The junior men’s and women’s “A” section finalists have been determined following opening day play at the Pepsi Provincial Junior Curling Championships taking place at the Maple Leaf Curling Club in O’Leary, with 6 jr. women’s, and 4 jr. men’s teams entered. The “A” finalists will square off at 9:30 Thursday morning for the first of three possible spots in the championship round.
The junior men’s “A” finalists are the Alex MacFadyen squad from the Silver Fox in Summerside, who downed the young Chase MacMillan team from Charlottetown 12-1 in their opener, along with the Mitchell Schut rink from Cornwall. Schut got by his older brother, and last year’s runner-up, Devin, by a 7-5 score, stealing a deuce in the first end, and using last rock advantage to break a 5-5 tie with a 10th end deuce.
The defending champion Lauren Lenentine rink from Cornwall, and the Annika Kelly foursome from Charlottetown are the junior women’s “A” finalists. Lenentine doubled clubmate Rachel MacLean 8-4 in her opener, aided by a four point third end, and went on to record a 9-3 win over another clubmate, Lauren Ferguson, in her second game, which was close for six ends, but a triple in the seventh and a stolen eighth end deuce brought the game to an early conclusion.
Team Kelly won their first game 9-4 over Cornwall’s Sydney Howatt squad, Howatt stole the first end, and recorded a triple in the third for a 4-0 lead, but it was all tied up two ends later after Kelly picked up her own triple and stolen single. The second half was all-Kelly, with a stolen deuce in six, a single in eight and a steal of two in the 9th. The Kelly foursome, with Annika in her first year as a skip, beat the Emily Sanderson rink from Cornwall 12-4 in their second game, helped out by a 5 point second end, and a four point sixth.
Other draws on Thursday go at 2 and 6:30 pm, with the second junior men’s section finalist being determined in the 6:30 pm draw.
Teams in both divisions are playing a modified triple knockout format, where the winning team from each section also gets to compete in the next section. If a team wins all three sections, they will win the event without a championship round. If a team wins two sections, they will advance to a championship game against the winner of the other section and will take the championship if they win the game. If the other team wins, there will be a second championship game, with the winner of that game going to the nationals. If there are three separate section winners, the team that played in the most section finals will earn a bye to the second championship game where they will face the winner of a game between the other two finalists.
The winning Junior Men’s and Women’s champions will advance to the 2018 New Holland Canadian Junior Curling Championships, Jan. 21 – 28 in Shawinigan Quebec.