Both the Alberta and Ontario women, along with the Ontario men, pulled off big wins Thursday afternoon at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors.
Let’s start with Alberta (Nadine Chyz of Calgary). After missing an open draw in the 10th end for the win, Chyz recovered to take one in the 11th end and edge Northern Ontario (Kendra Lilly of Sudbury), 6-5.
The victory moved Alberta into second place with an 8-3 mark, behind only undefeated Ontario (Rachel Homan of Ottawa), now 9-0 after a 10-8 conquest of Saskatchewan (Trish Paulsen of Saskatoon). Northern Ontario and Saskatchewan fell to third place with 7-3 records.
About her miss in the 10th end, the 19-year-old Chyz just laughed it off. “It just sucks when you have the whole house to go to and sail it right through. But we just had to regroup afterwards. They played a great 11th end as well and made some nice shots.
“It feels really good,” continued Chyz, about being 8-3, with one game remaining against Ontario Friday morning. “I wish we were a little better but we’ll take 8-3 right now. We’ve had a few rough games. It’s looking pretty good. One more big game tomorrow. We’re excited for that. Hoping for the best. We know they’re a great team. We haven’t played them at all this year. We just have to play our game. It’s been a great experience. It’s our first time here. We’re really enjoying it and having a great time.”
Homan needs just one more win in her three remaining games…against Nova Scotia Thursday night, or Alberta and Prince Edward Island on Friday, in order to claim first place and a bye to the final on Sunday.
Last year’s Canadian Juniors runner-up shockingly got down early when Saskatchewan counted four in the second end, but the Ottawa Curling Club team rallied with a deuce in the third and a steal of three in the fourth end to take a 5-4 lead. Another deuce in the sixth followed by another steal of three in the seventh sealed the deal as Ontario opened a 10-5 lead.
In other games, British Columbia (Dailene Sivertson of Victoria) stayed alive, now at 7-4 with a 7-3 win over Newfoundland and Labrador (Jen Cunningham of St. John’s), while Prince Edward Island (Sarah Fullerton of Cornwall) shut out winless Northwest Territories (Amanda Moizis of Hay River), 12-0.
In a huge men’s battle, Ontario (Jake Walker of Kitchener) clipped Saskatchewan (Braeden Moskowy of Regina), 7-5 to move into second place with a 7-2 mark, behind idle Manitoba (Alex Forrest of Winnipeg), which is at 9-1.
Saskatchewan dropped to 7-3 behind defending champion Prince Edward Island (Brett Gallant of Charlottetown), which improved to 8-3 with an 11-4 victory over Northwest Territories (Colin Miller of Yellowknife).
Ontario was able to steal singles in the third, sixth and ninth ends to take control.
“We played it pretty basic,” said Walker. “We’d go into the house. They’d guard. We’d guard. Then, they’d keep peeling our guards out. So it ended up either I had a draw around the guard to the top four or I had to guard and they had to clear it out and they couldn’t do it.”
Ontario’s three remaining game are against Nova Scotia, Alberta and Prince Edward Island. “We’re playing well right now. They’re all crucial games. We’ll take it one at a time and see how it goes,” continued Walker.
The other men’s Draw 17 results saw Alberta (Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton) beat Northern Ontario (Christian Tolusso of Thunder Bay) 10-6 to improve to 6-5, along with British Columbia (Tyler Klymchuk of Langley), who lost 6-5 to Newfoundland and Labrador (Kelly Schuh of St. John’s), which is now at 4-6.
Play continues with Draw 18 Thursday night at 7:00 pm.