Leaderboard adjusts at M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors

There were some changes to the leaderboard Monday night at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Napanee.With the undefeated (5-0) Alberta men (Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton) and women (Jocelyn Peterman of Red Deer) both having byes, the skirmishes were underneath, as teams approach the half-way point en route to possible playoff positions.

Manitoba Skip Kyle Doering (photo: Alex van Gulik)

In men’s, Nova Scotia (Stuart Thompson of Halifax) and Manitoba (Kyle Doering of Winnipeg) both won to move into a second place tie with 4-1 records. Thompson’s team beat New Brunswick, 6-3 while Doering and company clipped Newfoundland/Labrador, 7-5. Meanwhile, Quebec (Félix Asselin of Montreal) lost its second game of the day, this time to Yukon’s Thomas Scoffin of Whitehorse, 7-1 to fall to 4-2. Right behind, at 3-2, are Northern Ontario (Brennan Wark of Thunder Bay), Saskatchewan (Brady Scharback of Saskatoon), a 7-4 winner over Ontario, and Yukon (Thomas Scoffin of Whitehorse). In women’s, Manitoba (Shannon Birchard of Winnipeg) and Nova Scotia (Emily Dwyer of Halifax) climbed into a tie for second with idle British Columbia (Kesa Van Osch of Nanaimo), all with 4-1 marks, after victories in Draw 9.

Manitoba's Selena Kaatz (throws last stones) Photo by Alex van Gulik

Birchard, who throws third rocks while Selena Kaatz tosses fourth stones, counted four in the 10th end to defeat Newfoundland/Labrador, 9-6 while Dwyer’s team outlasted New Brunswick’s Jennifer Armstrong, 7-5. With the loss, New Brunswick fell to 3-2. “We didn’t really have any huge expectations,” said Birchard, a 17-year-old Grade 12 student. “We hope to make the playoffs, but we didn’t really know what it was going to be like. We were the second seed in our province and we beat the first seed, Alyssa Vandepoele, in the final (to get here). “It’s been pretty good. The teams here are all very good. A lot of our games, we’ve been playing 10 ends, so there’s been a few nail-biters for sure. The girls are definitely excited. We’re playing well and we’ve got to keep it going.” This is the first national appearance for Birchard, Kaatz and second Kristin MacCuish, but lead Mariah Mondor played second for Breanne Meakin at the 2010 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors in Sorel-Tracy. In other women’s games, Quebec (Roxane Perron of Ste-Foy) took three in the 10th end to defeat Yukon, 8-6, while Saskatchewan (Kristen Streifel of Saskatoon) counted a pair in the 10th to edge Ontario, 7-6. Quebec and Ontario are now 3-3. Round robin play amongst the 13 men’s and 13 women’s teams continues with three draws daily (10:00 am, 2:30 pm and 7:00 pm) through Thursday, and two draws Friday, at 8:00 am and 1:00 pm, after which, pending any tiebreakers, the first place teams advance to their respective finals, while the second and third place finishers meet in semi-finals. TSN will televise the women’s final on Saturday, February 11 and the men’s final on Sunday, February 12, with both games starting at 7:00 pm ET.