Final provincial junior qualifying bonspiel here this weekend

The next three days will be important ones for junior curling rinks from around the province.

Eight women’s teams and 16 men’s teams will be taking to the ice at the Prince Albert Curling Club starting on Friday night, as they look to grab the final four spots in each category for the junior provincial championships, which will be held in Saskatoon at the Sutherland Curling Club from Dec. 27 to 31.

“You’ll really see a really mix of rinks from all over Saskatchewan during the next three days,” CurlSask executive director Ashley Howard said. “You’ll have teams that took part in our two qualifying bonspiels earlier this year in Saskatoon and Regina at the Granite and Callie clubs, plus you’ll some local rinks that have yet to try and lock their spot into the provincials.”

Prince Albert’s Bryden Tessier will be skipping a rink in the men’s event, while Shellbrook’s Brooklyn Fahl will be taking part in the women’s completion.

Eight teams have already locked themselves into each provincial field, with the majority of the rinks coming from Regina or Saskatoon.

Weyburn’s Emily Haupstein is the only skip to come from outside the two biggest cities in the province.

This year’s playdowns has an extra level of excitement to it; as the winners will go on to represent Saskatchewan at the 2019 New Holland Canadian Junior Championships in Prince Albert from Jan. 19-29.

“It means so much more when you are the home team, especially when you have the crowd cheering you on all week,” Howard said.

“We’ve seen that already this season from our junior rinks as they’ve reached the podium or won at events in Saskatchewan and in other provinces. They are all raring to go and we’re going to have a really good representative at the nationals.”

The men’s draw will get underway Friday at 4 p.m., with the opening women’s draw set for 8 p.m.

The first provincial qualifiers in both events will take place at 9 p.m. Saturday.

The ‘B’ and ‘C’ event qualifiers will be held at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday.