It was a loss few could predict.
Just two days after running roughshod over Team Alaska in an 11-1 win, Yukon’s Team Horte was eliminated from medal contention by the hosting rink at the Arctic Winter Games on Wednesday.
“We just had a bad day,” said Yukon skip Bailey Horte. “The Alaska girls played really well, and we just didn’t catch any breaks in the game today.”
Team Horte was handed a fourth-place finish in junior female curling with an 8-7 loss to Alaska. The Alaska rink went on to face Team N.W.T. in the bronze match, the winner of which competes against Alberta North for gold, with the loser taking bronze. (Final results were not available by press time.)
“Alaska played a really strong game,” said Yukon coach Rhonda Horte. “They just executed really well and had amazing draw-weight and they deserved to win. They just out-curled the girls today.”
Team Horte, which includes Kelsey Meger, second Kelly Mahoney and lead/vice-skip Alyssa Meger, fought back from trailing situations three times against Alaska. They scored three in the ninth end to tie it 7-7, but Alaska, who had the hammer, scored the winning point without having to throw their final stone in the 10th.
The Yukon rink, which had beaten Alaska in just six ends on Monday, finished the round-robin with a 2-2 record for third, a spot up from Alaska. Alaska lost 9-7 to N.W.T. and 10-4 to Alberta North in the round-robin before getting their first win, a 9-6 victory over last place’s Nunavut.
“The tables really turned,” said Rhonda. “Alaska got stronger as the week progressed and they just executed very well today. They made all their shots.”
Team Horte includes three curlers from Yukon’s silver-winning rink at the 2012 Arctic Games in Whitehorse. Bailey, Kelsey and Mahoney competed in 2012 with Mahoney as skip.
However, the Horte curlers won’t necessarily go home without medals. A mixed doubles tournament, introduced to the Games this year, begins on Friday.
In the doubles tournament female curlers will be paired up with male curlers from different Games jurisdictions to compete for ulus.
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