Nova Scotia captures Canadian junior curling crown
Nova Scotia's Paige Mattie and Blisse Comstock dreamed of another shot at a Canadian junior curling championship and with the help of new skip, Jill Mouzar, those dreams came true.
After struggling early in Saturday's final, Mouzar rebounded with a game-saving, momentum-changing shot in the seventh end and a steal of two in the ninth en route to a 6-3 victory over Quebec's Marie-Christine Cantin at Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre in Victoria.
The foursome of Mouzar, lead Chloe Comstock, second Blisse Comstock and third Mattie of the Chedabucto curling club in Boylston, N.S., will represent Canada at the world junior curling championships in Trois-Rivieres, Que., in late March.
"We said, 'It's a new game,'" Mouzar said of her squad's fifth-end huddle in the locker room. "'We're going to start over, because it's not looking too good.'"
New Brunswick's Ryan Sherrard will face Newfoundland's Matthew Blandford in Sunday's men's final (CBC, 1:30 p.m. EST).
Last year, Mattie and Comstock were part of the Nova Scotia rink skipped by Mattie's sister Robyn. The Bluenosers made it all the way to the Canadian junior final where they lost 6-4 to eventual world junior champion Marliese Miller of Saskatchewan.
When Robyn graduated into the senior ranks this season, the team recruited Mouzar, who skipped a rival Halifax rink. Chloe, the 18-year-old sister of Blisse, is also new to the squad.
"Blisse and I were (thinking) this is how we felt last year," Mattie said. "We basically said, 'We're not letting anybody take this from us.' In the last five ends we curled lights out."
Mouzar proved her worth in Saturday's final. With Quebec leading 3-2 and threatening to score two in the seventh end, Mouzar coolly landed a hit and roll on the button to steal one and tie the game.
The end proved to be a huge momentum swing in the game.
"I could feel the momentum shift in the sixth,' said the 20-year-old Mouzar, who also skipped in the 2001 junior nationals. "But it's curling, so you never know."
Nova Scotia scored one in the eighth to take a 4-3 lead and stole two in the ninth when Cantin's draw attempt came up light.
Cantin, lead Julie Cantin, second AmÃ©lie Blais and third Anne-Marie Filteau, 2003 Canada Winter Games gold medallists, finished the round robin tied for top spot with Nova Scotia, but Mouzar earned a bye to the final after downing Cantin in the round robin.
Cantin and her Quebec foursome got into the championship match after a dramatic win over Andrea Kelly of New Brunswick in the semifinal on Friday. Cantin made a quiet tapback for a deuce on the final shot for a 6-5 come-from-behind victory.
However, the 17-year-old skip couldn't carry the same magic into Saturday's final against a more-experienced Nova Scotia squad.
with files from Canadian Press