Chasing Gold!

Team Canada skip Emily Deschenes led her team from Halifax to gold at the World Junior B Curling Championships and a berth in the 2023 World Junior Curling Championships. (Photo, World Curling Federation/Hellen Koskinen)

Canadian Juniors Chasing World Championship in Germany

For the second time in three months, Canada’s youth curlers will be chasing a world title when the 2023 World Junior Curling Championships get underway from Feb. 25-March 4.

Starting this week in Fuessen, Germany, skip Emily Deschenes, vice-skip Lauren Ferguson, second Alison Umlah, and lead Cate Fitzgerald will attempt to win their second international gold medal after the Halifax-based team won the World B Group Championship in Finland.

That victory qualified the Canadian women’s team for a return to the A Group championships, which get underway on Saturday.

Canada’s roster is supported by coach Mary Matatall, team leader Lori Olson-Johns, and team support Taylour Stevens – who led the team to the Canadian title last spring in Stratford, Ont. Stevens aged out of juniors for the 2022-23 season and the team brought in Deschenes to skip. 

The Canadian women begin the round robin on Saturday morning against Norway.

The junior men’s winner from the Canadian juniors, Ontario’s Landan Rooney, will also wear the Maple Leaf in this week Germany. The team did not have to qualify through the B Group, based on last year’s world championship results. 

Rooney, vice-skip Scott Mitchell, second Jacob Jones and lead Austin Snyder play out of the Whitby Curling Club and will start their quest for gold on Saturday afternoon vs. Scotland. 

Collin Mitchell, a member of Canada’s Men’s 1998 Olympic team – and father of third Scott – will be coaching, while Connor Deane will serve as alternate. Nathan Steele, who won the Canadian championship last season, aged out of juniors but is travelling with the group in a team support role. Jeff Hoffart serves as the Team Lead for the Canadian men.

The Canadian teams’ schedules will be as follows (all times ET).

Canadian women’s curling team, from left: Emily Deschenes, Lauren Ferguson, Alison Umlah, Cate Fitzgerald and Taylour Stevens. (Photo, World Curling Federation/Hellen Koskinen)

Sat., Feb. 25 – 3 a.m. – vs. Norway
Sat., Feb. 25 – 1:30 p.m. – vs. Sweden
Sun., Feb. 26 – 8 a.m. – vs. South Korea
Mon., Feb. 27 – 3 a.m. – vs. Scotland
Mon., Feb. 27 – 1 p.m. – vs. Latvia
Tues., Feb. 28 – 8 a.m. vs. Japan
Wed., March 1 – 3 a.m. vs. United States
Wed., March 1 – 1 p.m. vs. Germany
Thurs., March 2 – 8 a.m. – Switzerland
Semifinals (if qualified) – Fri., March 3 – 8 a.m.
Finals (if qualified) – Sat., March 4 – 3 a.m.

Canadian men’s curling team, front row from left: Landan Rooney, Nathan Steele and Jacob Jones, Austin Snyder. Back row, from left: Scott Mitchell and Collin Mitchell. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Sat. Feb. 25 – 8 a.m. – vs. Scotland
Sun., Feb. 26 – 3 a.m. – vs. China
Sun., Feb. 26 – 1 p.m. – vs Switzerland
Mon., Feb. 27 – 8 a.m. – vs. South Korea
Tues., Feb. 28 – 3 a.m. vs. Turkey
Tues., Feb. 28 – 1 p.m. vs. Norway
Wed., March 1 – 8 a.m. vs. Italy
Thurs., March 2 – 3 a.m. – vs Germany
Thurs., March 2 – 1 p.m. – United States
Semifinals (if qualified) – Fri., March 3 – 1 p.m.
Finals (if qualified) – Sat., March 4 – 8 a.m.

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