KRASNOYARSK, Russia - It was a sweep for Canada at the world junior curling championships.
Jacques Gauthier's rink from Winnipeg won the men's title with a 7-2 victory over Switzerland. Mackenzie Zacharias's team from Altona, Man., followed suit by claiming the women's crown with a 7-5 victory over South Korea.
"World champion? That sounds pretty amazing," Zacharias said. "It was a fantastic game, Korea played great.
"We struggled a little in the first half, but we played a great second half. It’s incredible and I'm so happy."
The win over South Korea was especially significant for third Karlee Burgess. She became the first Canadian to win three junior women's titles, claiming championships in 2016 with Mary Fay and 2018 with Kaitlyn Jones.
Burgess joins Eve Muirhead and Vicki Adams of Scotland as the only women to have won three world junior gold medals.
Canada has dominated the men's event, winning 21 gold medals _ 11 ahead of second-place Scotland . Canadian rinks have also claimed silver 10 times and bronze on eight occasions in the 45 previous editions of the competition.
Canada also leads the women's tournament with 13 gold medals, four ahead of second-place Scotland. Canadians have also been awarded the silver medal nine times and settled for bronze on eight occasions since the competition made its debut in 1988.
In the men's final, Gauthier's rink scored back-to-back deuces in the sixth and seventh ends to put the game away. The teams shook hands after nine ends.
"It's unreal, it's going to take a while for it to set in," Gauthier said. "I have guys in front of me who can really hit _ they're animals.
"If it doesn't go our way, we've been fortunate to make some big draws at big times and I think that helped us out and definitely played into our confidence."
Canada opened the scoring in women's final with one in the second but fell behind 3-1 following the third. But the two teams were tied 4-4 heading into the seventh end before the Canadians stole two in the ninth for the 7-5 advantage.
South Korean skip Min-Ji Kim came up short with her first-stone draw attempt. With no stones in scoring position, the South Koreans conceded to give Canada the victory.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2020.