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Under-18 Canadian championships now underway in St. Andrews, N.B.

The 2018 Canadian Boys and Girls Under-18 Curling Championships kicked off with the opening draw on Monday night in St. Andrews, N.B.

Northern Ontario skip Jacob Horgan (Curling Canada/Mark Finley photo)

The national championship for curlers 17 and under as of June 30, 2017, has taken over the W.C. O’Neill Arena Complex, using both the hockey arena and the three-sheet Heather Curling Club, and it features teams from 13 Member Associations in each gender (Nunavut did not enter teams, while the Yukon did not enter a boys team).

The 2017 boys’ champions – Jacob Horgan and his Sudbury team – and Ontario’s Josh Leung of the Whitby Curling Club started out with wins in the only two games in boys’ pool play.

On the girls’ side, Zoey Walsh (Northwest Territories), Annkatrin Perron (Quebec), Bella Croisier (Northern Ontario), Skylar Ackerman (Saskatchewan) and Isabelle Ladouceur (Nova Scotia) earned wins in the opening draw.

Action continues on Tuesday with draws for both genders at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. (ADT).

Selected games from the 2018 Canadian Under-18 Championships will be streamed live for viewing on-line. Go to the event website, www.curling.ca/2018under18/, for links and more information.

The teams will be split into two pools in each gender — two pools of six in the 12-team boys competition, and two pools of seven in the girls event (with 13 Member Associations competing in the girls competition, a host team from New Brunswick also is competing in order to create two even pools).

The top four teams in each pool will move into an eight-team championship double-knockout playoff round beginning on Friday, April 13. That will determine four teams in each gender for the Olympic-style semifinals on Saturday, April 14, at 1:30 p.m. AT. The semifinal winners will play for gold while the losers will play for bronze at 6 p.m. AT the same day.

Additionally, the teams that don’t make the playoffs will take part in a mixed doubles competition.

For information on team lineups, schedules and tickets, go to the event website: www.curling.ca/2018under18/.