Whitehorse’s Thomas Scoffin and his University of Alberta Junior Golden Bears earned a spot at Alberta’s Junior Provincial Curling Championships with ease over the weekend.
Team Scoffin took three straight wins to qualify for the provincials for the second year in a row at the Northern Alberta Curling Association’s Junior Men’s and Women’s Northern Playdowns in Wetaskiwin, Alta.
“It was a quick weekend for us, we were there for about 24 hours,” said skip Scoffin. “We’re happy to qualify quickly and avoid any scares. It’s step one down, and now we’re on to provincials.”
The Scoffin rink, which includes third Dylan Gousseau, second Jaques Bellamy and lead Andrew O’Dell, qualified through the A draw with wins over fellow Saville curling club rinks.
They downed Logan Mortemore’s team 9-1 to start and topped Kenton Maschmeyer’s 9-2 to reach the A final where they beat Aiden Proctor’s team 8-4, scoring three in the eighth end to crack it open.
They had a tough draw. Proctor went on to qualify for the provincials through the C draw and Maschmeyer through the B draw.
“We really clicked early, figured out the ice as a team and it seemed to have worked well for us compared to other teams,” said Scoffin.
Last year Scoffin’s Junior Bears rink went 4-1 at the NACA championships to qualify for the provincials through the B draw.
The team went on to win the Alberta championships to earn a berth at the Canadian Junior Curling Championships where they took silver.
“It feels good to get it done again, it’s always a testing weekend for us,” said Scoffin. “We played on some different ice conditions and we’re happy to come out and play strong, get our three wins and get out of there straight to provincials.”
Team Scoffin has had great success on the World Curling Tour this season.
In their previous outing, the team reached the semifinal of the Spruce Grove Cashspiel. They also reached the semifinal of the Avonair Cash Spiel, another World Curling Tour event, in Edmonton at the start of the season in October.
Last month 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.
Scoffin was named skip of the First Team All-Star with a 78-per-cent shot rate at last season’s junior nationals. He is currently tied for fourth on the all-time win list with 33 career wins at the nationals and still has two more years of eligibility, including this season.
The Alberta championships will take place during the Christmas holidays in Leduc.
“We’re feeling pretty confident, we’re going to work hard here up until Christmas and put our best effort in again,” said Scoffin.
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