Alberta women stay undefeated…barely…at Juniors

Talk about a rally. Alberta’s Jocelyn Peterman of Red Deer, who entered Draw 10 Tuesday morning at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championships with an unblemished 5-0 mark, stared down almost certain defeat before rebounding to defeat Newfoundland/Labrador, 10-9 in an extra end.

NL skip Erica Trickett (photo: Mike Fitzpatrick)

Peterman’s crew stumbled out of the gate against Erica Trickett’s St. John’s squad, and before you knew it, they were down 6-0 after four ends, generated by an opening deuce, then steals of one in the second and third ends, then a deuce in the fourth in a game at the Strathcona Paper Centre in Napanee. But, as luck would have it, what goes around comes around. And in this case, Peterman and her team of third Brittany Tran, second Rebecca Konschuh and lead Kristine Anderson returned the favour, taking two in the fifth, then three in the seventh to cut the margin to 7-5. Then in the eighth end, a steal of one when Trickett was light with her draw made it 7-6 before the game-changing ninth end, when another Alberta steal of three propelled the front runners to a 9-7 lead, after Trickett’s last rock draw appeared to pick. Trickett, however, fought back with a deuce in the 10th to force the extra, before Peterman made a couple of nice takeouts to ensure the 10-9 win. “We started off pretty slow, but we really picked it up after the fifth end,” said Peterman. “We were really precise with our rock positioning. We were having issues earlier on. Our draw weight wasn’t that far off, just putting it in the wrong spot and giving them easy shots. “I think we just really came together as a team after the fifth end, put our rocks in the right spots and made them make tougher shots. “I don’t think so (whether there’s any benefit to a loss). We’re just trying to come out strong every time. We’re not really thinking about that (going undefeated), just hopefully put ourselves in a position to make the playoffs. “It was a game where we really had to go and play with nerves in the last few ends. We’ve had a lot of games like that this year (facing early deficits) where we’ve really stuck with it. Most of our competitions have been eight ends and we’ve still be able to come back. Here, it’s 10 ends. We played really well in the eighth and ninth but we got lucky with her rock picking (in the ninth).” Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good. In today’s game, Alberta was both. With the comeback victory, Alberta moved to 6-0. British Columbia (Kesa Van Osch of Nanaimo) kept pace, though, at 5-1 with a 9-3 pounding of Northwest Territories. Nova Scotia (Emily Dwyer of Halifax) and Manitoba (Shannon Birchard of Winnipeg) are next at 4-1 after morning byes, followed by New Brunswick at 3-2. Prince Edward Island (Sarah Fullerton of Cornwall) took four in the 10th end to defeat Ontario, 11-6 and improve to 3-3, while Northern Ontario (Kendra Lilly of Sudbury) won its first game, 7-6 over Quebec. In men’s, undefeated Alberta (Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton) remained so, now 6-0, after outbattling Newfoundland/Labrador’s Colin Thomas of St. John’s, 4-3. Quebec (Félix Asselin of Montreal) prevailed over Northern Ontario, 7-3 to up its record to 5-2. Idle Nova Scotia (Stuart Thompson of Halifax) and Manitoba (Kyle Doering of Winnipeg) are next at 4-1. In other games, Ontario (Brett DeKoning of Omemee) clipped Prince Edward Island, 5-4 while Northwest Territories (Daniel Murray of Yellowknife) also won its first game, 4-3 over winless British Columbia. Round robin play continues with draws at 2:30 pm and 7:00 pm.