Skip George Hilderman, seen here in action in Whitehorse, and the rest of Team Yukon are in the hunt for a medal at the Canadian Masters Curling Championships. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News file)

Team Yukon cruises into championship pool at 2018 Canadian Masters Curling Championships

‘We put together some good games to win and we beat some powerhouse teams’

The 2018 Canadian Masters Curling Championships are underway in Surrey and White Rock, B.C., this week and the Yukon’s men’s team is headed to the championship round.

Skip George Hilderman, third Darol Stuart, second Clarence Jack and lead Craig Tuton finished the round robin with a 4-2 record, putting them third in Pool B and fourth overall.

After an opening loss to the host club in the first draw 5-3, Team Yukon rebounded, rattling off four straight wins against Northern Ontario, Quebec, Ontario and Prince Edward Island.

In the last round-robin draw, Team Yukon lost to New Brunswick.

Team Yukon’s women’s side of Ellen Johnson, Ev Pasichnyk, Valerie Whelan and Catherine Dugas finished the round robin 0-6 with a narrow 8-7 loss to New Brunswick as their closest result.

The men’s team now shifts their focus to the championship round.

Ranked fourth out of eight, the hope is to keep in the top half and make it to the medal round.

Tuton said it has already been a successful tournament.

“When you get into these things you always hope that you’re going to do your best,” said Tuton. “It’s one of those things where our best was enough. We put together some good games to win and we beat some powerhouse teams.”

The team hasn’t been together for very long, but has quickly gelled.

“We’ve curled together on and off over the years, but the team that sits today sort of just came into existence for this,” said Tuton. “I guess we melded together. It’s a good experience, I can tell you that.”

“Fourth out of eight in the championship round. That’s pretty good.”

At the start of the championship round, Alberta is the top team after a 6-0 round robin.

The host team and Ontario are tied for second at 5-1 and B.C., Manitoba and the Yukon are tied for fourth at 4-2.

New Brunswick and Saskatchewan also made the championship pool with 3-3 records.

Team Yukon’s first championship draw was 7 p.m. on April 5 against Manitoba, followed by matches against Saskatchewan and B.C. on April 6.

The last guaranteed match for Team Yukon is April 7 against undefeated Alberta.

The semifinals take place at 2 p.m. on April 7.

The bronze medal draw is at 9 a.m. on April 8 followed by the gold medal draw at 2 p.m.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshil@yukon-news.com

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