The Lauren Ferguson and Mitchell Schut rinks from the Cornwall Curling Club repeated as P.E.I. under-18 curling champions on Sunday.
The Ferguson foursome went undefeated. As they won all three section finals in the modified triple-knockout draw against the Emily Sanderson team, Rachel MacLean rink and a title-clinching 7-2 win over the Sydney Howatt foursome in the C final, Monday’s championship round was not required.
All five girls’ teams entered were from the host club.
This caps off a very successful P.E.I. championship season for Team Ferguson, which also won the women’s title at the annual Fall Fling junior cashspiel at the Silver Fox in Summerside, the Pepsi under-21 P.E.I. junior women’s championship and the P.E.I. junior women’s Canada Games berth.
The Emily Sanderson team will be designated as the “finalist” team. The section finals were against three different teams, but the Sanderson squad was the first to qualify in the A section.
Other members of the David Murphy-coached Team Ferguson are third stone Katie Shaw, second Alexis Burris and lead Lexie Murray. Completing the Sanderson finalist team are third Emma Coffin, second Kaylee Stewart and lead AnnaMaria MacDonald, with coach Edgar Coffin.
In the C final, Team Howatt had a 2-1 lead at the fourth-end break, but never got to mark the score in the second half as Ferguson took a single in end five, stole two more in ends six and seven and sealed the trip to the nationals with a stolen triple in the eighth for a 7-2 victory.
During the closing ceremonies for the girls’ event, presentations were made to the winners of the coaching award as voted on by their coaching peers, and the girls’ sportsmanship award as voted on by all the players. Both awards went to the Nicholson family. Carl Nicholson, coach of the Rachel MacLean team, took the coaching award while Avery, second stone with Team MacLean, received the sportsmanship award.
Meanwhile, the Schut team had two chances to repeat Monday. They only needed the first game, defeating the Chase MacMillan squad from the Charlottetown Curling Complex 8-3 in seven ends.
Schut led 5-1 after four ends, picking up a deuce with hammer in the opening end, and a triple in the fourth. MacMillan was kept to one in the fifth, and looked to be setting up to steal a couple in the sixth, but a Schut runback took care of one rock, and a difficult angle runback took out the other and gave the Cornwall team their second three-point end of the game and an 8-2 lead. After scoring only a single in the seventh, MacMillan decided it was handshake time.
Schut advanced to Monday’s championship round by winning two of the three modified triple-knockout sections against the Brayden Snow team from the Silver Fox in the A qualifier, and against MacMillan in the C final. MacMillan beat Schut in the B qualifier.
By winning two sections, Schut had a “double life” in the championship round, and could have won with a win in either of the two games. MacMillan would have needed to win both games.
During the closing ceremonies, it was announced that Cruz Pineau, third stone on the Brayden Snow team from Summerside, was the winner of the boys’ sportsmanship award.
The Schut team, along with the Ferguson rink, recently returned from representing PE.I. at the Canada Games in Red Deer Alberta, and will be heading back to the Wild Rose province for the Canadian under-18 curling championships in Sherwood Park, Alta., from April 2 to 7.