Lawes de­feats McVicar at ju­niors

Regina Leader-Post - - Sports - Canwest News Ser­vice

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...

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