Alberta women and men remain perfect at Juniors

While it’s much too early to think playoffs, Alberta continues to put the hammer down at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Napanee.

Alberta Skip Brenda Bottcher (photo: Alex van Gulik)

Sunday morning, Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher made quick work of Prince Edward Island’s Alex Matters of Charlottetown, 11-2 after seven ends, to move to 3-0 after four draws in the 13-team round robin. On the women’s side, Red Deer’s Jocelyn Peterman also improved to 3-0, this time with a 9-4 dusting of Cornwall’s Sarah Fullerton. While Bottcher is making his second appearance at the Juniors, having finished 6-6 in Sorel-Tracy in 2010, Peterman and teammates Brittany Tran, Rebecca Konschuh and Kristine Anderson are making their debuts. You won’t know it, though. After edging British Columbia in their opener on Saturday, 9-8, they came up with an 11-2 victory over Saskatchewan, before Sunday morning’s dominant performance. “It’s going good, we’re getting used to the ice and everything,” said the 18-year-old Peterman, who lost last year’s provincial junior final to Nadine Chyz of Calgary, who subsequently lost the national final to Saskatchewan’s Trish Paulsen. Her team has been together for three years, but Peterman and Tran have played together for nine years. “Our goal is definitely still Sweden (where the World Juniors will be held in March). Even though we’re eighteen (years of age), we were at Canada Games last year and got silver there. So we’re coming in with big hopes but working hard all week. We’re playing well. Knowing how Nadine did last year and how we compared to her, we’re coming in with a lot of confidence. All of our parents are here, too.” In fact, her coach is none other than her mother, Nancy McInerney. In other women’s games, Manitoba (Shannon Birchard of Winnipeg) moved to 2-0 with a tight 6-4 decision over Northwest Territories (Taryn Williams of Yellowknife). British Columbia (Kesa Van Osch of Nanaimo) improved to 2-1, clipping Yukon’s Sarah Koltun of Whitehorse, 8-7, taking command with five in the eighth end, while Nova Scotia (Emily Dwyer of Halifax) won its first game, 9-6 over Northern Ontario’s Kendra Lilly of Sudbury. On the men’s side, behind Alberta, Northern Ontario (Brennan Wark of Thunder Bay) moved into a tie with Quebec’s Félix Asselin of Montreal at 2-0, after beating Nova Scotia (Stuart Thompson of Halifax), 7-4 while Manitoba (Kyle Doering of Winnipeg) and Yukon (Thomas Scoffin of Whitehorse) improved to 1-1, with victories over Northwest Territories, 13-2 and British Columbia, 10-4, respectively.

Yukon Skip Thomas Scoffin (photo: Alex van Gulik)

The 17-year-old Scoffin, who holds the record for being the youngest to ever skip at the Juniors (he was 12 years old in 2007 in St. Catharines) and, in making his sixth consecutive appearance this year at the Juniors as skip, ties Northwest Territories’ Colin Miller as co-record holders, recently returned from the first ever Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria in January, where he skipped a Canadian mixed team to a bronze medal. On his CCA-selected team at the Games was second Derek Oryniak of Winnipeg, who, incidentally is playing second here for Manitoba. “It was a great experience. Playing against international teams is always a lot of fun,” said Scoffin. “A little bit different than playing in Canada but we enjoyed it a lot. It feels really good to bring home the first ever medal for Canada at this event. “Me and Derek are great buds now. It’s awesome to see him here. I’m looking forward to playing him.” Scoffin didn’t have too long to rest up after Innsbruck. “I was home for a week, finished up exams and headed out again.” This year, Scoffin, whose best record at the Juniors is 5-7, accomplished in 2010 in Sorel-Tracy and 2011 in Calgary, has his regular teammates Mitch Young at third and Will Mahoney at lead, both also making their sixth straight appearance at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors. But there’s a new addition at second, David Aho, making a record seventh appearance, but first for the Yukon after playing for rival Northwest Territories the other years. Aho has moved to Whitehorse to continue his schooling. “We’re really confident. This is the best team we’ve put together so far,” continued Scoffin. “Things are looking good. We had a tough one in the first game, it was a close game (losing 8-7 to Nova Scotia), but we rebounded well here. Bounced back and had a really strong game. David (Aho) is a great fit for our team. He’s playing really well. “We do have a lot of experience and there are a lot of new faces, quite a lot of new teams. We’re looking forward to playing all of them and there’s going to be some really good games.” The round robin continues today with draws at 2:30 pm and 7:00 pm.