Northern Ontario tops Ontario for last spot in women’s championship pool

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Northern Ontario skip Kira Brunton, left, and third Megan Smith go over their strategy during the eighth end against Ontario Tuesday night.

After a pair of losses forced them into a must-win situation, Northern Ontario’s women’s team came up big Tuesday night.

Facing Ontario’s Thea Coburn for fourth place in Pool A, Kira Brunton led her Sudbury based rink to a 6-3 win at the Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club and a spot in the Championship Pool at the 2019 New Holland Canadian Juniors.

“We’re all pretty excited right now,” Brunton said.

“One of our goals coming into this week was to make it in the championship pool. Now we’re just going to take things one game at a time and go from there.”

Brunton moved into the lead in the third end with a pair of points and had a 3-1 cushion following a steal of one in the fourth.

She would then get two more points in the seventh to take a 5-2 lead into the final three frames.

“We had some strong starts early this week in a few of our games, but we just couldn’t keep up our momentumn and our opponents would get back in it,” Brunton said.

“Its nice to finally have a game like this where we played well right from the first rock, especially with the Championship Pool starting and a chance to make the playoffs.”

Also coming out of Pool A are Alberta’s Selena Sturmay, British Columbia’s Sarah Daniels and Nova Scotia’s Kaitlyn Jones.

After suffering a lopsided loss to the undefeated Sturmay rink in the afternoon, the defending world champions got back in the win column in dominating fashion Tuesday night as they picked up a six-ender in the seventh end to take a 20-3 win over Sadie Pinksen of Nunavut.

The other women’s game in Draw 12 saw Manitoba’s Mackenzie Zacharias suffer her first loss of the week as New Brunswick’s Justine Comeau stole a point in the final end to take a 6-5 victory.

Both rinks have advanced to the Championship Pool out of Pool B, along with Quebec’s Laurie St-Georges and Saskatchewan’s Sara England.

Coburn, Pinksen, Newfoundland & Labrador’s Mackenzie Glynn, Prince Edward Island’s Lauren Ferguson, Tyanna Bain of the Northwest Territories and Skylar Ackerman’s Host Team from Moose Jaw will now square off in the Seeding Pool, which will help to determine the groups for the 2020 Canadian Juniors.

Over in the men’s bracket, one spot in the Championship Pool will be decided on Wednesday at 9 a.m., as Ontario’s Samuel Steep and Alberta’s Desmond Young will compete in a tiebreaker game at the Art Hauser Centre.

They both finished with a 3-3 record and were tied for third place in Pool A with Newfoundland & Labrador’s Gregg Blyde, but Blyde’s rink earned that spot by virtue of having the best overall result from the pre-game last stone draw to the button this week.

Wednesday’s tiebreaker will be a rematch of a wild 8-7 game that took place Saturday in the second draw of the tournament, as Steep tied the game with a three-ender in the 10th end and benfited from a rare blank in the 11th before stealing a point in the 12th.

Blyde finished off his Pool A schedule on Tuesday night with a 12-3 triumph over Nunavut’s Javen Komaksiutikask.

Tyler Tardi’s British Columbia squad remained perfect at 6-0 and finished first in Pool A with a 9-6 win over Young, while Rylan Kleiter of Saskatchewan went 5-1 to finish second in the group after a 10-2 victory over the Yukon’s Trygg Jensen.

The top four teams in Pool B all squared off Tuesday night, as Quebec’s Vincent Roberge cruised to a 9-3 decision over Nova Scotia’s Graham Weagle and Northern Ontario’s Tanner Horgan defeated Manitoba’s J.T. Ryan by a score of 7-4.

Each rink posted records of 4-2 to advance into the Championship Pool, which proved to be unlucky for New Brunswick’s Jack Smeltzer.

His Fredericton based squad stole two points in the 10th end in a 9-7 win over Prince Edward Island’s Tyler Smith, but needed a loss from either Horgan or Roberge to get in a tiebreaker with a 3-3 record.

Smeltzer will now enter the Seeding Pool, which also features Smith, Jensen,
Komaksiutikask, Sawer Kaeser of the Northwest Territories and the loser of Wednesday’s tiebreaker.

Standings after Draw 12

Men’s

Pool A

  • British Columbia (Tyler Tardi) – 6-0
  • Saskatchewan (Rylan Kleiter) – 5-1
  • Newfoundland & Labrador (Greg Blyde) – 3-3
  • Ontario (Samuel Steep) – 3-3
  • Alberta (Desmond Young) – 3-3
  • Yukon (Trygg Jensen) – 1-5
  • Nunavut (Javen Komaksiutikask) – 0-6

Pool B

  • Quebec (Vincent Roberge) – 4-2
  • Northern Ontario (Tanner Horgan) – 4-2
  • Nova Scotia (Graeme Weagle) – 4-2
  • Manitoba (J.T. Ryan) – 4-2
  • New Brunswick (Jack Smeltzer) – 2-4
  • Prince Edward Island (Tyler Smith) – 2-4
  • Northwest Territories (Sawer Kaeser) – 0-6

Women’s

Pool A

  • Alberta (Selena Sturmay) – 6-0
  • British Columbia (Sarah Daniels) – 5-1
  • Nova Scotia (Kaitlyn Jones) – 4-2
  • Northern Ontario (Kira Brunton) – 3-3
  • Ontario (Thea Coburn) – 2-4
  • Host Team (Skylar Ackerman) – 1-5
  • Nunavut (Sadie Pinksen) – 0-6

Pool B

  • Manitoba (Mackenzie Zacharias) – 5-1
  • Quebec (Laurie St-Georges) – 5-1
  • Saskatchewan (Sara England) – 4-2
  • New Brunswick (Justine Comeau) – 4-2
  • Newfoundland & Labrador (Mackenzie Glynn) – 2-4
  • Prince Edward Island (Lauren Ferguson) – 1-5
  • Northwest Territories (Tyanna Bain) – 0-6

Draw 13 Schedule – 9 a.m. 

Art Hauser Centre

  • Sheet C – Ontario vs. Alberta (Men’s Tiebreaker)

Strong early few gemas let it go kept the moemtumn up throughout the whole game. Nice to have one like that.

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