau grabbed two points in the seventh, then stole a single in the eighth. In the ninth end, Comeau coolly drew in for second shot facing seven Nova Scotia counters and, when Mayhew missed his draw for two, the New Brunswick skip was one down with the hammer in the final end. A missed double takeout attempt by Nova Scotia allowed Comeau a simple hit and stay for the 8-7 win.
Northern Ontario’s Tanner Horgan, with an average player age of less than 15 years old, stunned Quebec with a steal of two points in the 10th end winning 7-5. Horgan’s Sudbury team fell behind 3-0 after four ends but squared the match at five points each coming home in the 10th. With a biter hanging on in the corner of the rings, Horgan played an out-turn draw to the edge of the four-foot but the shot stone was not fully buried. With his last stone, Quebec’s Adam Freilich was light on a board weight takeout and the stone curled too much wrecking on the guard.
Nunavut’s Jamie Airut of Rankin Inlet, looking to win his territory’s first game ever at the national junior level, opened strongly against their neighbour to the south, Manitoba. Airut started out promising, winning the hammer by out drawing the Manitobans in the pre-game practice. Airut, then posted a deuce on the board in the first end. After four ends, the games was tied at 3-3. From there on however, Braden Calvert of Deer Lodge in Winnipeg poured it on scoring a pair of four-enders and a pair of three-enders over the next six ends winning 18-4.
In other men’s opening games, Alberta’s Carter Lautner coasted to an 8-2 win over Matthew Miller of the Northwest Territories and Yukon’s Joe Wallingham upset B.C.’s Cameron de Jong 6-4.
The final two games of the opening draw featured the women’s section. Sarah Koltun of the Yukon, a pre-event favourite who will skip the Yukon/NWT at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in two weeks in Montreal, struggled out of the gate getting dumped by Saskatchewan’s Kristen Streifel of Saskatoon. The final score was 10-2. In a wild game, Ontario and New Brunswick went head to head in a scoreboard-busting 12-11 finish with Ontario’s Molly Greenwood scoring two points in the 10th end over Jessica Daigle of Fredericton.
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/