Leaders still being pressed at M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors

Even though the Alberta men and women remain undefeated through 11 draws of the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Napanee, they’re not getting any breathing space. That’s because there are a determined group of teams giving chase and not giving up in their pursuit of first place as well. This afternoon, Nova Scotia (Stuart Thompson of Halifax) and Manitoba (Kyle Doering of Winnipeg) won again to improve to 5-1, just a game back of idle Alberta (Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton) at 6-0. Nova Scotia pounded Northwest Territories, 9-2, while Manitoba squeezed out an 8-7 decision over New Brunswick. Quebec (Félix Asselin of Montreal), with an afternoon bye, is at 5-2, followed by Yukon (Thomas Scoffin of Whitehorse), which defeated Prince Edward Island, 7-4, at 4-2. In the other men’s game, Northern Ontario (Brennan Wark of Thunder Bay) pulled out a 6-4 victory over Saskatchewan (Brady Scharback of Saskatoon) to go to 4-3, while Saskatchewan dropped to 3-3. On the women’s side, idle British Columbia (Kesa Van Osch of Nanaimo) is alone in second place with a 5-1 mark, just a game back of Red Deer’s Jocelyn Peterman, who scored a dramatic come-from-behind win over Newfoundland/Labrador this morning, 10-9 to push its record to 6-0. However, New Brunswick (Jennifer Armstrong of Rothesay) climbed into a share of third place with an 8-4 win over Manitoba (Shannon Birchard of Winnipeg), as both teams are now 4-2, along with Nova Scotia (Emily Dwyer of Halifax), which was shocked, 10-9 by Northwest Territories (Taryn Williams of Yellowknife).

NT skip Taryn Williams (photo: Mike Fitzpatrick)

In the biggest upset of the week so far, the Territories roared back from deficits of 6-1 (after giving up a six-ender in the second) and 7-4 to pull out the win. The miracle comeback started with three in the eighth end, followed by single steals in the ninth and 10th ends. For Williams, who throws second stones on the team while Paige Elkin throws fourth rocks, it was her first win at the Juniors…this year and last. At the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors in Calgary in 2011, Williams went 0-12. They were 0-6 going into this afternoon’s tilt against Nova Scotia, who were at 4-1 and looking to snag a share of second place by the end of the draw. Janis O’Keefe, who throws third rocks for Williams, fell ill and was replaced by local spare Natalie Gagnon, beginning with the fifth end. In other games, Yukon (Sarah Koltun of Whitehorse) evened its record at 3-3 with a 9-5 victory over Prince Edward Island, while Saskatchewan (Kristen Streifel of Saskatoon) beat Ontario, 4-3, to also move to 3-3. The round robin continues with Draw 12 tonight at 7:00 pm at both the Strathcona Paper Centre and Napanee & District Curling Club.