Jones keeps playoff hopes alive

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Nova Scotia skip Kaitlyn Jones delivers a rock during the eighth end of her 7-6 win over Manitoba's Mackenzie Zacharias Thursday night.

After a bit of an up-and-down week by their standards, the defending world women’s junior curling champions still have a chance of making the playoffs.

With a pair of wins Thursday, Kaitlyn Jones and her Nova Scotia rink improved their record to 6-3 at the 2019 New Holland Canadian Juniors in Prince Albert and sit in fourth place in the women’s championship pool ahead of their round-robin finale with Laurie St-Georges and her 7-2 Quebec squad Friday morning.

“We were on the wrong side of the inch a few times this week, but we were also dealing with some sickness and that was a struggle for us to try and get over that,” Jones said.

“Now that we’re feeling better, we’re starting to get into a bit of a groove here. We’ve found some momentum and we hope that keeps building ahead of a big game with Quebec tomorrow.”

After beating New Brunswick’s Justin Comeau in the afternoon draw, Jones picked up a 7-6 win over Manitoba’s Mackenzie Zacharias at the Art Hauser Centre Thursday night.

In what turned out to be a back-and-forth game, Jones had an open draw to the rings to seal the victory and end the playoff hopes for Zacharias after the Manitoba’s skip came up short of the house on her final shot in the 10th end.

“We had a pretty complete team performance, but Manitoba played amazing as well,” Jones said. “When she (Zacharias) had that unfortunate miss on her last, that allowed us to have an opprotunity to get the win.”

Jones can be assured of a tiebreaker game on Friday afternoon if she can beat St-Georges in a rematch of last year’s final, but Sarah Daniels’ 7-2 British Columbia rink could also fall into that mix if they lose to Comeau tomorrow morning.

St-Georges knocked Northern Ontario’s Kira Brunton out of the playoff picture with a 9-4 win Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, Alberta’s Selena Sturmay has clinched a spot in Sunday’s final after improving to 9-0 with a 7-6 triumph over Comeau.

In Seeding Pool play, Tyanna Bain’s Northwest Territories rink stole a point in the last end for a 5-4 victory over Skylar Ackerman’s Host Team from Moose Jaw, while Prince Edward Island’s Lauren Ferguson routed Nunavut’s Sadie Pinksen by a score of 17-4.

Over in the men’s Championship Pool, things got a little more interesting in the race for the third and final playoff spot after Tanner Horgan’s Northern Ontario rink beat Alberta’s Desmond Young in a 9-6 affair and Quebec’s Vincent Roberge picked up an 8-3 victory Newfoundland & Labrador’s Gregg Blyde.

Blyde, Horgan and Roberge are all tied for fourth in the standings at 5-4, while Manitoba’s J.T. Ryan currently holds on to the third and final playoff spot with a 6-3 record.

If Ryan loses tomorrow to Saskatchewan’s Rylan Kleiter, that would force a tiebreaker on Friday afternoon against a yet to be determined opponent.

Horgan and Blyde are going head-to-head to keep their playoff hopes alive, while Roberge will need to beat Young to enter the tiebreaker discussion.

The battle for first place and a spot in Sunday’s final is still up in the air as well, as British Columbia’s Tyler Tardi and Kleiter both have 8-1 marks.

Tardi, who is the defending men’s world champion and has won two straight national titles, will play Nova Scotia’s Graeme Weagle on Friday morning.

Thursday night also saw a pair of men’s Seeding Pool games, as Tyler Smith’s Prince Edward Island rink picked up an 9-5 victory over the Yukon’s Trygg Jensen and New Brunswick’s Jack Smeltzer cruised to a 15-4 triumph over Nunavut’s Javen Komaksiutikask.

Standings After Draw 19

Men’s

Championship Pool

  • British Columbia (Tyler Tardi) – 8-1
  • Saskatchewan (Rylan Kleiter) – 8-1
  • Manitoba (J.T. Ryan) – 6-3
  • Newfoundland & Labrador (Greg Blyde) – 5-4
  • Northern Ontario (Tanner Horgan) – 5-4
  • Quebec (Vincent Roberge) – 5-4
  • Alberta (Desmond Young) – 4-5
  • Nova Scotia (Graeme Weagle) – 4-5

Seeding Pool

  • New Brunswick (Jack Smeltzer) – 6-3
  • Ontario (Samuel Steep) – 4-4
  • Prince Edward Island (Tyler Smith) – 4-5
  • Yukon (Trygg Jensen) – 2-7
  • Northwest Territories (Sawer Kaeser) – 1-7
  • Nunavut (Javen Komaksiutikask) – 0-9

Women’s

Championship Pool

  • Alberta (Selena Sturmay) – 9-0
  • British Columbia (Sarah Daniels) – 7-2
  • Quebec (Laurie St-Georges) – 7-2
  • Nova Scotia (Kaitlyn Jones) – 6-3
  • Manitoba (Mackenzie Zacharias) – 5-4
  • Northern Ontario (Kira Brunton) – 5-4
  • Saskatchewan (Sara England) – 5-4
  • New Brunswick (Justine Comeau) – 4-5

Seeding Pool

  • Newfoundland & Labrador (Mackenzie Glynn) – 5-4
  • Ontario (Thea Coburn) – 4-5
  • Host Team (Skylar Ackerman) – 2-7
  • Northwest Territories (Tyanna Bain) – 2-7
  • Prince Edward Island (Lauren Ferguson) – 2-7
  • Nunavut (Sadie Pinksen) – 0-9

Draw 19 Schedule – 9 a.m.

Art Hauser Centre

  • Sheet A – British Columbia/Nova Scotia (Men’s Championship Pool)
  • Sheet B – Alberta/Saskatchewan (Women’s Championship Pool)
  • Sheet C – Saskatchewan/Manitoba (Men’s Championship Pool)
  • Sheet D – Ontario/Northwest Territories (Men’s Seeding Pool)
  • Sheet E – British Columbia/New Brunswick (Women’s Championship Pool)

Prince Albert Golf & Curling Club

  • Sheet F – Quebec/Nova Scotia (Women’s Championship Pool)
  • Sheet G – Northern Ontario/Newfoundland & Labrador (Men’s Championship Pool)
  • Sheet H – Quebec/Alberta (Men’s Championship Pool)
  • Sheet I – Manitoba/Northern Ontario (Women’s Championship Pool)
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