Long known as one of Alberta’s best up-and-coming curling teams, Jocelyn Peterman’s rink still felt as though they got a monkey off their back Sunday.
After losing two major finals in the past year, the Red Deer foursome pushed hard in the Alberta Subway Junior Curling Championships, holding off Brittany Whittemore’s team 8-5 for the title at the Medicine Hat Curling Club.
“We’ve learned a lot about how to play finals, so we took a lot of that into this game,” said Peterman, who fell to Nadine Chyz in the 2011 Alberta junior final and also lost the gold medal match at the 2011 Canada Winter Games.
“We’ve been working for this for a long time, so it feels good.”
A quick two points in the first end and a steal of one in the second set the tone for Peterman, who went 6-1 in the round robin to earn a bye straight through to the final.
From there, Whittemore — a Delburne product who curls out of Edmonton — tried to apply pressure but never did steal back and was run out of rocks in the 10th end.
“We tried to battle back, it just didn’t quite happen,” said an emotional Whittemore afterwards.
Whittemore’s rink, with third Julia Gavin, second Jessica Henricks and lead Alana Pinkoski, was playing in its last junior provincials and will graduate to the women’s ranks.
They barely squeaked into the playoffs — going 4-3 in the round-robin — but won a tiebreaker, then a Sunday semifinal 6-5 over Keely Brown.
Peterman, with third Brittany Tran, second Rebecca Konschuh and lead Kristine Anderson, got to sleep in Sunday and were just a touch sharper in the end.
“A day’s rest is huge,” said Konschuh.
“Whittemore played two more games that we didn’t have to play, so of course they’re going to be feeling a little more tired. We used that to our advantage I thought.”
The long day still had one more stage to come as both teams were set to tackle the snowy highway conditions.
But after trying on the Team Alberta blue and yellow uniforms (for sizing purposes only), there was no doubt Peterman’s ride was bound to feel a bit less tiring.
The Peterman foursome will head to Napanee, Ont., for nationals Feb. 4 to 12, with the chance of representing Canada at the world juniors in Sweden March 3 to 11.
In the men’s final, 2010 champion Brendan Bottcher of the Saville Centre in Edmonton easily handled Dawson Creek’s Jordan Steinke 9-4.
A four-ender in the third end was the beginning of the end in the men’s final as Steinke shook hands after eight.
Bottcher went 8-0 this week, outscoring his opposition 57-26.