Lawes defeats McVicar at juniors
Manitoba’s Kaitlyn Lawes joined some elite company Sunday with a 7-6 win over Saskatchewan’s Stephanie McVicar in the women’s final at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian junior curling championships in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
The last two Manitoba women to skip championship teams at the junior nationals — Jennifer Jones in 1994 and Kelly Scott in 1995 — have both gone on to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
“It was an amazing game. Those Saskatchewan girls sure gave us a run for our money,” Lawes told CBC. “(Saskatchewan) played the lights out and so did my team. I’m really happy with how it went.”
Lawes sealed the win by running Saskatchewan out of rocks on the 10th end.
“We stuck together and we were so patient all week,” Lawes said. “We knew that we could accomplish our goal, but that it would take a lot of hard work.”
Quebec’s William Dion scored three in the third end and cruised to an 8-6 win over Ontario’s Travis Fanset in the men’s final.
He’s the third Quebec skip to win a national men’s junior championship and the second to capture the title when the event is held in Sault Ste. Marie.
“We were just looking to make it back and now it’s happened,” Dion said on TSN. “It’s amazing, it’s crazy.”
Dion and Lawes will represent Canada at the world junior curling championships in Ostersund, Sweden from March 1-9.
The win was special for Lawes. Her father, Keith died in November after battling a brain tumour.
Keith Lawes was also a competitive curler, playing for Newfoundland at the 1969 Brier.
“I guess there could be something in the genes,” Kaitlyn Lawes told the Winnipeg Free Press before the tournament. “But more than anything, I fell in love with curling because I saw the excitement he got out of it and my family got out of it. And it was something we could all do together. We always curled as a family.”
Kaitlyn Lawes’ half-sister Andrea won a national title with Alison Goring’s Ontario team in 1990.
Lawes, along with third Jenna Loder, second Liz Peters (daughter of 1992 world champion skip Vic Peters) and lead Sarah Wazney, earned a bye to the final after posting a 10-2 record in the round robin.
“We broke (the tournament) down into the three steps,” Lawes explained. “The round robin, and everyone played phenomenally. Our second step was to get to the final, which we happened to do with our round-robin performance and this final game we just stuck together. I just love those girls so much.”
McVicar, from the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon, took a more circuitous route to the final. After finishing in three-way tie for third at 8-4, she had to win tiebreakers over Alberta’s Maria Bushell 8-7 and Northern Ontario’s Ashley Miharija 6-5 before defeating Nova Scotia’s Danielle Parsons 8-7 in the semifinal.
Dion, from the Celanese Curling Club in Drummondville, is a two-sport athlete and has been recruited as a kicker for the Sherbrooke Vert et Or of the Quebec University Football League.
He played third on the Quebec team at the juniors last season, but lost in the semifinal to Prince Edward Island’s Brett Gallant.
“The guys played extremely well. We just got on a streak,” said Dion, who won eight straight games to take the title.
Dion, along with third Jean-Michel Arsenault, second Miguel Bernard and lead Benoit Arsenault topped the table in the round robin with a 10-2 record and earned a bye into the final.
Dion built a 4-1 lead with his threespot in the third and never let Fanset back into the game. A score of two in the seventh and steal of one in the eighth gave Quebec an 8-3 lead and put the game out of reach.
Fanset, from the St. Thomas Curling Club, finished in a three-way tie at 9-3. He beat Regina’s Brennan Jones 7-2 in a tiebreaker and edged Gallant, last year’s finalist, 4-3 in the semifinal.
Manitoba skip Kaitlyn Lawes of Winnipeg talks to her front end as Saskatchewan skip Stephanie McVicar leans over her shoulder during the fifth end of their final draw, as the Manitoba women captured their first National championship, defeating...