In first games of seeding play at Canadian juniors
STRATFORD, Ont. – Matthew MacLean’s rink scored an 11-1 victory over Nunavut in P.E.I.’s first seeding game of the Canadian junior men’s curling championship on Wednesday.
Having missed out on the championship round by one win, the Islanders are playing a three-game round robin to determine provincial and territorial rankings for next year’s championship.
The win came mere hours after the Nunavut men made history in winning their first-ever game at the Canadian championships – a 9-6 decision over Northwest Territories in an afternoon seeding game.
Wednesday evening, MacLean blanked the first end before counting four in the second end. They were up 10-0 on the Arthur Siksik-skipped rink after five ends.
The Island women, who were 2-4 (won-lost) at the end of pool play, had a tougher battle in their first seeding game. The Katie Fullerton rink opened up a 6-4 lead with a single in eight, but Zoey Walsh of the Northwest Territories tied the game with a deuce in nine. That gave Fullerton the hammer heading home, and she scored a single for a 7-6 win.
With the win, MacLean keeps his goal of finishing ninth at the championships alive. That’s the highest any team in the seeding round can finish as the top eight teams are enrolled in the championship round. MacLean’s remaining games are Thursday at 3:30 p.m. (Atlantic) against Newfoundland and Labrador, and against Nova Scotia on Friday at 10 a.m. Like P.E.I., Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia finished pool play at 2-4.
The Island women play at the same times, Thursday against Nunavut and Friday versus Northern Ontario.
For the Maple Leaf and Cornwall-based MacLean team, the national competition is their first exposure to arena ice and that has been a positive experience.
“Best ice we have ever curled on,” said the P.E.I. skip.
MacLean said the team is getting lots of support from family at the arena and from family and friends back home.