This is a week of celebration for many curlers across the country. We have new Canadian Junior Curling Champions. We have our full roster of teams for the Scotties as the #RoadToGP wrapped up last Sunday evening in Saskatchewan (with...of course...another upset). And we celebrate a few more teams completing their #RoadToOttawa with provincial/territorial championships. Yup, welcome to February...time to celebrate indeed.
First off, HUGE congrats to our new Canadian Junior Curling Champions: Team Matt Dunstone (Manitoba) and Team Mary Fay (Nova Scotia). Both teams truly put on a clinic over the past week with dominating performances proving Canada is once again set up as a favorite heading into the World Junior Curling Championships in Denmark at the beginning of March. Team Dunstone got revenge for their only blemish over the week, knocking off Team Horgan's Northern Ontario rink in a dominating fashion Sunday afternoon. Dunstone was the clear top dog all week, as shown with his 1st Team All Star title and highest overall curling percentage of any player at the event, male or female (90%). By Sunday evening, the entire country truly was saying #DunnyIsMoney! I have been saying it for the past two seasons on this blog, Matt Dunstone is the future of Canadian curling. Team Dunstone is not done yet though as they have the upcoming Manitoba provincials to play in before departing for Denmark. If I was Team McEwen or defending champion Team Carruthers, I would not be too excited about facing this team. It is not out of the question to see the unthinkable happen where Dunstone captures the Canadian Junior and Manitoba men's titles back to back. Watch out #redpants and #Reidarama!
Props also to Mary Fay and her Nova Scotia rink who, similar to Team Dunstone, were clearly the top team all week. After locking up first place in the round robin and the bye to the final, they were able to sit back and watch Team B.C. (Sarah Daniels) and Team New Brunswick (Justine Comeau) battle it out in the semifinal. While Daniels and her team looked calm, cool and collected in the semifinal....it would be almost a comedy of errors in the final with both Team B.C. and Team Nova Scotia trading back and forth errors with neither team either to take advantage of the other's mistakes. However, as a championship team does, Team Fay was able to seize the moment at the perfect time and claim the victory. Fay has been here before and has tasted the podium but was still looking to stand at the top. This was her year....it seemed destined in the stars for most of the season. Fay will also be pulling some double duty wearing the maple leaf as she heads to the Winter Youth Olympics in Norway to compete in mixed doubles (joining teammate Karlee Burgess and Team B.C. boys bronze medalist Tyler Tardi) beginning February 12.
Sidenote: #TwineTime came through with some excellent predictions for the Canadian Junior Curling Championship going 12/16 on championship pool qualifiers (only because I only predicted 12..oops!), 3/4 on finalists and a perfect 2/2 on championship outcome. Not too bad I would say!
Our next moment of congratulations goes to the 15 teams who navigated the tricky, and often bumpy, #RoadToGP and will now proudly wear their provincial/territorial colors at the 2016 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. We saw a number of upsets along the way; however, is this not something we have been asking for most of the season? In Grande Prairie we will finally get to see some fresh new faces, welcome back some past provincial champions and perhaps see the upset train continue? Could this be 2011 all over again when everyone laid witness to Amber Holland's Saskatchewan rink claiming the Canadian title? Holland entered the event being considered a long shot for the title but wound up dethroning defending champion Jennifer Jones in the final. Hmmm....look who is the defending champion in Grande Prairie too? #HistoryRepeating will happen...whether Team Canada claims another title or an upset team rides the hot streak to a Canadian championship. Look for a preview of the Scotties coming up soon in this blog. Until the competition gets under way on the ice, let's congratulate the following teams who have made it to Grande Prairie:
Tim Hortons Brier Qualifying
Northwest Territories - Jamie Koe
Newfoundland & Labrador - Brad Gushue
P.E.I. - Adam Casey
Let's get to our #TourLifePredictions in my home province of Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Ontario.
There you have it #curling fans....we have lots of exciting curling on deck as we prepare for more Championship Sunday action. We will crown provincial champions on the ice while the NFL crowns their champion on the gridiron. Join #TwineTime again next week as we preview more Tankard championships and the upcoming US Curling Championships.
Rock on friends....