Veronica Smith and Tyler Smith and their Cornwall Curling teams opened the second phase of the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championships with losses Wednesday.
In junior women’s action, the rink of Veronica Smith, Katie Fullerton, Sabrina Smith, and Chloe McCloskey lost a close one, 7-6, to Newfoundland and Labrador in the crossover seeding bracket.
“We played a great game and just didn’t have the end result we wanted,” said Fullerton, vice of the team. “We did everything according to plan, but unfortunately we didn’t pull through.”
Tyler Smith – along with Alex Sutherland, Alex Jenkins, and Jonathan Schut – fell 8-5 to Northern Ontario.
“We just didn’t seem to be clicking this game,” said Sutherland, the team’s vice, who explained the rink had some bad luck with a lot of picks. “But they outplayed us and deserved to win.”
As one of the three bottom teams in their pools, the P.E.I. teams did not advance to the championship bracket. Instead, their records carried over to the seeding bracket that began Wednesday. At the end of the week the teams in this bracket will be seeded from 9-14 for next year’s national competition, and for the 2013 junior mixed doubles that take place this weekend. The other top eight teams that made the championship bracket – in both junior men’s and women’s action – are now competing for three playoff spots to determine this year’s national champions.
Smith and her junior women’s rink concluded the preliminary round with a 12-4 defeat the hands of Ontario in its final game played late Tuesday night. The team suffered three tough losses to finish the six game series with a 1-5 record. A win in one of those three games, it turned out, would have been enough to send them to a tiebreaking round, requiring extra wins in order to advance to the championship bracket.
Instead, along with the boys, the girls dropped to this seedings series.
“Everyone was disappointed that we didn’t advance,” admitted Fullerton. “Unfortunately, we can’t go back in time and change the results of our past games, but we can hope for the best in our next games. We’ll keep positive attitudes and go out and play our best.”
Fullerton added, despite the record, it has been a great event.
“Our team is most proud of making it here to the Nationals,” she said. “The most important things for our team in this round, knowing we’re wearing the P.E.I. crest, is to play the best we can, continue to be respectful to all the opponents and officials, and keep a smile on our faces, win or lose. We’ll be sure to make the island proud.”
Fullerton explained the event has been full of highlights, including playing on amazing arena ice, meeting new friends from across Canada, and just being involved in such an exciting event.
Sutherland added the junior men’s rink, which finished the preliminary round at 2-4, was proud of its second victory over B.C.
“The win over B.C. was definitely the biggest highlight,” he said. “But the games against Ontario and Alberta and how we managed to stick with them until fifth or sixth end was really awesome.”
For the rest of the event, Sutherland has some goals including trying to match or improve his sister’s 4-7 record when her team competed in 1995. “For the team, we want to make the province look good. (Skip) Tyler (at age 14) is the only one who may come back next year since Jon, Alex and I are heading off to university... so the field is wide open for next year’s P.E.I. representatives.”
The island squads this year still have games against the Northwest Territories plus Newfoundland and Labrador for the men; and Alberta and Nunavit for the women.
In the championship brackets, tiebreaking games Wednesday in women’s play set the final eight with Manitoba, B.C., Ontario, Yukon, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, and Quebec. The top three teams at the end of the week, based on combined records from the first and second rounds will advance to Sunday’s playoffs.
The eight teams that moved onto the men’s championship round robin included Ontario, New Brunswick, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, B.C., and Quebec.