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Youth Olympians remain undefeated in Norway

Team Canada notched two more wins to remain undefeated at the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, on Saturday.

“It’s a great feeling to start out at 3-0, but it’s a long week, and we just have to stay focused and really try and make sure that we stay strong. It’s going to be a long week,” said skip Mary Fay (Chester, N.S.), who with teammates Tyler Tardi, (Surrey, B.C.), second Karlee Burgess (Brookfield, N.S.), lead Sterling Middleton (Fort St. John, B.C.), and coach Helen Radford, now sit at the top of the leaderboard in Group B, tied with Sweden.

Sweepers Tyler Tardi and Karlee Burgess take charge of Sterling Middleton’s rock on the way to a 4-2 win over Great Britain at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games (WCF/Richard Gray photo)

Sweepers Tyler Tardi and Karlee Burgess take charge of Sterling Middleton’s rock on the way to a 4-2 win over Great Britain at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games (WCF/Richard Gray photo)

“Great Britain is a great team and they made a lot of great shots,” said Fay about the nailbiter on Saturday morning. “It all came down to just about the last end. It was back and forth the whole game, so really tight.”

Tied 2-2 heading into the final end, Canada had two rocks on the four-foot and a well-placed guard out front, forcing Great Britain’s Ross Whyte to try a difficult run-back. He just missed, allowing Canada to steal two for the 4-2 win.

“In the last end, Karlee made a great shot to set us up with a rock in front of theirs, and that was really key. Sterling and Tyler swept and judged it great and that really gave us a shot at the end.”

In Canada’s second game of the day, Fay had an open hit in the eighth to run the Czech Republic out of rocks for the 5-2 win.

“They’re a great team, but we stayed strong and got a couple of breaks and were able to pull ahead towards the end,” said Fay. “My teammates really set us up to take two (in the fifth end) and that put us in a control position.”

A tricky draw by Fay in the seventh end was the turning point of the game.

“The Czech Republic really fought back in the seventh end, they were looking good,” she said. “But my teammates swept my rock perfectly and that allowed us to take an extra point and be comfortable going into the eighth.”

“Having our fans around is awesome,” Fay said about the environment at the Lillehammer Curling Hall. “It gives us a lot of energy, and having all that support from back at home, our family and friends, it’s a great feeling, it’s awesome to know they’re cheering for us.”

Action continues on Sunday, when Team Canada will face Sweden in the afternoon draw (6:30 a.m. EST) and Norway in the evening draw (1:30 p.m. EST).

Team Canada skip Mary Fay calls to sweepers Sterling Middleton and Tyler Tardi during Day 2 action against Great Britain’s Ross Whyte at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games (WCF/Richard Gray photo)

Team Canada skip Mary Fay calls to sweepers Sterling Middleton and Tyler Tardi during Day 2 action against Great Britain’s Ross Whyte at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games (WCF/Richard Gray photo)

The 16 teams are split into two pools of eight. The top four teams in each pool will qualify for the playoffs, with the quarter-finals and semifinals scheduled for next Tuesday, Feb. 16, and the gold- and bronze-medal games on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 3 a.m. EST.

Live scoring, pictures, team lineups and the event schedule are available at www.worldcurling.org/yog2016

Follow live shot-by-shot action on Curling Geek.

Daily highlight packages will be available online at http://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/video.

Other video content from Lillehammer will be available at the Games’ Youtube channel, www.youtube.com/user/lillehammer2016, as well as at the Youth Olympics’ Youtube channel, www.youtube.com/user/YouthOlympics.

For more information about the Youth Olympics, click here.