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TEAM CALVERT Repeats as Canadian Junior Men's Champions

Saturday Jan 24 2015


Braden Calvert's Deer Lodge team (Kyle Kurz, Lucas Van Den Bosch, Brendan Wilson, Coach Tom Clasper) has defended their Canadian Junior Men's curling title with an 8-6 victory over Saskatchewan Sunday evening in Cornerbrook, NFLD. They are the first team in the history of Canadian Junior/High School Championship curling to repeat as champions with all four players. On four previous occasions, three members of a team have repeated as champion.

Also notable is that Manitoba has now won three Junior titles in a row, with Matt Dunstone's 2013 victory. This only the second time a province has been able to capture three in a row with Sakatchewan having done it in the mid-1950's.

All four members of the Calvert team were selected to the event All-Star teams with Kurz and Van Den Bosch named to the first team and Calvert and Wilson on the second team. The Manitoba Women's lead, Breanne Yozenko was named to the event's Women's first All-Star team. The Asham National Coaching Award (selected by the Coaches) in the Men's event went to Tom Clasper. The Balance Plus Fair Play Award (selected by the officials) for Men's Leads went to Brendan Wilson.


Manitoba Men Nail Down Berth in Final at M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors - It took a couple of extra days, but the end result was the same for Manitoba’s Braden Calvert. A year ago in Liverpool, N.S., Calvert’s team from Winnipeg — third Kyle Kurz, second Lucas Van Den Bosch, lead Brendan Wilson, coach Tom Clasper — had first place and a bye to the men’s final of the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championships locked up by Wednesday night. Calvert and Co. would turn that bye into a gold medal with a win over New Brunswick’s Rene Comeau.

Fast forward to the 2015 renewal of the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors, and Calvert’s Manitobans are in a familiar position, albeit two days later than last year, thanks to a 7-3 win over Alberta’s Karsten Sturmay (Edmonton; 7-3) on Friday morning at the Corner Brook Civic Centre — a victory that locked up first place with a 9-1 record, and a trip to Sunday’s gold-medal game at 8 p.m. (all times NST; CST plus 2 1/2 hours) on TSN/RDS2.

“Probably we’ll try not to think about it so much,” said Calvert, 19, an agriculture student at the University of Manitoba. “We kind of know what to expect, we know what the bright lights are like, and I think we’ll be more comfortable this year.”

His opponent won’t be known until after Sunday’s 1:30 p.m. semifinal, and the two tiebreakers that will precede it to determine the third and final playoff qualifier. Today at 1:30 p.m., Alberta plays Quebec’s Félix Asselin (Montreal); the winner will then take on Saskatchewan’s Jacob Hersikorn (Saskatoon) Saturday at 1:30 p.m. after all three teams finished with 7-3 records.

 The tiebreaker survivor will play 2014 silver-medallist Rene Comeau of New Brunswick (Fredericton; 8-2) in the semifinal Sunday at 1:30 p.m. (TSN/RDS2)

 In the meantime, Calvert’s team will chill out and follow much the same formula it did last year en route to gold in Liverpool.

“We played a LOT of ping pong,” he said with a laugh. “And I imagine we’ll be staying loose and having fun because that’s when we play our best. We’ll spend a lot of time at the team lounge at the hotel and that’ll keep our minds off of what we have to do. That game against Alberta was real close to what we expect out of ourselves and I think we can still go one step up from that.”

Manitoba is bidding for its third straight Canadian junior men’s title (Matt Dunstone prevailed in 2013 in Fort McMurray, Alta.) — a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since Saskatchewan did it twice in a seven-year stretch (1951 through 1953; 1955 through 1956).

 Also, Calvert is hoping to win back-to-back Canadian junior men’s gold medals to join an elite group of skips that includes Charley Thomas (2006, 2007), John Morris (1998, 1999), Bayne Secord (1954, 1955) and Gary Thode (1951, 1952).

 Saskatchewan moved into the tiebreaker picture thanks to an emphatic 12-4 win over Ontario’s Mac Calwell (Belleville; 2-8); while Quebec missed a chance to qualify outright for the semifinal, bowing 6-4 to Northern Ontario’s Tanner Horgan (Sudbury; 5-5). 
Calvert Still Leads National Juniors With 8-1 Record - A 5-4 win over Northern Ontario has given Manitoba an assured spot in games after the round robin at the Canadian Junior men's Championship. With an 8-1 record, Manitoba's defending Canadian Junior Men's champion team can win a berth in  the gold medal game with a victory Friday morning over Alberta. However, a loss to Alberta and a win by Quebec in their last game would create a 4-way tie for first at 8-2. New Brunswick has finished their round robin with an 8-2 record.

At the end of play Thursday, the Junior Men's standings are:
8 1 Manitoba M (Calvert) 
8 2 New Brunswick M (R Comeau) 
7 1 Quebec M (Asselin)  
7 1 Alberta M (Sturmay)  
6 3  Saskatchewan M (Hersikorn)
5 5  British Columbia M (Henderson) 
4 5 Northern Ontario M (Horgan) 
2 7 Ontario M (Calwell)

Manitoba's Beth Peterson team earned a split of their final two round robin games and will fall short of the playoff round in the Canadian Junior Women's. With a 3-3 record after the preliminary round, Team Manitoba won three in a row but needed the fourth win in the championship round for a possibility of making the playoffs. Alberta leads the way with a perfect 9-0 record. With a game to play they have clinched a spot in the gold medal game. Former champion Coryn Brown (BC) has also clinched a playoff spot at 7-3 as Ontario and Nova Scotia, both 6-3, meet on the final draw with the winner improving to 7-3 and advancing to the semifinal.

At the end of play Thursday, the Junior Women's standings are:
9 0  Alberta W (Rocque)
7 3  British Columbia W (Brown) 
6 3 Ontario W (Brandwood)  
6 3 Nova Scotia W (Fay)  
6 4 Saskatchewan W (Streifel)  
6 4 Manitoba W (Peterson)
5 4 New Brunswick W (J Comeau)
4 6 Quebec W (Gagné)  

WEDNESDAY: Calvert Leads National Juniors With 7-1 Record - Braden Calvert and his Deer Lodge team, defending Canadian Junior Champions, have moved into first place in the championship round of the 2015 Canadian Junior Men's Championship in Cornerbrook, Nfld with a 7-1 record. Team Manitoba advanced from the preliminary round robin with a 5-1 record, behind 6-1 Quebec and tied with Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick from the other pool. In the Championship round, the teams carry forward their preliminary record and play games against the four teams advancing from the other pool. Each team's final record, from a total of ten games, will determine the playoff teams with three teams advancing. The round robin leader gets a bye to the final and the next two, after tiebreakers as required, meet in the semifinal. Manitoba has yet to play Northern Ontario (Thursday 7pm) and Alberta (Friday 8:30am)

At the end of play Wednesday, the Junior Men's standings are:
7 1 Manitoba M (Calvert)
6 1 Quebec M (Asselin) 
6 1 Alberta M (Sturmay) 
6 2 New Brunswick M (R Comeau) 
5 3  Saskatchewan M (Hersikorn)
5 3  British Columbia M (Henderson)
3 4 Northern Ontario M (Horgan) 
2 5 Ontario M (Calwell)

In the Junior Women's competition, Beth Peterson's Manitoba team advanced to the championship round in fourth place in their pool with a 3-3 record. In the Championship round, they have won a pair of games to improve to 5-3 after Wednesday's play.

At the end of play Wednesday, the Junior Women's standings are:
7 0  Alberta W (Rocque)
7 1  British Columbia W (Brown)
5 2 Ontario W (Brandwood) 
5 2 Nova Scotia W (Fay) 
5 3 Saskatchewan W (Streifel) 
5 3 Manitoba W (Peterson)
4 4 Quebec W (Gagné) 
3 4 New Brunswick W (J Comeau)

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