Alberta’s third Brittany Tran slid a rock down the ice during action at day 6 of the Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Napanee

Alberta’s third Brittany Tran slid a rock down the ice during action at day 6 of the Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Napanee

Alberta juniors secure playoff spot with wins

Jocelyn Peterman and her Red Deer rink is headed to the playoffs after winning twice Thursday at the Canadian Junior Women’s Curling Championship.

NAPANEE, Ont. — Jocelyn Peterman and her Red Deer rink is headed to the playoffs after winning twice Thursday at the Canadian Junior Women’s Curling Championship.

Peterman with third Brittany Tran, second Rebecca Konschuh and lead Kristine Anderson are in a first place tie with Shannon Birchard of Manitoba at 9-2, with one game remaining in the round robin. Both teams have secured a playoff berth, guaranteed of either first or second place depending on the results of their games today.

“We were kind of hoping for B.C., but we can’t really control that,” Peterman said.

A B.C. victory over Manitoba Thursday would have left Alberta with the best chance of securing first place and a direct berth to the final. But Birchard, who earlier beat Peterman, downed Kesa Van Osch 6-5 and dropped the B.C. rink into third place with an 8-3 record. Because of the win over Peterman if the two teams tie Birchard receives the bye to the final.

“We’re pleased to be going to the playoffs, but we still want to win our next one (to conclude the round robin),” Peterman stated.

Peterman said in order to capture the Canadian title, the team will have to be mentally prepared.

“We have to still come out and try to play our best, especially tomorrow even though we already have a playoff spot, just to make sure we’re coming out strong every game.”

On Thursday, the Peterman quartet defeated Taryn Williams of the Northwest Territories 9-4 in the afternoon and edged Sarah Koltun’s Yukon rink 7-6 in the evening.

“The ice was a little bit different, but we were still putting our rocks in play and making good shots,” Peterman said after the first victory. She said the team is not feeling any pressure, despite the battle for first place that was being waged between three teams.

Peterman explained the team is able to remain focussed and keep their nerves in check as a result of the sports psychology training they have received.

“They tell us to stay in the moment and not to get ahead of yourself, thinking about the next game, or thinking about the standings — just really focusing on the game.

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