Alberta teams take first loss at junior championships

The undefeated dream is over for Jocelyn Peterman and her Red Deer rink at the Canadian Junior Women’s Curling Championship, but they still have their goal of first place squarely in their sights.

NAPANEE, Ont. — The undefeated dream is over for Jocelyn Peterman and her Red Deer rink at the Canadian Junior Women’s Curling Championship, but they still have their goal of first place squarely in their sights.

The Peterman team is in a first-place tie after losing 9-5 Tuesday night to the Manitoba rink skipped by Shannon Birchard. The loss dropped the Alberta provincial champions into a 6-1 first-place tie with Kesa Van Osch and her team from British Columbia. Manitoba is tied for second place at 5-2, along with Nova Scotia’s Emily Dwyer.

Peterman and her supporting cast of third Brittany Tran, second Rebecca Konschuh and lead Kristine Anderson, came oh-so-close to losing twice Tuesday, but were able to climb back from 6-0 and 7-2 deficits to escape with a 10-9 victory over Erica Trickett of Newfoundland and Labrador in the morning draw.

“We didn’t play too badly, but the other girls played really good,” Peterman said after the evening loss. “We still feel comfortable about the rest of the week. We’re still pretty confident.

“As long as we come out strong for the rest of our games, we still have a good shot (at first place),” she added.

At the conclusion of the 12-game round robin Friday – after any tiebreakers, if necessary – the first -place team advances directly to the championship final, while the second- and third-place finishers meet in a semifinal. The women’s final will be televised Saturday at 5 p.m. MST on TSN. The men’s title match is Sunday at 5 p.m. MST.

Peterman was also upbeat after the near loss in the morning game.

“We started off pretty slow, but we really picked it up after the fifth end. We really came together as a team and put our rocks in the right spots and forced them to make tougher shots.”

Peterman said the team hasn’t been thinking too much about wins or losses.

“We’re just trying to come out strong every time . . . and hopefully we will get into a position where we can make the playoffs.”

“It was good to go and play a game where we really had to play with nerves in the last few ends,” she added, in reference to the morning game. “We’ve had a lot of games like that — when we were behind by a big score — where we really stuck with it . . . and we’ve still been able to come back. When you really come together as a team, you are able to do that.”

As for the four her team was able to score for the eventual lead . . .

“We played really well in the eighth and ninth ends to come back and we got lucky with the opposition skip’s rock picking, but we still played those ends really well,” said Peterman.

Peterman takes on Dwyer and her second-place Nova Scotia team today, and also tangles with the 3-5 Quebec team skipped by Roxane Perron.

In the men’s divison, Brendan Bottcher and his Alberta rink from the Edmonton Saville Centre also lost for the first time Tuesday night, creating a three-way tie for first place with Stuart Thompson of Nova Scotia and Kyle Doering of Manitoba.

Tim Gall is an Ontario-based freelance writer

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