by Al Cameron
March 3, 2014 (ISN) – Kelsey Rocque and her Edmonton team will play for gold after defeating South Korea’s Kyeong-Ae Kim 7-6 in the Page 1-2 playoff at the World Junior Curling Championships today.
Rocque and her team of Keely Brown, Taylor McDonald, Claire Tully, alternate Alison Kotylak and coach Amanda-Dawn Coderre ended the round robin tied with South Korea (7-2), but held second place by virtue of an 8-6 loss to Kim earlier in the tournament.
“It’s amazing. It’s unexplainable right now, it’s so exciting,” said Rocque after the tight game ended. “We really just wanted to come here and hopefully medal. Now that we’re guaranteed one, we are so excited. Hopefully the gold but we’ll be happy either way.”
“I blinked and that game was over,” she said. “It was a really fast-paced game with a lot of good shot making. It was an exciting game to play in.”
Canada led 5-4 after eight ends but got into trouble in the ninth when Rocque slid wide on a draw and allowed a steal of two.
In the 10th end, the teams traded opportunities as the possibility of an extra end loomed. Kim missed an open take-out, and a draw by the Canadian third, Brown, just slid through the rings. But when Kim’s final hit rolled too far, Rocque had a draw for two points and the win – and this time she nailed it.
The Canadian junior women are now assured of a medal and will meet the winner of the semifinal between Sweden’s Isabella Wranaa and South Korea’s Kim. The Swedes earned their chance by winning a tiebreaker over Switzerland’s Corina Mani on Monday morning by a score of 7-6, and following that up with a 5-4 extra-end victory over last year’s champion, Alina Kovaleva of Russia, in the women’s Page 3-4 playoff.
“I’m just so proud of the girls, they’ve played so well,” Rocque said. “We wanted this so badly, it’s awesome and we’re glad all the hard work is finally paying off.”
The women’s gold-medal game can be watched online Wednesday at 3 a.m. (ET) on World Curling TV: http://www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV
Meanwhile, the Canadian junior men – Braden Calvert and his team of Kyle Kurz, Lucas Van Den Bosch, Brendan Wilson, alternate Matt Dunstone and coach Tom Clasper – finished the round robin in third place with a 6-3 record and will play Switzerland’s Yannick Schwaller in the Page 3 vs 4 playoff on Tuesday at 6 a.m. (ET).
The French version of this story will be available at www.curling.ca/2014brier-fr/ as soon as possible.