Daniels defeats defending world junior champion Jones in women’s semifinal

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald British Columbia skip Sarah Daniels watches on as teammates Sarah Loken and Kayla MacMillan sweep a rock into the house Saturady at the Art Hauser Centre.

Another big end propelled British Columbia’s Sarah Daniels into Sunday’s women’s final at the 2019 New Holland Canadian Juniors in Prince Albert.

After scoring a four-ender in Friday’s 8-6 tiebreaker win over Quebec’s Laurie St-Georges, Daniels matched that feat in the third end of Saturday’s semifinal at the Art Hauser Centre on her way to a 9-7 win over Nova Scotia’s Kaitlyn Jones.

“The way the end was developing, I noticed there were going to be a lot of rocks in play and that if we got some good angles, there might be a chance to get two or three,” Daniels said.

“I didn’t think I’d be sitting five after I made the hit on my first. Those four points were huge for us, especially as it allowed us to calm our nerves a bit.”

Despite the early advantage, Daniels’ had to stay aggressive as Nova Scotia put a lot of rocks in play for the rest of the game to try and cut the deficit.

“It’s always tough when you score a big end early and have to hold on to the lead,” Daniels said.

“They made things closer but we stayed focused on what we needed to do.”

Jones, who is the defending national and world champion, made a brilliant triple takeout on her last shot in the seventh end that led to a steal of one and cut British Columbia’s lead to 6-5.

She also made a nice runback shot to sit two after her last without hammer in the tenth, but Daniels was able to knock one of those rocks out to take the win.

“I’m really proud of the girls and how they battled right until the end,” Jones said.

“It always hurts when you give up a lot of points early, but we stayed in the game and made it close.”

Daniels will now face Alberta’s Selena Sturmay, who has a perfect 10-0 record so far this week, in Sunday’s final at 10 a.m.

The two teams squared off Sunday in a round-robin game at the Prince Albert Golf & Curling Club, which Alberta won by a score of 8-6.

“That was early in the week for both of us and it was at a different rink, so I think you pretty much have to put tomorrow’s game as a fresh start for both of us,” said Daniels, who was a runner-up as a skip in the 2016 event and a second for Kalia Van Osch’s rink in 2014.

“It’s nice to have that experience of being in a final, but I just want to enjoy it and have as much fun as I can.”

Sturmay can become the fifth skip, and the first since Ontario’s Rachel Homan in 2010, to run the table in the women’s event.

Second Kate Goodhelpsen can win her second national title on Sunday as she played the same role for Kristen Striefel’s Alberta rink in 2017.

The men’s semifinal will take place at 7 p.m. tonight at the Art Hauser Centre between Saskatchewan’s Rylan Kleiter and Manitoba’s J.T. Ryan.

The winner of that game will advance to Sunday’s final at 3 p.m. against two-time defending national champion and reigning world title holder Tyler Tardi of British Columbia.