A raucous crowd armed with cheers, chants, bells, and yells descended upon the George Preston Recreation Centre in the Township of Langley on Sunday evening (Jan. 21) for Draw 6 action of the 2020 New Holland Canadian Junior Championships.
While many of the fans have travelled from all across Canada to be in British Columbia’s lower mainland to support friends and family representing varying provinces and territories, many were BC locals who showed up to watch some of Canada’s best youth curlers take to the ice.
B.C. fans were sent home happy by British Columbia’s Kaila Buchy and her Kimberley Curling Club rink comprised of third Jaelyn Cotter, second Katelyn McGillivray, lead Cassidy Schwaerzle, alternate Samantha McLaren and coach Tom Buchy after they defeated the Northwest Territories’ Tyanna Bain (0-3; Inuvik) by a score of 9-7
The top four teams in each pool of seven qualify in to the championship pool.
At the conclusion of the championship pool, the top team of each gender advances to its respective final on Sunday, Jan. 26, while the second- and third-place teams meet in a semifinal on Saturday, Jan. 25 to determine the other finalist.
“We played really well that game and we’re still in it,” said skip Kaila Buchy. “If we keep that up, we’ll have a chance at making the championship round.”
Alternate Samantha McLaren added that the home crowd motivation kept them sharp on the ice: “It’s really special because all our friends and family can come out and watch us. We definitely hear that extra cheering.”
Buchy knows the road to the championship round is a difficult round and is keeping her expectations realistic.
“That’s our first goal, if and when we can make it (to the championship round). All the teams here are excellent so it’s still anyone’s game.”
As of Tuesday (Jan. 21), the B.C. women had won three and lost two in their pool, putting them in a three-way tie for third place with Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Rankings for the two men’s teams from B.C. had them third and fifth in their pool.
More results can be viewed at www.curling.ca.