With the 2019 New Holland Canadian Juniors taking place in Prince Albert in January, the chance to represent Saskatchewan at home is on the mind of young curlers around the province.
Among that group is Brooklyn Fahl, who skipped her Shellbrook based rink to a berth at this month’s junior provincials during the third and final qualifier event at the Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club Sunday.
“It means a lot to have that opportunity,” Fahl said. “We’re basically curling at home when we come here and to have the support of our family and friends means the world.”
Fahl, who is joined on her team by third Alexis Stochmanski, second Emma Beaulac and lead Kelsey Deptuck, earned their spot at the provincials with a 4-1 win over Rosetown’s Kelsey Sommerfeld in a ‘C’ event final.
In what had been a tightly contested match, the key turning point came in the ninth end as Sommerfeld jammed a takeout attempt on her last shot and allowed Fahl to make a hit to pick up two points.
“After a few blank ends in the first half, we just kept patient as we knew that we didn’t need to put a ton of rocks in play,” Fahl said.
“We wanted to keep things in control, which was an approach that we had all weekend and I think that allowed us to feel more confident on the ice.”
Joining Fahl in earning provincial spots Sunday were Savanna Taylor of Saskatoon and Elliot Martens of Moosomin.
Taylor, whose Sutherland Curling Club rink includes third Megan Kish, second Alana Huntington and lead Annika Steckler, earned her first trip to the Saskatchewan junior playdowns with a 9-2 win in the ‘B’ final over Jessica Farquharson of Saltcoats.
“We’re such a young team compared to many of the rinks here, so we certainly didn’t expect this,” Taylor said. “We’re 13 and 14 years old and we’re facing curlers that are 19 to 21 years old, so we were just looking to gain experience this weekend.
“Our goal honestly was to just win ends, so to be able to go to the provincials is awesome.”
After losing in the ‘A’ final to Moose Jaw’s Skylar Ackerman a night earlier, Martens bounced back in the ‘C’ final Sunday with a 5-3 win over Farquharson.
“We were feeling a little down after that game, but we had some time between draws today to really focus in on what we needed to do and we played a great game,” said Martens, who curls with third Hanna Johnson, second Reece Thompson and lead Brooke Armstrong.
“This is just our second year together and we’ve really picked up our play. Our skill level has improved a lot since last season, which was the first time that we had moved up to the competitive level.”
The final three spots in the men’s junior provincial playdowns were also decided Sunday, as Yorkton’s Brandon Zuravloff, North Battleford’s Cody Sutherland and Weyburn’s Landon Field came away with key victories.
Coming off a tough loss to Saskatoon’s Tanner Kinaschuk in an ‘A’ final that saw him give up a three-ender in the 10th end Saturday, Zuravloff made good on his second opportunity with a 7-5 win over Sutherland in the ‘B’ final.
“We went back to the hotel last night and had a really good talk as a team about coming back today and doing what we do best,” said Zuarvloff, who curls with third Lane Zuravloff, second Jonathan Nagy and lead Cordell Struble.
“This is our first year as a team, so to see us bounce back like we did after a tough loss is a good sign going into the provincials.”
Sutherland, who is joined on his rink by third Doug Sroka, second Bruce Krepps and lead Jack Reid, also bounced back in his second chance to reach the provincials with a 7-3 win in a ‘C’ final over Riley Lloyd’s foursome from the Callie Curling Club in Regina.
“We were a little scared halfway through the game, as we ended up only playing with three guys after Bruce left in the third end because he was sick, which was really tough for us as we wanted to make sure that he was okay,” Sutherland said.
“I was able to make an in-off double in the sixth end that gave us three points, and I really think that helped us get back on track and got us to relax a bit more.”
Field, who plays with third Hunter Labbie, second Keegan Woodard and lead Gregg Wiens, turned in a impressive 10-0 performance in his ‘C’ final game against Wadena’s Jayden Bindig.
“It was a long weekend but we were able to pull out some wins in games that hadn’t gone our way at the previous qualifiers,” Field said. “It’s really exciting for us to earn a spot at the provincials, especially since this will be our first time there.”
A total of 12 rinks will be competing in the men’s and women’s event at the provincials, which will take place at the Sutherland Curling Club in Saskatoon from Dec. 27-31.
The winner will then represent Saskatchewan at the New Holland Canadian Juniors, which will be jointly held at the Art Hauser Centre and the Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club from Jan. 19-27.
The other eight teams that will be at the provincials are as follows:
- Daymond Bernath (Saskatoon Sutherland – 2018 Saskatchewan Winter Games Champion)
- Joshua Bryden (Regina Callie)
- Tyler Camm (Saskatoon Sutherland)
- Mitchell Dales (Saskatoon Sutherland)
- Logan Ede (Regina Highland)
- Rylan Kleiter (Saskatoon Sutherland – Defending Provincial Champion)
- Brett Reddekopp (Saskatoon Sutherland)
- Brayden Stewart (Saskatoon Sutherland)
- Krystal Englot (Regina Callie – Features last year’s provincial champion lead Rayann Zerr at lead)
- Rachel Erickson (Regina Callie – Features last year’s provincial champion skip Sara England at third)
- Samantha Fowler (Saskatoon Sutherland)
- Emily Haupstein (Weyburn)
- Madison Kleiter (Saskatoon Sutherland – 2018 Saskatchewan Winter Games Champion)
- Cassidy Regush (Regina Highland)
- Ashley Thevenot (Saskatoon Sutherland)
- Lauren Thies (Regina Callie)