Canadian junior men just short of podium
At the end of the round robin at the 2011 World Junior Men’s Championships, Canada had qualified for the playoffs with three other teams; Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.It was those three teams that Canada faced in their first three games, all resulting in last rock losses. These losses did not deter the Canadian team, skipped by Braeden Moskowy with third Kirk Muyres, second Colton Flasch and lead Matt Lang. With the help of their coach, Dwayne Mihalicz and fifth Regis Neumeier, the team regrouped and reeled off six straight wins and a place in the Page 3-4 game against Norway. The game was a back and forth battle which was broken open in the eighth end and saw the Norwegian conceiting in the 9th after a steal of 2 and a final score of 10-4 for the Canadians. The team was off to the semi final versus Switzerland. The semi final was destined to be a thriller and it lived up to the hype. The Swiss team was the defending World Champions and had previously beaten the Canadian squad on a clutch last rock draw to the button by last rock thrower Benoit Schwarz. Once again, the game came down to last rock and once again, Schwarz was able to negotiate a port to the button for a last rock win. While the Swiss would have a rematch with the Swedish team they had lost to in the Page 1-2 game to defend their World title, the Canadians saw themselves pitted against the Norwegians in the bronze medal game. Unfortunately for the Canadian Men, it would not be their day. Early steals in the first three ends saw the Norwegians up 7-1 at the fifth end break. The boys fought hard but their was no coming back against the team from Norway. In the end, the bronze medal was won by the Norwegians by a score of 10-2. The gold medal game was a tight battle seeing the Swedish team beating the defending Swiss on last rock. It has been a busy year for the Swedish foursome of Oskar Eriksson, Kristian Lindstrom, Henrik Leek and Alexander Lindstrom. They recently placed second in their National Men’s Championship losing the final to Niklas Edin. The Canadian curling public should remember the names of the players on this junior team. They are remarkable players and have a bright future ahead of them.