For the first time in eight years, Thomas Scoffin will not compete at the Canadian Junior Curling Championships.
The Whitehorse skip and his University of Alberta rink failed to qualify for the nationals following a loss in the finals of the Alberta Junior Curling Championships on Monday in Leduc.
“It’s a tough one. It’s what we worked all year for,” said Scoffin. “We put a lot of hours in, we were a good team going in, so it’s a tough one to swallow.”
Team Scoffin, who were the defending Alberta junior champs, lost 7-4 in an extra end in the final to Carter Lautner’s Calgary rink, which will move on to the nationals.
“He made a nice short four-foot run-back for the win,” said Scoffin. “I made my last shot and gave him a tough shot and he made it.”
Scoffin, 19, took his team all the way to the finals of the junior nationals last year, taking home the silver. It was the 19-year-old’s seventh consecutive trip to the championships after representing Yukon in his first six.
Scoffin, who has one more year of eligibility in juniors, was named skip of the First Team All-Star with a 78-per-cent shot rate at last season’s nationals. He is currently tied for fourth on the all-time win list with 33 career wins at the Canadian championship.
The Scoffin rink, which includes third Dylan Gousseau, second Jaques Bellamy and lead Andrew O’Dell, took three straight wins to qualify for the provincials the Northern Alberta Curling Association’s Junior Men’s and Women’s Northern Playdowns last month.
Gousseau and O’Dell are aging out of junior next season, so Scoffin and Bellamy will be looking for replacements.
“It’s tough on us all to have the season cut short. We trained hard to go all the way this year so it’s disappointing,” said Scoffin. “We’ll keep working on our game and will come back strong next year.”
The Scoffin rink has had successes on the World Curling Tour this season. In November they reached the final of the Original 16 World Curling Tour Bonspiel at the Calgary Curling Club. Team Scoffin lost 3-2 to South Korea’s Chang-Min Kim in the final.
The team also reached the semifinal of the Spruce Grove Cashspiel and the Avonair Cash Spiel on the World Curling Tour.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org