Manitoba has new provincial junior curling top guns after Meaghan Brezden and Braden Calvert emerged victorious from the Canola Junior Championships.
On the eve of 2014, the Brezden foursome soared past Kristy Watling at Portage Curling Club, taking the championship final 8-2 to earn the right to represent Manitoba at the 2014 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors in Liverpool, N.S., this month. Team Brezden, which also includes third Abby Ackland, second Danielle Lafleur and lead Nikki Boulet, earned their bye to the final after beating Team Meagan Grenkow in the top-ranked page playoff.
This is the first championship for Brezden, who skips at Granite Curling Club. Two-time defending Manitoba champion Shannon Birchard was knocked out of the playoffs by Watling in a 6-5 extra-end showdown Monday.
On the men's side, Deer Lodge Curling Club skip Braden Calvert orchestrated several stolen points to lead his team to a 6-1 victory over defending champion Matt Dunstone. The Calvert team, which also includes third Kyle Kurz, second Lucas Van Den Bosch and lead Brendan Wilson, earlier dispatched Team Cole Peters in the semifinal to make it to the championship round. They will also now head to Nova Scotia for the national bonspiel.
It was the only loss of the competition for Dunstone, the 2013 world bronze medallist, who finished the round robin with a perfect 7-0 record. Sixteen men's teams and 16 women's rinks entered the annual junior championship, which started on Boxing Day at Portage Curling Club.