Carberry’s Braden Calvert and his Canadian squad are coming back empty-handed from the world junior curling championships in Flims, Switzerland.
Calvert and his Winnipeg-based team of third Kyle Kurz, second Lucas Van Den Bosch and lead Brendan Wilson got off to a slow start in their bronze-medal game on Wednesday, falling behind 4-0 after three ends and couldn’t complete the comeback in a 7-5 loss to Norway’s Eirik Mjoeen.
“We’re disappointed with our play today and know we can play better,” Calvert told the Canadian Curling Association. “We’re hungry for more. We just got out of the starting gate a little slow today and picked it up late, but not soon enough.”
Calvert’s squad, which finished third in the round robin with a 6-3 record, was down 5-1 after seven ends but responded with a deuce in the eighth and a steal of two in the ninth to tie the game. The 19-year-old skip faced two with his last rock in the 10th but came up short on his attempted freeze to hand the medal to Norway.
This is the first time since 2011 that the Canadian men’s team didn’t medal at the world juniors and the sixth time in seven years Canada hasn’t won the event. Alberta’s Brendan Bottcher was the only Canadian team to win a title in that span, claiming gold in 2012.
Despite the loss, Calvert remained positive about the experience.
“I think the team really battled hard,” he told the CCA. “I learned a lot about the team and what we’re capable of, and I know if we have another chance at this we definitely put in our best effort and I think we could have won this thing.
“We’ll definitely be hungry for next year. We’re looking forward to it, and we have a lot of positives to take out of this week.”
Switzerland’s Yannick Schwaller, who came through a tiebreaker, won the men’s title win a 6-5 victory over Scotland’s Kyle Smith.
In the women’s final, Canada’s Kelsey Rocque and her Alberta-based team of Keely Brown, Taylor McDonald and Claire Tully stole two in the eighth end and hung on for a 6-4 win over South Korea’s Kyeong-Ae Kim.
It’s the first time since 2003 that Canada has won gold in the junior women’s event and Rocque was proud to bring the title back home.
“It was always in the back of my mind but you’ve just got to go out there and take it one rock at a time,” she told the CCA. “It’s almost less pressure knowing Canada hasn’t won the gold (in 11 years). It’s awesome to get it again.”
BERTHS: Carman is hosting a Safeway Championship and provincial Scotties berth bonspiel from Friday to Sunday. The men’s field includes Carberry’s Kelly Marnoch, Neepawa’s Jerry Chudley, Dauphin’s Ray Baker and Pilot Mound’s Curtis McCannell. The women’s event features Carberry’s Tina Kozak, Dauphin’s Lisa Menard and a team from LaSalle skipped by former Brandonite Robin Campbell.
SENDOFFS: The Brandon Curling Club is hosting a sendoff for Lois Fowler’s team that will represent Manitoba at the Canadian senior curling championships, in the upper lounge on March 18 at 8 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Neepawa Curling Club will honour Kelly Robertson’s senior men’s team that is also going to nationals, on March 15 at 7:30 p.m.
SUPER LEAGUE: The Westman masters super league is looking for new teams for next season. Contact Don Sumner at 204-728-9946.
EXTRA ENDS: Killarney’s St. Pat’s bonspiel will run from March 13-16. Contact Don Chatham at 204-523-8412. The town’s last-chance bonspiel will follow from March 28-30. Phone Ron Stewart at 204-523-4428 … The 115th annual Virden men’s bonspiel will run March 18-23. Contact Jay Kinnaird at 204-851-1267 … Neepawa’s spring mixed bonspiel is slated for March 21-23. Cost is $100. Call Wanda Rainka at 204-476-3545 … Glenboro is putting on a three-event men’s and women’s bonspiel from March 28-29. Cost is $140. Call Bruce at 204-827-2303 … The Souris Survivor bonspiel will run from April 1-6. Men’s teams can contact the curling club at 204-483-3669, while women’s squads can call Karen Dunbar at 204-483-3534.