Four junior curling teams have secured berths to the 2017 BC Junior Curling Championships because they earned the most points on the BC Junior Curling Tour.
Team Daniels on the junior women’s side and Team Kiss on the junior men’s side were the top teams after all the points were awarded.
The teams, who both hail from Royal City Curling Club in New Westminister, were also both first overall at the Optimist Junior Cashspiel in Esquimalt which wrapped up on Sunday (November 13), the final stop on the BC Junior Curling Tour.
Team Kiss, with 284 points, had an impressive 82-point lead over their nearest junior men’s rivals. The team of Jordan Kiss, Travis Cameron, Nicholas Umbach and Derek Chandler will be vying for the BC Junior Men’s Champions title on home ice, as the event will be staged at the Royal City Curling Club from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.
The battle for the second place tour spot on the junior men’s side was a much closer affair. It came down to the wire, with Team McCrady squeaking past Team Wilson to clinch the berth. The Royal City team of Matthew McCrady, Brayden Carpenter, Zac Curtis and Jacob Umbach got second place in Esquimalt behind Team Kiss, earning them 70 points for a total of 202 on the tour. Team Wilson was only 4 points behind with 198 points.
Team Tardi, the defending junior champions, had amassed 170 points, but they were unable to collect points in Esquimalt because they were playing at the Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge in Cranbrook.
On the junior women’s side, Team Daniels, with Sarah Daniels, Sarah Loken, Megan Daniels and Sydney Brilz, secured 240 points overall, nearly 60 points more than their closest rival.
However, the junior women’s field will definitely be one to watch as the field is very competitive. Prior to the Esquimalt event, Team Daniels was neck and neck with Team Brown, with Corryn Brown, Marika Van Osch, Dezaray Hawes and Samantha Fisher. The Brown rink from Kamloops did not attend the Esquimalt event because they too were playing at the Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge in Cranbrook. However, they still managed the second highest number of points on the tour, with 181 points overall, giving them the second berth.
The 2017 BC Junior Curling Championships will see eight teams of each gender play against each other in an eight-team round robin with a four-team page playoff. The junior women’s finals and the junior men’s finals will be livestreamed on viaSport media.
It means a further six berths are available to teams of each gender. Playdowns will take place in Creston, Osoyoos, Prince George and Comox Valley from Nov. 25-27 to decide who will get the remaining berths.
Team Daniels was last year’s BC junior women’s champion and went on to win silver at nationals.
Team Tardi was last year’s BC junior men’s champion and went on to win bronze at nationals.