by Al Cameron
January 21, 2014, LIVERPOOL, N.S. (ISN) – Saskatchewan’s Tyler Hartung (Kronau) and Northern Ontario’s Tanner Horgan (Sudbury) have booked their spots in the men’s final eight at the 2014 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships.
Their teams both improved to 4-2 after victories on Tuesday morning at Queens Place Emera Centre in Liverpool, N.S., to advance to the championship pool round-robin, which gets underway on Wednesday to decide the three teams for Sunday’s men’s playoff round.
Hartung, backed up by third Mathew Ring, second Brendan Ryan, lead Brandon Leippi and coach Jeff Hartung, came back from an early 5-1 deficit against Quebec’s Adam Freilich (who stole deuces in the third and fourth ends) to record an 8-6 triumph. A stolen three by Saskatchewan in the eighth end proved to be the difference in dropping Quebec’s record to 2-4 and still alive for a potential tiebreaker berth — a loss by B.C.’s Cameron de Jong (2-3) in round-robin play today at 2 p.m. (all times Atlantic) would set up tiebreakers for the eighth and final championship round spot.
The 15-year-old Horgan, meanwhile, led all the way against Newfoundland/Labrador’s Stephen Trickett. Horgan, third Nick Servant, second Jacob Horgan, lead Max Blais and coach Maxime Blaise, scored deuces in the first, fifth and seventh ends. Newfoundland/Labrador dropped to 1-5 and int the seeding pool, which will determine the final rankings and set up the pools for the 2015 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors in Corner Brook, N.L.
In the other men’s game on Tuesday morning, Manitoba’s Braden Calvert (Winnipeg) improved to 6-0 with a 7-4 win over Ontario’s Ryan McCrady (Ottawa). Ontario dropped to 4-2.
In women’s play, Alberta’s Kelsey Rocque (Edmonton) won her sixth straight game, 7-5 over Carina McKay-Saturnino (Yellowknife, 2-4); Ontario’s Molly Greenwood (Kitchener, 5-1) downed Manitoba’s Meaghan Brezden (Winnipeg, 3-3), Newfoundland/Labrador’s Sarah Hill (St. John’s) won her first game, 7-6 over Northern Ontario’s Krysta Burns (Sudbury, 2-4), and Nova Scotia’s Mary Fay (Chester, 5-1) doubled New Brunswick’s Jessica Daigle (Fredericton, 3-3) 10-5.
Alberta and B.C.’s Kalia Van Osch (Nanaimo/Delta, 4-1) have clinched berths in the championship round out of Pool A, while Ontario and Nova Scotia are through in Pool B. The final round-robin draw, at 2 p.m. will determine the other qualifiers and potential tiebreakers.
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.
The teams were seeded, based on last year’s results, into two seven-team pools for each gender and will first play a six-game round robin within each pool from Saturday through Tuesday. The top three teams in each pool, plus two teams with the next best won-lost records, then advance to the Championship Round for a further four-game partial round robin from Wednesday through Friday, with their earlier records carried forward.
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/