Island junior curlers close with losses

Tim Gall
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Two members of the Fullerton foursome are taking home national awards

NAPANEE, ONT. — Prince Edward Island teams closed out the round robin with losses Friday afternoon at the Canadian junior curling championships in Napanee, Ont.

The Cornwall-Charlottetown team of Sarah Fullerton, Michelle McQuaid, Sara MacRae and Hillary Thompson and the Charlottetown team of Alex Matters, Chris Gallant, Kyle Holland and Andrew Cameron each lost by identical 9-6 scores to teams from Quebec.

For Fullerton and her squad, participating in its third straight national championships, the loss dropped them to 6-6, one game shy of the 7-5 the unit achieved last season.

“It’s not exactly where we wanted to be,” Fullerton admitted “We hit a hot streak (with three wins prior to the loss to Quebec), and I wish we had caught that a little earlier.

“We started to come on strong mid week, but if we had come out stronger a little earlier, we probably would have made the playoffs.”

Fullerton said her team went out and did its best “and you really can’t ask for more.”

“It’s an honour to represent our province at three different junior nationals,” she said. “We finished with a winning or tied record every year, so I think we really put P.E.I. on the map and showed that we are a tough province to compete with.”

Thompson, the team's lead, was presented with a Fair Play award for lead position on the junior women’s side Friday night. 

Team coach Angela Hodgson won a similar award for a coach and she also earned the Asham National Coaching Award.

The Fullerton foursome finished in a tie for sixth place. Only the top three teams advance to the playoffs. Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia were the three provinces to advance to Saturday’s playoff round.

The junior men’s team ended the round robin with a 3-9 record, while Alberta and Northern Ontario advanced to Sunday’s playoff round and Manitoba and Nova Scotia will play a tiebreaker today to get the third spot in Sunday’s title matches.Matters said it was a great event and the team learned a lot, which it hopes to use in future national tournaments.

“I’m really happy we got the experience,” he said. “Obviously, we didn’t win  as many games as we had hoped, but we are the youngest team here and it was our first nationals, so just getting out this early in our junior curling career was a big help and we were really excited to do it. 

“I’m happy with how we played. There were a lot of ups and downs, and I think with time we will learn to be more consistent.”

Today, the junior women’s semi-final begins in the afternoon, along with the junior men’s tiebreaker. The men’s semi-final is Sunday afternoon. Both the women’s and men’s finals will be televised on TSN with the women’s final today and 8 p.m. AT and the men’s final at the same time Sunday.

 

Organizations: Cornwall-Charlottetown

Geographic location: NAPANEE, Prince Edward Island, Quebec Charlottetown Manitoba Alberta Fair Play British Columbia Northern Ontario Nova Scotia

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