Headed by skip Sarah Koltun, Team Koltun will be attempting to build off last year’s successful season with the first of two big competitions starting this weekend.
Yukon’s Team Koltun and Team Scoffin flew to Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, this week for the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships, which kick-off on Saturday.
Expectations are especially high for Team Koltun, which won five matches at last year’s junior nationals, a high-water mark for the territory, and later won silver in an international competition in Regina. Last season culminated in the rink being named Sports Team of the Year by Sport Yukon.
“We beat the team that ended up winning it, so we’re hoping to go for seven wins this year,” said Koltun. “But goals are hard to set because you can’t control how the other teams are going to play.”
The highlight for Team Koltun in last year’s nationals was an 8-6 win over Manitoba, which was not only the defending champion but the eventual winner as well.
Last year Team Scoffin returned from the nationals with a 3-9 record, racking up wins against NWT, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan.
“This season has been going really well,” said skip Thomas Scoffin. “We’ve showed a lot of improvement from last season, so we’re going in pretty positive right now.
“We’ll take it one game at a time and see how we do.”
So far this season, Team Scoffin came second at a juvenile bonspiel in Calgary. And then went 3-1 at a tougher junior bonspiel in Leduc, Alberta, in November, defeating Team China but missing advancement into the playoffs.
Both skips are coming off a successful weekend, earning spot on Team Yukon for the Arctic Winter Games being held in Grande Prairie, Alberta, in March.
Koltun, with teammates Chelsea Duncan, Linea Eby and Jenna Duncan, downed Team Molloy in a best-of-three contest for their second trip to the Arctic Games.
“We’re hoping we can do pretty well,” said Koltun. “We know some of the girls from (2008) that beat us in the final will be back again this year, so it will be interesting.
“At the beginning we started out a little shaky – the first end was going a little iffy – but I ended up making a shot for three in the end, so it turned out OK,” said Koltun of playing Team Molloy.
Scoffin, curling with a different team than he is taking to Quebec, outplayed Team Kitchen for a spot on team Yukon.
“They’re not quite as experienced as my regular team,” said Scoffin. “I started a new rink just to get some new players involved.”
Scoffin’s regular team members going to the junior nationals are Will Mahoney, Nick Koltun and Mitchell Young. Joining Scoffin on the Arctic Games team are Young, Caleb Lane and his brother Andrew.
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