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Birchard settles for silver again

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Shannon Birchard and her Winnipeg team fell short for the second straight year, earning silver at the Canadian junior women’s curling championships in Fort McMurray, Alta.

Birchard and her team of third Nicole Sigvaldason, second Sheyna Andries and lead Mariah Mondor from the St. Vital Curling Club were defeated 6-3 by Corryn Brown’s team from Kamloops, B.C., at Fort McMurray’s Suncor Community Leisure Centre on Sunday night.

It was a second silver medal for Birchard and Mondor, who lost to Alberta’s Jocelyn Peterman in the final at the 2012 Canadian juniors in Napanee, Ont.

"I have to say it’s a disappointing loss but winning silver is a huge accomplishment," said Birchard in a telephone interview after the final game. "I think right now we’re looking at it as a disappointing loss but I know one day in the future we will see it as a huge accomplishment."

Manitoba won the junior men’s national title on Saturday as the Matt Dunstone team from the West Kildonan Curling Club recorded a 4-3 victory over Alberta’s Thomas Scoffin. Dunstone’s team includes third Colton Lott, second Daniel Grant and lead Brendan MacCuish.

It’s Manitoba’s first junior men’s gold medal since 2002, when Winnipeg’s David Hamblin claimed the Canadian title at Summerside, P.E.I., and the seventh Canadian junior men’s title won by a Manitoba team.

"It’s a dream come true," Dunstone, 17, told The Canadian Press after the victory. "There are still no words to explain it. It’s hard to believe."

Dunstone and Brown will represent Canada at the world junior curling championships, Feb. 28 to March 10 in Sochi, Russia, which will serve as a test event for the 2014 Winter Olympics curling competition.

In Sunday morning’s women’s semifinal, Team Birchard beat Ontario’s Jamie Sinclair 10-6 in an extra end.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

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