Meghan Walter’s East St. Paul team and Jordon McDonald’s Deer Lodge team have won the Junior Women’s and Junior Men’s “World Qualifier” bonspiels staged by CurlManitoba over the November 5-7 weekend.
Walter with Lane Prokopowich, Katie McKenzie, Mackenzie Elias, and Coach Frank Walter defeated Emma Jensen and her team in the Sunday evening final at the Heather Curling Club. Team Walter, which completed the round-robin portion of the six team event with a 3W-2L record, had lost their final round-robin game to Team Jensen.
Team Walter won playoff victories over Team Tansy Tober (13-4) and Team Jensen, whose 4W-1 L record had given them first place and a bye to the final.
In the Junior Men’s event, Team McDonald posted a perfect 4W-0L record in the 9 team, triple-knockout bonspiel. McDonald with Reece Hamm, Elias Huminicki, Alexandre Fontaine, and Coach Blaine Malo qualified for the playoffs, unbeaten in “A” Event play. Wins over Team Josh Maisey (7-5 in the Page Playoff) and Team Jordan Johnson (7-1 in the Final) completed the perfect weekend.
The winning teams will now represent Manitoba at the National Qualifier bonspiel (to be held November 22 – 27 in Saskatoon) which will determine the Canadian representative at the 2022 World Junior Championships (March 5-12 in Sweden).
The two-stage qualifying process was made necessary by the Covid-cancellation of the 2020-21 season’s provincial and national junior championships.
The 2021-22 season TELUS Juniors will be played at the Brandon Curling Club, February 22-27, 2022 with the winners advancing to the Canadian New Holland Junior Championships in late March. The Canadian champions will go to the 2023 World Juniors.