The stage is set for the men’s playoffs this weekend at the 2019 New Holland Canadian Juniors in Prince Albert.
At the conclusion of Championship Pool play Friday morning, British Columbia’s Tyler Tardi stood all alone in first place with a 9-1 record and earned a bye to Sunday’s final in the process.
Saturday’s semifinal, which will take place at 7 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre, will feature Saskatchewan’s Rylan Kleiter and Manitoba’s J.T. Ryan.
Kleiter ended up in second in the round-robin with an 8-2 mark after losing his last Championship Pool game to Ryan by a score of 10-4.
“It was closer than the final score will show,” Kleiter said. “We had to try a crazy shot at the end and they ended up stealing four.
“It’s been a pretty good round-robin for us overall. We’ve gotten better as the week has gone along, but we’re still looking for that breakout game. We think we can be a little bit sharper when it comes to our line calls and our sweeping.”
Ryan bounced back from a 4-1 deficit after four ends to earn a spot in the semis and prevent a tiebreaker game with Northern Ontario’s Tanner Horgan.
“We had a big win yesterday morning against Tyler (Tardi), which was an awesome performance from our team, but then we came out flat against Newfoundland & Labrador and found ourselves down 7-0 after five ends when we had a chance to get in the playoffs,” Ryan said.
“To come back out and play like we did this morning felt good, especially as we stayed calm when we fell behind and we knew that we weren’t out of the game.”
Tardi, who can capture his third straight title on Sunday along with third Sterling Middleton, clinched his bye into the final with a 7-3 win over Nova Scotia’s Graeme Weagle.
“We have a few games under our belts when it comes to being on TSN at the juniors, so our nerves are pretty settled down when it comes to that,” Tardi said.
“The biggest thing for us now is to make sure that we aren’t just sitting around before the final. We’re going to stay as active as we can and make the most out of the practice session that (Curling Canada) will give us.”
Friday’s other men’s Championship Pool games saw Horgan pick up a 9-5 win over Newfoundland & Labrador’s Greg Blyde, while Alberta’s Desmond Young prevailed in a 9-5 affair over Quebec’s Vincent Roberge.
Ontario’s Samuel Steep wrapped up Seeding Pool play on a winning note with a 9-3 triumph over Sawer Kaeser of the Northwest Territories.
Over in the women’s event, there was a three-way tie for second place in the Championship Pool.
Defending world champion Kaitlyn Jones and her Nova Scotia rink picked up their third straight win with a 9-8 triumph over Quebec’s Laurie St-Georges at the Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club in a rematch of last year’s final.
British Columbia’s Sarah Daniels would end up joining those rinks with a 7-3 record after she dropped a 9-4 decision to New Brunswick’s Justine Comeau.
With all three teams posting a 1-1 mark in their head-to-head matchups, the tie had to be broken through which rink had the best overall result in the pre-game draw to the button this week, which gave Nova Scotia a spot in Saturday’s semifinal.
British Columbia and Quebec will now square off in a tiebreaker game at the Art Hauser Centre at 2 p.m. this afternoon for the third and final playoff spot in the women’s event.
The two sides previously played each other Thursday morning, with St-Georges coming away with a 7-5 victory.
Alberta’s Selena Sturmay, who had already clinched a bye into Sunday’s final, concluded a perfect 10-0 round-robin with a 9-4 win over Saskatchewan’s Sara England.
The other women’s Championship Pool game on Friday morning saw Manitoba’s Mackenzie Zacharias cruise to an 11-3 triumph over Northern Ontario’s Kira Brunton
Final Round-Robin Standings
- British Columbia (Tyler Tardi) – 9-1
- Saskatchewan (Rylan Kleiter) – 8-2
- Manitoba (J.T. Ryan) – 7-3
- Northern Ontario (Tanner Horgan) – 6-4
- Alberta (Desmond Young) – 5-5
- Quebec (Vincent Roberge) – 5-5
- Newfoundland & Labrador (Greg Blyde) – 5-5
- Nova Scotia (Graeme Weagle) – 4-6
- New Brunswick (Jack Smeltzer) – 6-3
- Ontario (Samuel Steep) – 5-4
- Prince Edward Island (Tyler Smith) – 4-5
- Yukon (Trygg Jensen) – 2-7
- Northwest Territories (Sawer Kaeser) – 1-8
- Nunavut (Javen Komaksiutikask) – 0-9
- Alberta (Selena Sturmay) – 10-0
- Nova Scotia (Kaitlyn Jones) – 7-3
- British Columbia (Sarah Daniels) – 7-3
- Quebec (Laurie St-Georges) – 7-3
- Manitoba (Mackenzie Zacharias) – 6-4
- Northern Ontario (Kira Brunton) – 5-5
- Saskatchewan (Sara England) – 5-5
- New Brunswick (Justine Comeau) – 5-5
- 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