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Undefeated duo: Watling and Peters claim 2012 MJCT Championships

By Kyle Jahns

The 2012 MJCT season has been a successful one for Kristy Watling and her team. The Watling team finished up the season not only at the top of the leader board in points, but as the 2012 MJCT junior women’s champions.

Watling and her team of Kristin Ambrozik, Kendra Derbowka and Leanne Klos defeated Selena Kaatz in the final 6-4. This is their second MJCT championship in a row.

This was the second time these teams faced each other in an MJCT championship game. Watling defeated Kaatz at the Stonewall Junior Classic, too.

Watling was down 4-3 in the seventh end with the hammer. Kaatz attempted a hit and roll into the four foot, however she only rolled for second shot. With the game guaranteed to be tied, Watling threw a hit and stick for three to win the game.

“We feel very fortunate. We had to play some great teams along the way and definitely had our share of breaks,” Watling said.

One of those “breaks” Watling refers to is Kaatz’s first skip rock. It picked right out of her hand and left Watling with a draw to the 12-foot to block a potential draw on Kaatz’s next shot.

Watling won six straight games to claim the championship. She claimed first in her pool by going 4-0. She defeated Jessica Rutter, Rebecca Lamb, Alyssa Vandepoele and Kayla Curtis.

The win has put Watling and her team in good spirits, especially with provincials right around the corner.

“It’s a good feeling going into provincials, but with curling anything can happen, so we are going to take it one game at a time with no firm expectations,” she said.

She also isn’t taking the competition lightly. To win the MJCT championship, Watling and her rink had to defeat Kaatz and Birchard, both whom represented Team Manitoba last year.

“It shows that we can win if we play our game. But we have to be at our best to win since it does make us realize we can compete if we play our best because the teams we play are really good,” she said.

On the junior men’s side, Cole Peters emerged victorious, defeating MJCT points leader Matt Dunstone not once, but twice.

Peters defeated Dunstone 7-3 in seven ends in the final.

“It felt great to get the win over Dunstone because they are such a skilled and consistent team,” Peters said.

Peters and his team of Connor McIntyre, Nick Good and Robbie Gordon played in the same pool as Dunstone. Both teams were 3-0 before meeting in the final round-robin game. Peters defeated Dunstone 6-3.

Peters limited Dunstone’s scoring to a single in the third end and two points in the fifth. Peters strung together a strong second-half of the game. After giving up the deuce in the fifth, they scored one in the sixth and stole another in the seventh to seal the deal.

Peters left Dunstone with a draw against two. Dunstone came up short and only beat one of them to the pin.

The biggest thing for Peters was to not let Dunstone get ahead in either of those games.

“We knew we couldn’t get down big because they are really good at peeling,” he said.

Just like Watling, Peters believes this kind of momentum in December is huge.

“I feel that this win was a big momentum boost for our team because we know how well we can play and that if we are consistent we can contend with any team,” he said.

Peters noted his team worked on communication and staying positive in any situation.

“We all played pretty well this weekend but I still think we need to work on focusing on the shot at hand and to not get too ahead of ourselves during an end,” Peters said. “We’ve grown a lot as a team this year and this win also helped us realize how much we’ve improved.”

Peters defeated Curtis Kaatz, Ty Dillelo, Tanner Lott and Matt Dunstone in the round robin. They also defeated Randy Greig in the semi-finals.

 Elmwood MJCT sets the stage for tour championship

By: Kyle Jahns

The Elmwood MJCT finalized the point standings for the 2012 MJCT Championship. One junior men’s team used it to climb even further up the ranks in the top 10 and a junior women’s team used it to shoot up nine spots and into the championship.

8-1 is a good score for the Jordan Smith team. They won three of their four Elmwood MJCT games by the seven-point deficit.

Smith qualified through the A event. He defeated Nathaniel Swanson by a score of 8-1 and Brandon Radford by a score of 6-4.

In the championship round Smith defeated JT Ryan in the semi-finals 8-1.

Jordan Smith and teammates, Declan Moulden, Brad Van Hulle and David Enns, captured the Elmwood MJCT junior men’s championship with a convincing 8-1 win over Randy Greig.

Smith rose from fourth in the Manitoba Junior Curling Tour rankings to second with his victory. He has 31 points and is only behind Matt Dunstone with 44.

Smith knew the Elmwood MJCT would be a good opportunity to gain some points.

“We had the idea that there was some teams out in Brandon, so we figured this was our weekend to do something and I guess we did,” he said.

Smith opened up the game with a deuce and Greig scored a single in the second end.

“The first couple ends we were just trying to keep it close, but that third end really helped,” he said.

After Greig jammed a hit in the third end, Smith was left with an open draw for five points. They went on to steal an additional point in the fourth after Greig attempted a hit, but rolled away from the button for second shot.

“We felt pretty laid back and having good games,” Smith said. “We’re trying to peak for regionals which is two weekends from now, so I think we’re feeling pretty good about that.”

Abby Ackland and her junior women’s team raised up seven spots and have officially qualified for the MJCT Championships after picking up the Elmwood MJCT title.

The Ackland team went from eleventh place in the standings with six points to a tie for second. Ackland and Selena Kaatz both have 24 points. The Kristy Watling team leads the pack with 40 points after they made the semi-finals.

Ackland and her team of Meaghan Brezden, Lisa Reid, and Danielle LaFleur defeated Jessica Rutter in the final by a score of 4-2.

They played a clean game and forced Rutter to attempt freezes in the eighth end. Rutter attempted to draw behind a rock in the 12-foot with her last stone but she left it open. Ackland made the hit to run Rutter out of rocks and claim the championship.

“We just wanted to keep it open, kind of work on our weight and kind of work on different shots we’ve been playing. They’re a good team and they were tough to play,” Ackland said.

Ackland finished first in her pool with a 4-0 record. She defeated Jesse Iles by scores of 9-2 and 9-4, Rutter by a score of 6-4 and Allyson Spencer by a score of 6-5.

Ackland played Meagan Grenkow in the semi-final and won 9-3.

“It was good we came this far and it was good we played so well this weekend,” Ackland said.

The MJCT Championships will take place at the Wildewood Curling Club on Dec. 7-9. The top 10 teams in both the junior men and women’s divisions will be invited.

Dunstone and Peterson claim Kyle Flett Memorial Bonspiel

By Kyle Jahns

One team has been there and done that, the other team made a trip to the final for the second week straight, and managed to capitalize.

Matt Dunstone and Beth Peterson won the junior men and women’s divisions of the Kyle Flett Memorial Bonspiel at the Petersfield Curling Club.

This is Dunstone’s second Manitoba Junior Curling Tour win of the season, and his team completed them back-to-back. In early October Dunstone won the Stonewall Junior Classic.

Dunstone won the event the same way he did last time, sweeping the competition and winning one of the A qualifier spots. Dunstone defeated Brandon Radford, Aaron Anderson, Randy Greig and Tanner Lott in the final.

“Our semi final game, we came out flat so we knew we had to come out with focus. We knew we were playing a good team so we had to be sharp,” Dunstone said.

The game was tied after seven and Dunstone was coming home with the hammer.  Lott was faced with a draw through the port to sit shot stone and force Dunstone to throw his last rock. However, Lott’s rock didn’t curl enough and Dunstone didn’t need to throw.

The game was filled with all kinds of spectacular shots, including a raise back triple by Lott to score two points in the seventh.

Dunstone believed the ends where his team gave up points was avoidable.

“I kind of got a little lazy on my last shot and set up him and he made a great shot.”

Dunstone’s team consists of third Colton Lott, second Dan Grant and lead Brendan MacCuish.

“They’re great guys to play with, they’re playing good and we’re all playing well right now,” Dunstone said.

Beth Peterson and her rink of third Robyn Njegovan, second Melissa Gordon and lead Breanne Yozenko, have won 11 of the past 12 games.

They were competing in Petersfield the week prior in the CurlManitoba Canola Junior Women’s Berth bonspiel. They won all of their games except for the final against Alyssa Vandepoele.

Peterson and her team played in a round robin format draw and defeated Shannon Birchard, Kristy Watling and Natasha Van Dorp. They finished first in pool A and defeated Rebecca Lamb in the semi finals before defeating Watling again in the finals by a score of 7-1. They won the majority of those games quite handily too.

“It was strange. We were just saying, at this level it’s not normal to blow the competition out,” Peterson said.

They carry on their hot streak this weekend when they travel to Brandon to compete in the prestigious Sunlife Junior Challenge in Brandon. Dunstone will be there too.

“Lately we’ve been really consistent…and kind of on a hot streak.

The Kyle Flett Memorial Bonspiel is named in honour of Petersfield Curling Club’s junior curler Kyle Flett. He passed away at the age of 20 after a snowmobile accident in Dec. 2007. In 2006 he and his team made it to the junior men’s provincial final.


Watling and Dunstone win Stonewall Junior Classic

By Kyle Jahns

Manitoba’s best junior curlers were in Stonewall during the weekend for the Manitoba Junior Curling Tour’s Stonewall Junior Classic bonspiel. The Matt Dunstone rink from the West Kildonan Curling Club, won the junior men’s event and the Kristy Watling rink from Stonewall Curling Club won the junior women’s event.

24 teams, 12 in each category, competed for a $500 grand prize during the weekend of Oct. 5-7.

Dunstone went undefeated over the weekend, winning four games in a row, and defeated the Jordan Smith team by a score of 8-2 in six ends. Dunstone’s team consists of third Colton Lott, second Dan Grant and lead Brendan MacCuish.

“It’s good to get off to a quick start to the year,” Dunstone said. “It gets us rolling early.”
The Dunstone team was able to stick to their game plan and put continuous pressure on the Smith team and it paid off.

In the fifth end Smith attempted to freeze on one of Dunstone’s rocks. It over curled and put a Dunstone guard into the house. With the last rock, Dunstone had a hit to take four and control of the game. He was leading 7-2 at that point.

In the sixth end, Dunstone made a double to sit two with his last rock. Smith attempted a hit for one point but rolled too far to the outside and gave up a single.

“Our bread and butter is peeling, so we just kept going on with that,” Dunstone said of the final end.

Smith had his chances. In the third end he had a draw to the four-foot for two, which would have tied the game at three, but he couldn’t capitalize.

In the junior women’s final, the Kristy Watling rink upset the Selena Kaatz rink. Watling ran Kaatz out of rocks in the eighth end to win the game 6-3.

Watling, who plays with third Kristen Ambrozik, second Kendra Derbowka and lead Leanne Klos, kept Kaatz to three singles in the second, third and fifth ends.

The turning point was in the fourth end. Watling was down 2-1 with the hammer and were sitting first and second shot. Kaatz attempted to throw a draw behind cover with her last rock but was heavy. Watling had an open draw for three and took advantage of it. With the 4-2 lead, they didn’t look back.

Down 5-3 in the seventh end, Kaatz had the hammer and an opportunity to pick up points. Her team was sitting two just behind the button with only a small port in front of the house. Watling slid her final shot through the port to sit shot rock. Kaatz, who had already made it through the port, attempted to follow Watling in for a single, but she racked on guards out front.

After losing their first game on Friday, the Watling team qualified through the B-event. Sunday was a tiring day for the team.

“Going into the final game my team and I were pretty tired considering we had just played two back-to-back games before that,” Watling said. “Our goal in the final game was to relax and take it easy and not worry about the result.”

The Watling team’s goal for the weekend was to qualify and they exceeded those expectations. Watling noted that she saw a big improvement in her team’s play after losing their first game.

“I think my team’s play was pretty consistent after the first game. We just had to work out the kinks of that game and move forward to the next one and that’s exactly what we did.”

The Stonewall Classic is the second MJCT bonspiel of the season. The next MJCT event will be held in Petersfield. It takes place Nov. 8-11.