Alberta runs table at Canadian curling juniors

By Jeff D'Andrea
January 27, 2019 - 2:02pm

Selena Sturmay and Team Alberta became just the fifth women’s team since 1971 to win each and every one of their games at a Canadian Junior Women’s Curling Championships.

Sturmay, along with third Abby Marks, second Kate Goodhelpsen and lead Paige Papley won all 11 games they played in the tournament in Prince Albert, including Sunday’s final with a 9-6 victory over Sarah Daniels and Team B.C. at the Art Hauser Centre.

The last time a team went completely undefeated at a junior women’s curling championships was back in 2010 when Ontario’s Rachel Homan did so. Before then, you have to go all the way back to 1989 when Manitoba’s Cathy Overton won each of her games.

“It definitely feels surreal right now,” Sturmay said. “It hasn’t quite kicked in that we’re Team Canada, but it probably will in the next couple days. I’m just over the moon right now.”

Sturmay will represent Canada in not one but two upcoming world events. By winning this, Sturmay will play in the 2019 World Junior Curling Championships Feb. 16-23 in Liverpool, N.S. But by also winning the USports Curling Championships with the University of Alberta, she will also represent Canada at the 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, Russia March 2-12.

“It’s definitely super exciting, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. I won’t be going to school a whole lot, but that’s okay,” Sturmay laughed. “I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be the ride of a lifetime, for sure.”

The game started well for Daniels and B.C. They started off the game with a steal of one in the first end, and then forced Sturmay to one in the second.

But it was Sturmay for the rest of the first half. Sturmay stole four points in the following three ends, including a steal for two in the fourth, to lead 5-1 after five ends.

Daniels came back from the half-time break strong with two of her own to make it a 5-3 game.

After forcing Sturmay to one in the seventh, Daniels picked up a key three-ender to tie the game at 6-6 after eight ends.

But Sturmay opened up the game in the ninth with an even bigger three-ender to restore her three-point lead heading into the 10th end. Sturmay forced B.C. to run out of rocks and win the championship.

“The B.C. team played great,” Sturmay said. “We were able to capitalize on a couple misses to get those steals, but nevertheless, it was a close game. That’s all you can ask for.”

At 3 p.m. on Sunday, the men’s final between British Columbia and Manitoba will take place at the Art Hauser Centre. B.C.’s skipTyler Tardi and third Sterling Middleton could become the first curlers to win three junior national championships. They also won last year’s world junior championship in Scotland. But Manitoba’s J.T. Ryan is the only team to beat B.C. at this year’s tournament, doing so on Thursday with a 7-4 win at the Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club.

On Twitter: @jeff_paNOW

B.C. makes history by winning 3rd straight jr men's curling nationals

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