MEDICINE HAT, AB – Jubilation for six junior curling rinks over the weekend at the Medicine Hat Curling Club, punching their tickets to U18 curling provincials.
The U18 Southern Playdowns were held in the ‘Gas City’ for both the boys and girls divisions, with final draws being held on Sunday.
Calgary’s Cole Ector rink rolled through the ‘A’ bracket to an undefeated record, taking down the Desmond Young rink from Airdrie 7-2 to earn one of three provincial berths.
Young led 2-1 after three ends, but Ector stormed back to take points in four straight ends, including three consecutive steals, to win the match.
Ector said his teammates stepped up in a big way to capture the ‘A’ bracket title.
“They were making a lot of shots and were communicating well, and playing a good team game.”
Young was able to regroup after being knocked down to the ‘B’ bracket posting back-to-back wins, including an 8-5 win over Team Kroker to book their place at provincials.
The final southern spot at provincials went to the Zane McLeod rink from Calgary, earning a 7-6 win in extra ends over Black Diamond’s Jacob Libbus rink.
On the girl’s side, it was a banner weekend for Red Deer’ Hollie Vincent rink as she captured her first provincial berth with a 9-5 win over Calgary’s Elysa Crough rink in the ‘A’ finals.
Leading by just one point and without the hammer in the eighth end, Vincent was able to get a big steal of three points to advance.
It will be the debut at provincials for the Vincent rink, who have been playing together for the better part of a decade.
According to Vincent, it’s an opportunity her rink has been fighting to get.
“It’s the chance of a lifetime for us, this might be our last year together,” said Vincent. “So, we’ll go play our hearts out and hope that we’re able to wear Alberta on our backs.”
After falling to Vincent in the ‘A’ bracket, the Subasthika Thangadurai rink from Calgary racked up three straight victories to punch their ticket.
This included a comeback win in the ‘B’ bracket final against fellow Calgary-based Ryleigh Bakker rink 6-5.
Bakker meanwhile was knocked down to the ‘C’ bracket, but was able to clinch a provincial spot on her second try with a 4-3 win over the Crough rink.
The Ector, Young, McLeod, Vincent, Thangadurai, and Bakker rinks will now head to Okotoks for U18 Provincials, which will run from March 1 to 4.
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