Quebec keeps playoff hopes alive in junior curling championships
Quebec part of 8-team championship round-robin
Felix Asselin of Quebec defeated Northern Ontario's Matthew Roberts 6-4 on Tuesday night to keep his playoff hopes alive at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian junior curling championships.
It was a clutch performance as both teams entered the match with 2-3 records and both needed a win to move on.
It was also a bounce back victory for Asselin, who dropped a 5-3 decision earlier in the day to Nova Scotia's Stuart Thompson.
"We kept our cool. We knew it wasn't going to be an easy game coming back from a loss," said Asselin.
Now Quebec is part of an eight-team championship round-robin that will play Wednesday and Thursday. The top four teams from Pool A will take on the top four teams from Pool B, with the records from the first phase of the competition carrying over.
The top three teams will make the weekend playoffs, with the first-place team advancing to Saturday's final, and the second- and third-place teams meeting in the semi.
"We can't afford another loss," said Asselin. "I don't think four losses will make it, so we have to win every game and bring those teams back to us. But we're in the next round and it's fun to be in there."
There are seven other teams still in the hunt for the playoffs: Nova Scotia (5-1), New Brunswick's Josh Barry (5-1), Ontario's Aaron Squires (5-1), Alberta's Thomas Scoffin (5-1), Saskatchewan's Brady Scharback (4-2), Manitoba's Matt Dunstone (4-2) and B.C.'s Tyler Klymchuk (3-3).
In the other Tuesday evening men's games, Alberta beat B.C. 9-5; Manitoba knocked off New Brunswick 10-5; Ontario was a 10-1 winner over Nunavut's David Kakuktinniq; and Nova Scotia beat Daniel Murray of the Northwest Territories 9-2.
The women's situation was less clear; both pools required tiebreakers to determine the final four teams to advance to the championship round, including a late-finishing Wednesday night Pool B affair between Northern Ontario's Tirzah Keffer and Carina McKay-Saturnino of the Northwest Territories.
The winner will move on to play Quebec's Sarah Dumais for the fourth and final berth in Pool B after those three teams finished with 2-4 records.
Manitoba's Shannon Birchard (6-0), Ontario's Jamie Sinclair (5-1) and Nova Scotia's Mary Myketyn-Driscoll (3-3) all locked up spots in the championship round-robin from Pool B.
In Pool A, Alberta's Karynn Flory's team (3-3) won 10-4 over New Brunswick's Jessica Daigle and will be part of a four-team tiebreaker for the final two championship round berths. B.C.'s Corryn Brown (5-1) and the Yukon's Sarah Koltun (4-2) have also advanced.
Earlier in the day, Alberta lost to Newfoundland/Labrador, putting the pressure on for its evening game.
"It was good to come back that way after this afternoon, for sure," said Flory. "It was really tough, but you can't think about the last game. You just have to ignore the shots you missed and move on. I think we'll be ready. After this game, we have our confidence back."
In the other women's games, Saskatchewan clinched its tiebreaker berth with an 8-6 extra-end win over the Yukon; Manitoba remained the lone unbeaten team with an 11-2 win over Nova Scotia; and Ontario beat P.E.I.'s Veronica Smith 12-4.