by Al Cameron
January 21, 2014, LIVERPOOL, N.S. (ISN) B.C. skip Cameron de Jong didn’t actually need to win his final preliminary round game on Tuesday afternoon at the 2014 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships to keep his title hopes alive.
But he didn’t know that when he stepped onto the ice at Queens Place Emera Centre. In fact, with the various tiebreaker scenarios available, that wasn’t determined until after his game had started.
No matter. de Jong’s team from Victoria (third Brook Calibaba, second Ryan Cassidy, lead Alex Horvath and coach Don McMullen) took care of business all on its own, beating New Brunswick’s Rene Comeau (5-1, Fredericton) to make it to the eight-team championship round, which kicks off on Wednesday.
“So we’re good then. Whoo! I’m actually glad I didn’t know,” said de Jong, who made a clutch outturn draw to the four-foot to nail down the win. “It probably would have put more pressure on us out there. It’s easier not knowing, and having fate in your own hands.”
With the win, B.C., 3-3 in Pool B, joins Manitoba’s Braden Calvert (6-0 Pool A, Winnipeg), Saskatchewan’s Tyler Hartung (4-2 Pool A, Kronau), Ontario’s Ryan McCrady (4-2 Pool A, Ottawa), Northern Ontario’s Tanner Horgan (4-2 Pool A, Sudbury), New Brunswick, Alberta’s Carter Lautner (5-1 Pool B, Calgary) and Nova Scotia’s Robert Mayhew (4-2 Pool B, Windsor) in the championship round. The preliminary records carry over, with the Pool A teams playing the Pool B teams to determine the teams that move on to Sunday’s playoffs.
“It’s pretty much in our hands now,” said de Jong. “It’s pretty amazing. I can’t wait for tomorrow (when the championship round begins).”
In the other men’s games on Tuesday afternoon, the Yukon’s Joe Wallingham (2-4, Whitehorse) downed P.E.I.’s Kyle Holland (1-5, Charlottetown) 11-6, and Alberta beat Nova Scotia 7-4.
The Yukon, P.E.I., the Northwest Territories’ Matthew Miller (1-5, Inuvik), Quebec’s Adam Freilich (2-4, Montreal/Boucherville), Newfoundland/Labrador’s Stephen Trickett (1-5, St. John’s) and Nunavut’s Jamie Airut (0-6, Rankin Inlet) will play in the seeding pool to determine the final rankings and the seedings for the 2015 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors in Corner Brook, N.L.
In women’s play there will be a tiebreaker today at 6:30 p.m. (all times Atlantic) between the Yukon’s Sarah Koltun (Whitehorse) and Quebec’s Camille Boisvert (St-Romuald) for the eighth and final championship round position after both teams finished with 3-3 records in Pool A. The Yukon stole one in the eighth for an 8-6 win over B.C.’s Kalia Van Osch (4-2, Nanaimo/Delta) while Quebec bowed 7-6 to Saskatchewan’s Kristen Streifel (3-3, Saskatoon).
Getting into the championship round were Alberta’s Kelsey Rocque (6-0 Pool A, Edmonton), B.C., Saskatchewan, Ontario’s Molly Greenwood (5-1 Pool B, Kitchener-Waterloo), Nova Scotia’s Mary Fay (5-1 Pool B, Chester), New Brunswick’s Jessica Daigle (3-3 Pool B, Fredericton) and Manitoba’s Meaghan Brezden (3-3 Pool B, Winnipeg).
The Yukon-Quebec loser will go to the seeding round with the Northwest Territories’ Carina McKay-Saturtino (2-4 Pool A, Inuvik), Nunavut’s Sadie Pinksen (0-6 Pool A, Iqaluit), P.E.I.’s Veronica Smith (2-4 Pool B, Cornwall), Northern Ontario’s Krysta Burns (2-4 Pool B, Sudbury) and Newfoundland/Labrador’s Sarah Hill (1-5 Pool B, St. John’s).
Round-robin games are taking place at both Queens Place Emera Centre and the Liverpool Curling Club in the beautiful South Shore region of Nova Scotia.
Once the top three teams for each gender have been determined, all playoff games will be played at Queens Place Emera Centre. The women’s final is Saturday while the men’s final is Sunday Both finals will be televised live on TSN/RDS2 at 4 p.m. AST/3 p.m. EST.
For the second consecutive year, the competition format involves all 14 Member Associations of the Canadian Curling Association (10 provinces, plus Northern Ontario, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon).
Play continues on Monday with draws at 9:30 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. local time.
This story will be posted in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2014juniors-fr/