Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Calvert the king of junior curling

Manitoba team beats N.B. to claim national title

  • Print
Different team, same result: Braden Calvert's squad upset the reigning Canadian champion to win the Manitoba title and is the new national junior champion.

MARK O'NEILL / MICHAEL BURNS PHOTOGRAPHY Enlarge Image

Different team, same result: Braden Calvert's squad upset the reigning Canadian champion to win the Manitoba title and is the new national junior champion.

While their family, friends and a beaming coach looked on, Manitoba's Braden Calvert team closed their dream run as new Canadian junior curling champions.

In a Sunday afternoon match broadcast across the country, Calvert, third Kyle Kurz, second Lucas Van Den Bosch and lead Brendan Wilson settled into the arena ice to curl out a 7-5 win over New Brunswick's Rene Comeau. With the victory, the foursome kept the Canadian championship in Manitoba's hands, defending the title won by West Kildonan skip Matt Dunstone last year.

So capped a tremendous Canadian run for the foursome, which upset Dunstone in the provincial final last month and then reeled off eight straight victories to open the national round robin. In the minutes after the final victory, the whole journey didn't quite seem real.

'I'm still in a little bit of shock I think. It's been quite the ride, and I think a lot of practice and hard work to get here'

-- Manitoba skip Braden Calvert

"I'm still in a little bit of shock I think," Calvert said over the phone from Liverpool, N.S. "It's been quite the ride, and I think a lot of practice and hard work to get here."

The final wasn't always a pretty game, as both teams winced from misses and rallied to recover from mistakes. But the Calvert rink had set themselves up to cash in big on Comeau's most painful miss -- a play that proved to be the biggest difference.

The teams were tied at two in the fourth, with Comeau holding the hammer. With his final throw, the New Brunswick skip was facing four of the Manitobans' yellow rocks, and might have drawn for a single. Instead, with the teams still hunting to find their draw weight, Comeau opted to try a hit. But his rock flashed straight through the house, handing Calvert a four-point steal and a 6-2 lead.

After a cautious first three ends, Calvert was surprised to see Comeau call for a hit -- and even more surprised when it missed. "If he throws that again, he's going to make it perfect," Calvert said. "We got a little bit of a break there... I definitely think the momentum shifted there in the fourth end."

Still, it wasn't an easy win for them. The New Brunswick rink regrouped from the devastating miss and mounted a comeback, closing the gap to 6-5 after seven ends. Calvert responded with a single in the eighth. But the win perhaps finally hinged on a beauty shot from third Kurz, who used his first rock of the ninth end to make a perfect double-kill that stymied Comeau's hopes for a game-tying deuce.

"Kyle's just been making doubles like that all week," Calvert said of the shot call. "I really expected him to make it, and he just threw it wonderfully."

After running Comeau out of rocks in the final end, the Manitobans rushed towards the stands to celebrate with their parents, all of whom flew to Nova Scotia for the tournament. Among them was Lynn Kurz, who coached the team through their thrilling provincial win, then stepped aside for Tom Clasper so that she could enjoy the nationals as a parent.

So while TSN cameras rolled, Calvert's first words as Canadian champion were shared with his dad. "It was unreal," said Calvert, a first-year University of Manitoba agriculture student. "He taught me how to curl right when I was just starting to walk, and it was an unbelievable feeling to share that moment with him. He just said, 'good job son,' I think we were still in a little bit of shock at that point."

Another feather in the Manitoban team's cap: Van Den Bosch was named to the tournament's first all-star team, on the back of his 81 per cent shooting record. On the women's side at the 2014 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Championships, Manitoba's Meaghan Brezden finished 5-5 in the round robin, and did not advance to the playoffs.

melissa.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 27, 2014 C2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

The Winnipeg Free Press is not accepting comments on this story.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Donny 'Golden Boy' Lalonde returns home

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker hangs out on a birch tree in St. Vital. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is considered a keystone species. Other species take advantage of the holes that the birds make in trees. A group of sapsuckers are collectively known as a
  • May 22, 2012 - 120522  - Westminster United Church photographed Tuesday May 22, 2012 .  John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

The Manitoba Moose have returned! What's your reaction?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google