MacLean rink victorious

Eric McCarthy
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Defeats defending champion in exciting final

ALBERTON – After delivering the final stone of his P.E.I. junior competitive curling career, Matthew MacLean calmly slid down the ice.

It was a takeout attempt and, if successful, would give him his first Pepsi provincial curling championship.

As Tyler Smith’s shot stone was being cleared from the rings, MacLean raised his broom shoulder high, hardly the type of enthusiasm one might expect from someone who has been chasing the provincial title for five years.

“I’m not much for scenes, but I was pretty excited inside, for sure,” he confided afterwards.

Winner of a 12-and-under championship, three 15-and-under and a pair of 18-and-under titles, MacLean had come close at the 20-and-under before.

“We always come to 20-and-unders and we just have a bad weekend, and this weekend we had a good weekend and pulled through,” he said.

His brother, Allan, who plays third stone, has been part of all his provincial championships. This is lead stone Jordan MacLean’s second year with MacLean, and the third year for second stone Noah O’Connor.

Team MacLean will represent P.E.I. at the national championship in Stratford, Ont., from Jan. 23 to 31.

“I’m really glad to make my parents proud,” MacLean said in pointing to all the support they’ve given the team. “It’s been a long time waiting, and I’m glad to finally get the title.”

His father, Glen, is the team coach and his mother, Glenda, is their manager.



Team MacLean, from the Maple Leaf and Cornwall Curling Clubs, had to dethrone the defending-champion Tyler Smith rink from Cornwall and Montague. The rinks split their first two meetings in the A and B qualifiers.

After losing their next game to Alex MacFadyen from the Silver Fox and Charlottetown, MacLean got to sit out while Smith and MacFadyen traded wins in the C qualifier and first playoff game.

The winner-take-all final was tied 2-2 at the fifth-end break.

MacLean scored the first deuce of the game in six, and Smith narrowed the MacLean lead to 4-3 in the eighth. MacLean blanked the ninth to retain hammer.

In the final end, Team Smith put a rock in the house off to the side. Allan succeeded in knocking two rocks off the centre line and taking Smith’s shot stone on the way out.

Smith, with his first throw, put his rock back eight behind one remaining centre guard.

MacLean drew, explaining if he took the guard off Smith would just replace it, and he’d have to draw with the hammer. His front end swept it right out of his hand to top four, partially buried.

Smith was able to make contact, but the MacLean stone jammed on the rock at the back of the house and his stone rolled into the open, staying for shot. MacLean calmly removed it and stayed for two points for a 6-3 win.

“It was pretty basic,” he said. “It was just nerves, but I tried to get in the hack and do it the same as any other shot.”


Individual awards

Sportsmanship and coaching awards were presented at the 2015 Pepsi provincial junior curling championships here at the Western Community Curling Club on Wednesday night.

Lauren Lenentine, skip of the women’s runner-up rink from Cornwall, and Kyle Holland, who threw third stones on Alex MacFadyen’s third-place men’s rink from Silver Fox and Charlottetown, received sportsmanship awards.

Bill Hope and Roger Gavin were the recipients of the Asham coaching awards. Hope coaches the women’s champions, Katie Fullerton rink, and Gavin is the coach of the Leslie Noye team from the Western Community Curling Club.


Organizations: Silver Fox, Junior Nationals, Fullerton Western Community Curling Club

Geographic location: Cornwall, Charlottetown, Stratford Ontario Maple Leaf Alberton

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