Field set for Canadian Juniors

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Saskatoon’s Rylan Kleiter and his rink will represent Saskatchewan in the men’s field for the third straight year at the 2019 New Holland Canadian Juniors in Prince Albert

With the provincial and territorial playdowns now complete, the field of 16 men’s and women’s rinks are now set in stone for the 2019 New Holland Canadian Junior Curling Championship, which will be held at the Art Hauser Centre and the Prince Albert Golf & Curling Club from Jan. 19-27.

British Columbia’s Tyler Tardi headlines the men’s event, as the reigning world junior champion is looking to become the first skip to win three straight national titles.

His main competitors are expected to be two-time national runner-up Tanner Horgan of Northern Ontario and JT Ryan of Manitoba, who finished in third place last year.

Saskatoon’s Rylan Kleiter, who is competing in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling’s Meridian Canadian Open in North Battleford this week, will represent Saskatchewan for the third straight year and is trying to reach the championship pool for the first time.

The other skips in the men’s event are Desmond Young (Alberta), Jack Smeltzer (New Brunswick), Greg Blyde (Newfoundland & Labrador), Sawer Kaeser (Northwest Territories), Graeme Weagle (Nova Scotia), Javen Komaksiutiksak (Nunavut), Samuel Steep (Ontario), Tyler Smith (Prince Edward Island), Vincent Roberge (Quebec) and Trygg Jensen (Yukon).

In the women’s event, defending national and world champion Kaitlyn Jones is back as the skip for Nova Scotia.

Last year’s runner-up Laurie St-Georges will also be in Prince Albert with her Quebec rink, as is third place finisher Justine Comeau of New Brunswick.

Another top contender for the title is British Columbia’s Sarah Daniels, who made it to the final in 2016 before losing to Mary Fay of Nova Scotia.

Regina’s Rachel Erickson will wear the green jacket for Saskatchewan, with her rink featuring defending provincial champion Sara England as the fourth stone thrower.

With the Yukon not fielding a squad this year, Moose Jaw’s Skylar Ackerman will also be at the nationals as the Host Team.

The other women’s rinks that will be at the event are Selena Sturmay (Alberta), Mackenzie Zacharias (Manitoba), Mackenzie Glynn (Newfoundland & Labrador), Kira Brunton (Northern Ontario), Tyanna Bain (Northwest Territories), Sadie Pinksen (Nunavut), Thea Coburn (Ontario) and Lauren Ferguson (Prince Edward Island).