Braden Calvert’s dream run kept rolling on Sunday afternoon, as the Deer Lodge skip led his team to claim the Canadian junior curling championship.
Calvert, 18, beat New Brunswick’s Rene Comeau 7-5 in a shaky, swingy final in Liverpool, N.S. Earlier in the championship, Calvert locked up first place and a bye to the final after winning eight straight games. Team Manitoba, with lead Brendan Wilson, second Lucas Van Den Bosch and third Kyle Kurz, finished the round robin with a 9-1 record.
The final wasn’t a perfect game, with big misses on both sides. The biggest, though, came in the fourth end, when Comeau’s last rock flashed through the house, handing Calvert a steal of four and a big 6-2 lead. "Without that miss, it’s probably tight coming home, even tighter than it was," Calvert told TSN after the game. "It was definitely a scrappy win for us, but we’ll definitely take it."
Comeau’s rink mounted a big comeback to close the gap to 6-5 coming into the eighth, where Calvert took a single. But in the ninth, Team Manitoba third Kyle Kurz threw a crack double-kill that stymied Comeau’s hopes for a game-tying deuce. Comeau carried the hammer into the 10th end, but Calvert was able to run him out of rocks.
The Manitobans will now prepare to head to Films, Switzerland next month for the world championship. Last year’s Canadian champion, fellow Manitoban Matt Dunstone, earned bronze there last year.