Jocelyn Peterman (Calgary) and Brett Gallant (St. John’s) knocked off a pair of Olympians in the 3 vs. 4 Page playoff game at the 2018 Canad Inns Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Trials to continue their pursuit of representing Canada in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Peterman and Gallant, the 2016 national mixed doubles champions, defeated Jennifer Jones (Winnipeg) and Mark Nichols (St. John’s) with a tap for one a 5-4 victory on Saturday afternoon at Stride Place. They took a 4-0 lead after the first three ends, but the win did not come easy. They needed to fend off an attack from Jones/Nichols, who produced steals in three straight ends in the second half of the game.
“It just felt like we controlled absolutely every end and Joce threw a few really good shots in the sixth and seventh that we didn’t get anything out of. We just misread the ice,” said Gallant.
In the first end Peterman/Gallant played a tap back to sit two and took a 2-0 lead. The second end revolved around a Peterman/Gallant rock that was biting the button for shot stone. Jones/Nichols were left with a difficult double angle raise to score but missed. It provided Peterman/Gallant with a steal of one and 3-0 lead after the second end. Jones/Nichols failed to get on the scoreboard in the third end. With Peterman/Gallant sitting one in a packed house, Jones attempted an in-off that didn’t curl enough, giving the opposition a 4-3 lead after three. Jones/Nichols had an opportunity to score two on the power play in the fourth, but an overthrown double attempt rolled out of the house, meaning they trailed 4-1 into the fourth end break.
Jones/Nichols opened the second half of the game with a steal of one in the fifth. Peterman/Gallant attempted a double to score on their last shot, but jammed it on a rock in the back house. The Olympic gold medallists (Jones won in 2014; Nichols in 2006) produced another steal in the sixth end after a missed Peterman/Gallant hit and trailed 4-3. Jones/Nichols produced a third straight steal in the seventh end after Jones placed her rock in the back four-foot. Peterman’s throw didn’t curl up enough to produce a point. After failing to score for four straight ends, Peterman/Gallant sealed the victory in the eighth.
“I don’t really get nerves like that playing second,” said Peterman, of her final shot for the win. “It wasn’t too bad. I kind of joked that I had been throwing that weight all game on my last shot so it was nice.”
Jones and Nichols were eliminated with the loss.
“We were an eighth of an inch away from making it perfect, so I was happy with how I threw it. Unfortunately it just needed to curl a little bit more,” Jones said of her team’s last steal attempt in the eighth. “Obviously we’re hugely disappointed. We came here to win, but I’m proud of how we played. Mark is a great teammate and I had a lot of fun.”
“I didn’t play very well in the first half of the last few games Jens was really good and I just didn’t hold my own in the last few games and you’ve got to against teams like this,” added Nichols.
Up next, Val Sweeting/Brad Gushue (Edmonton/St. John’s) and Kaitlyn Lawes/John Morris (Winnipeg/Camrose, Alta.) will play for a direct spot into Sunday’s gold-medal game in the 1 vs. 2 game at 3 p.m. The loser will take on Peterman/Gallant in the semifinal on Saturday at 7 p.m. (all times CST).