Adam Naugler and Zach Davies – World Junior Curling Championships (Photo – World Curling)


In poker, it’s called “drawing dead.” 

Entering the last draw at the World Junior Championships in Lohja, Finland, Canada’s U21 men’s team knew for sure there was no way to make the playoffs, even after their morning 8-7 win over Germany. 

Heading into their final game, the top four seeds had been secured by Norway, Denmark, Italy, and the United States, and regardless of wins and losses on the final draw, that wasn’t going to change. 

What’s worse is that a potential three-way tie was brewing, the loser of which faced potential relegation to the B-Group World Championship, even with a 5-4 record. 

As it turned out, there was no three-way tie, but the result was not what the Canadians hoped for. Johnson Tao, Jaeden Neuert, Zach Davis, and Adam Naugler dropped an extra end affair to Denmark, 7-6, which put their final record at 4-5, and firmly into seventh place in the ten-team field. 

“We left it all out there,” said Neuert following the game. “While we did not achieve our goals this week, we’re still proud of ourselves and the effort we put in.” 

The seventh place finish puts the Canadian men in a bit of competitive purgatory for immediate future. Whether the seventh seed is relegated will depend on the location of the 2025 Junior World Championship. If the host nation is one of the top six in this field, Canada will be safe. 

Normally, in the year prior to the Olympic Games, the World Juniors is used as a test event, which means Italy would normally host – granting Canada a berth in the A-group. While that location is not yet confirmed, the seventh place finish comes with some uncertainty. 

The women, meanwhile, dropped their final round robin game to Switzerland by a score of 8-6, although that result didn’t affect the standings much as the playoff teams had already been decided. What the result did influence is the matchups, meaning Canada will face Switzerland again on Friday in the seminfinal. 

“It was a very well executed game by both teams,” said skip Myla Plett. “We can expect the same level of competition tomorrow.” 

The women’s team (with Plett, Alyssa Nedohin, Chloe Fediuk, and Allie Iskiw) punched their ticket to the playoffs yesterday after their fifth win. At 5-4, a playoff record for the women, would have still left the men in seventh place. 

With the playoff finish, the women will not face relegation and will be guaranteed a spot in next year’s A-Group worlds, where ever that might be.