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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Birchard comes up just short of gold

Posted: 02/11/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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SHANNON Birchard and her Winnipeg team fell just short for a second time, earning silver at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Women's Curling Championships in Fort McMurray, Alta.

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

It was a second straight 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," Birchard said in a telephone interview after the final. "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, lead Brendan MacCuish.

It's Manitoba's first 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," said 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 on Feb. 28 to March 10, 2013, 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.

In the final, the B.C. team scored three in the seventh end to take a 4-2 lead. After the teams traded singles in the eighth and ninth ends, Birchard faced a 5-3 deficit with the hammer going into the 10th and final end.

Birchard was going for a double with her last rock but came up short, leaving B.C. to steal one and secure the win.

"I had a nose-double and it just didn't come up enough. We only got rid of one (B.C. stone) and it just didn't come up enough," Birchard said.

A press release stated Brown's win was the fourth Canadian junior women's crown for B.C. and first since 1987 at Prince Albert, Sask., when Julie Sutton (Skinner) won her second straight after winning while playing third a year earlier for her sister Jodie.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 11, 2013 C1

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