The Veronica Smith rink scored seven in the last two ends to open the Pepsi Provincial Juniors Curling Championship with a 13-3 victory over Rachel O’Connor’s team Wednesday at the Cornwall Curling Club.
Both squads are members of the host club.
“It was a nice confidence booster,” Smith said of the opening game victory at the five-team championship. “Our team played really well, so it was definitely nice to come out and get that first one under our belt.”
Leading 6-3 after six ends, Smith scored three in the seventh with a takeout and added four more in the eighth for the victory.
“We made a couple key shots,” Smith said.
The Smith rink, which is comprised by Katie Fullerton, Sabrina Smith, Chloe McCloskey and coaches Bill Hope and Paul Smith, opened the scoring by stealing a single in the second, added two more in the third and three in the fifth. The O’Connor rink, which includes Meghan Ching, Lauren Lenentine, Breanne Burgoyne and coach Pat Quilty, replied with two in the fourth and one in the sixth.
Smith, who was last year’s under-18 champ, said there were some nerves involved early in the game.
“There’s always a little bit of jitters (when) you’re starting off a big tournament like this,” she explained. “You just have to calm yourself down before you throw your rock.”
O’Connor is back in action Thursday at 10 a.m. against Kaleigh MacKay (Crapaud/Silver Fox) while Smith plays Amanda MacLean (Cornwall) at 2:30 p.m.
The Emily Keen rink (Charlottetown/Cornwall) plays its first game against MacKay at 2:30 p.m.
Alex MacFadyen erased a four-point deficit after three ends to defeat Cody Dixon 10-9 in an extra end.
The MacFadyen-skipped rink from the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club got back in the game with three in the fourth added two in the sixth, three in the eighth and one in the 10th to an force extra end.
The Dixon-skipped rink from the Montague Curling Club had two in the second, seventh and ninth ends and singles in the first, third and fifth.
The MacFadyen rink includes James Dalton, Matthew MacDonald, Parker MacFadyen and coach David MacFadyen. Dixon’s squad is comprised of Brooks Roche, Dylan Lowery, Owen Newson and coach Tammy Dewar.
The men’s field also includes rinks skipped by Christopher Gallant and Shawn Pitre, both of Charlottetown, Justin Campbell (Silver Fox), Tyler Smith (Cornwall) and Matthew MacLean (Cornwall/O’Leary).
Action continues Thursday with draws at 10 a.m., 2:30 and 7 p.m. The opening ceremonies are set for 6:15 p.m.
It is a round-robin format with the second- and third-place teams advancing the semifinal and the top team earning a spot in the final.
The winners advance to the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors from Feb. 2 to 10 in Fort McMurray, Alta.