Yukon rink finishes strong at junior nationals

Facing a winless run on the national stage, a Yukon rink swept up a victory their last time on the ice.

Facing a winless run on the national stage, a Yukon rink swept up a victory their last time on the ice.

Team Meger capped their stay in Victoria, B.C. with a tight 10-9 win over N.W.T. at the Canadian Junior Curling Championships on Jan. 26.

With the win, Team Meger finished with a 1-8 record and placed sixth out of six teams in the seeding pool of the girls tournament.

“I thought we played really well, just the other teams kept making more shots than we did,” said skip Alyssa Meger. “We kept a positive attitude in every game.”

The Meger rink, which includes vice skip Emily Matthews, second Peyton L’Henaff and lead Zaria Netro, had some serious ground to make up in their final game. N.W.T. scored five in the fifth end to take a commanding 8-3 lead before Yukon posted three in the sixth, two in the seventh and individuals in the eighth and ninth.

In the fifth end, “we couldn’t figure out the ice that end and they knew it better than we did,” said Meger.

“The ends after that one, where we managed to catch up, were pretty memorable.”

N.W.T. finished with a 2-7 record for fourth in the seeding pool. Team Nunavut, who beat Yukon 8-4, placed fifth.

Team Yukon gave powerhouse Ontario a run for their money in a 9-6 loss on Jan. 24.

Yukon took a 5-0 lead after stealing three in the first and two in the second. Tied 5-5, Yukon scored one in the seventh end to take back the lead before Ontario scored three in the eighth and one in the 10th for the win.

Hoping to push the game to an extra end, Meger attempted a difficult “tick” shot — hitting a guard while keeping it in play — for two but came up just short.

“It was pretty much an impossible shot but she gave it a good go and was really close to making it,” said Yukon coach Chris Meger.

“We were pretty surprised by how well we were playing,” said Alyssa. “I really did enjoy playing that game because it was one of our closest games.”

Ontario went 10-0 in the round robin before taking silver with a loss in the final. Team Alberta, led by skip Kristen Streifel, defeated Ontario 5-3 for gold and will represent Canada at the junior worlds next month in South Korea.

At the team’s first junior nationals last year in Ontario, the Meger rink produced a 2-7 record and to place ahead of N.W.T.

Meger and L’Henaff, who are both 16 years old, have four more years of eligibility at the junior nationals. Matthews and Netro have three.

“It was a good competition and the girls performed pretty well,” said Chris.

“At this kind of competition here, if you miss your shot, you just miss it by an inch, you’re going to pay for it.”

For the first time since 1995 there wasn’t a Yukon rink competing in the boys draw after not a single boys team entered the Yukon Junior Curling Championships in December.

Team B.C. took gold in the boys tournament with a 9-7 win over Team Ontario in Sunday’s final.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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