CORNWALL — Despite not being related, Veronica Smith and Tyler Smith have a lot in common.
And more so after each won their respective Pepsi provincial junior curling titles Sunday at the Cornwall Curling Club.
Tyler’s squad scored a
6-2 win over the Christopher Gallant rink of the Charlottetown Curling Club in the men’s final while Veronica’s crew downed the Amanda MacLean rink 9-5 in the women’s final.
“I don’t even know (what to say). It’s unbelievable,” said Veronica, 18, of the win over her Cornwall clu-bmates. “The girls were behind me the whole game. We trained so hard for this. We just went out focused. We knew we could do it.”
Veronica’s group, which went 3-1 in the round robin losing to MacLean, scored five times in the eighth end to break open a 4-4 tie.
MacLean finished 4-0 and had an automatic berth in the championship. The Smith rink beat Kaleigh MacKay-skipped rink from the Crapaud and Silver Fox clubs in the women’s semifinal to each the title game.
The Smiths earned a berth in the M&M Meat Shops Canadian juniors Feb. 2 to 10, in Fort McMurray, Alta.
Veronica’s rink, which was last year’s provincial under-18 women’s champs, includes third Katie Fullerton, second Sabrina Smith and lead Chloe McCloskey.
Tyler, 14, had a similar reaction to his squad’s victory. Also based out of the Cornwall club, it includes Alex Sutherland (third), Alex Jenkins (second) and Jonathan Schut (lead).
“I don’t know. I’m speechless,” Tyler said. “It’s amazing considering the road we took to get there.”
Tyler’s road meant a tiebreaker on Sunday for the 3-3 team, which they won in an extra end, and a semifinal win over the Cody Dixon rink from Montague to reach the final.
And like Veronica, the eighth end was the clincher in the title contest.
Up 3-2, Tyler hit a three-rock angle raise that made the score 6-2 and put things out of reach.
“We were really untouchable after that,” said Tyler, who skipped the 2011 Canada Games men’s rink and is the defending under-16 provincial champion.
As for the trips to the nationals, neither skip had an idea of what to expect, although Veronica had a few ideas.
“It’s going to be freezing,” she said with a laugh. “We have a hard month ahead of us. Have to go hard and represent our province well.”
The MacLean rink included Amanda MacLean (skip), Kassinda Bulger (third) Emily Gary (second) and Aleya Quilty (lead), Jane DiCarlo (alternate). Glen MacLean and Shelley Gray are coaches.
Gallant rink included Christopher Gallant (skip), Kyle Holland (third), Tyler McInnis (second) and Andrew Cameron (lead). Peter Gallant is the team’s coach.
Kevin Smith coaches Tyler’s rink. Bill Hope and Paul Smith coaches Veronica’s foursome.
More at www.peicurling.com