New Holland Canadian Juniors 2020 : Karlee Burgess already boasts national and world titles on her impressive junior curling resume. A championship at the 2020 Canadian playdowns can give her yet Curling 2020 another achievement. a record-breaking third women’s national title at the event.The 21-year-old University of Manitoba kinesiology student is representing a different province this time around.
She previously won out of Nova Scotia as a second with Mary Fay (2016) and Kaitlyn Jones (2018), but moved to Manitoba in the off-season to play with skip Mackenzie Zacharias.
“We just kind of clicked together and we’ve all become best friends,” Burgess said. “It’s been super smooth and it’s just been so easy with these girls.”
Two Manitoba curling teams had their official send off Sunday before making their way to Russia to represent Team Canada in the world junior curling championships.
Skips Mackenzie Zacharias, Jacques Gauthier and their rinks are heading overseas to play in the international competition held in the city of Krasnoyarsk starting Saturday.
The local curling community rallied around the two Manitoba teams at the Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club on Sunday.
The hall was decked out in red and white. Curling played on television in the background as coaches and athletes from the women’s and men’s teams thanked their supporters — and roasted their teammates in front of family and friends.
Wearing matching dresses and heels, and suits and ties, respectively, the two teams said goodbye to their supporters back home.
They will be facing a new crowd while surrounded by different sights and sounds in a foreign country.
Zacharias and her crew claimed their spot on the world stage after beating Alberta last month in the Canadian finals.
Now, they’ve turned their focus on preparing for the world juniors.
Manitoba goes unbeaten to capture Canadian junior women’s curling title
Zacharias said she’s excited to represent Canada and her home province while wearing their official team jackets that just arrived by post the other day.
“It’s just incredible having that maple leaf on your back, and your name is also on the back of that jacket,” Zacharias said.
“It’s just a dream come true.”
Marks and her team from Edmonton will face-off against undefeated MacKenzie Zacharias of Manitoba in the women’s gold-medal game.
It will be a chance for Marks and second Paige Papley to win back-to-back gold medals after they played vice-skip and lead respectively for the Alberta team that prevailed last year in Prince Albert, Sask.
Manitoba will be seeking its first Canadian junior women’s title since Kaitlyn Lawes won consecutive championships in 2008 and 2009.
Meanwhile, on the men’s side, Daniel Bruce of Newfoundland and Labrador will makes their first trip to the gold-medal game thanks to a 9-8 victory over Rylan Kleiter’s Saskatchewan.
Bruce’s Newfoundland and Labrador team was down 3-2 to Saskatchewan, before they rallied from behind to win. They manufactured a wonderful sixth end that resulted in a game-turning steal of two and they would score five in the eighth end.
With the win, Newfoundland and Labrador advances to Sunday’s gold-medal men’s game against the Manitoba #2 team skipped by Jacques Gauthier, a silver-medallist last year.
Round-robin play begins Saturday at the George Preston Recreation Centre in Langley, B.C.
Joining Burgess for the move from Nova Scotia was lead Lauren Lenentine, an alternate for the Jones team at the 2018 worlds. Zacharias’s younger sister, Emily, rounds out the lineup at second and their father, Sheldon, serves as coach.
“All four of them have the same goals,” he said in a recent interview from Altona, Man. “They have strong commitment to the game and strong commitment to teamwork and to making sure that the team’s goals come first.”
Jones, who moved on to the women’s circuit this season, won bronze last year. Burgess reached out to Zacharias afterward and the new-look foursome made a quick connection on the ice.
I kind of took a little bit of a risk coming from Nova Scotia to move here where there’s so many more teams and to get out of the province is just a little bit harder,” Burgess said from Winnipeg. “So I took a risk coming here but playing with these girls has been so good and we just had a great provincial run.
“So I’m just really grateful for that.”
Two members of Selena Sturmay’s winning Alberta team are back to defend their title. Abby Marks has moved to the skip position from vice-skip and second Paige Papley moved up from lead.
Northern Ontario’s Kira Brunton, the 2017 Canadian U18 champion, is also in the field.
There will be a new men’s champion after three-time winner Tyler Tardi of B.C. joined the men’s ranks.
Northern Ontario’s Jacob Horgan, Nova Scotia’s Graeme Weagle and Saskatchewan’s Rylan Kleiter are expected to be contenders.
Yukon and Nunavut were unable to field men’s teams for this event. Organizers filled out the 14-team field by adding extra teams from Manitoba and B.C.
B.C. was given a second entry as the host province while Manitoba was the highest-placed team behind B.C. at the 2019 playdowns.
The top four teams in each gender will advance to a championship round ahead of the playoffs. Finals are set for Jan. 26.
In the final stone in the 10th end, Luc Violette secures the clinching point for team Violette as they defeat Team Tuma 6-4 for their fourth straight junior national championship.
“We are really proud of the way we played this week,” said Violette. “So our goal here was to come here and go undefeated and get better with every game and then move on and take the world title in Russia this year.”
The women’s final between Team Strouse and Team Farrell came down to the final stone in the 11th and extra end. With the match tied, Delaney Strouse had the perfect throw into the center circle to give the young ladies, including UW-Eau Claire’s Rebecca Rodgers the national title.
“It’s really exciting we are a pretty young team, so we got a full year together, and then a lot of us have another year after that,” said Strouse. “Hopefully we can do a consecutive thing and that would be great.”