Ontario Men Flourishing Amid Lineup Change at 2021 New Holland World Juniors Qualifier
Scott Mitchell is happy to be back in Southern Ontario.
After curling in Northern Ontario for a season, and then in Nova Scotia for a season that was cut short by COVID, Mitchell has guided his team to a 3-0 record at the New Holland World Juniors Qualifying Event at the Granite Curling Club in Saskatoon.
Team Mitchell (3-0; Whitby, Ont.) defeated Team Dallas Burgess (0-3; Kakabeka Falls, Northern Ontario) 7-4 in Wednesday’s only draw for men.
“Ontario is 100 per cent home,” he said with a smile. The team curls out of Whitby, which is east about 50 kilometres of Toronto.
He said the team had a rough start to the season.
The dynamics of the team changed with the additions of third Landon Rooney and fifth Jacob Jones, he said. It took some getting used to. Other members of the team are second Nathan Steele, lead Colin Schnurr and coach Collin Mitchell.
“So, we have focused on getting our practise ice, practising as a team and making sure we come in confident. We had a really good provincials and it has carried on to nationals so far.”
He attributes a switch between him and Rooney for much of the team’s success. Rooney has taken over the duties in the house, with Mitchell throwing the final two rocks of every end.
“At the beginning of the season, I started skipping in the house and Landon was sweeping. We found he had more experience in the house and I had more experience sweeping. Once we made that switch, we became a lot more successful.”
In the upcoming early draw on Thursday, Team Mitchell and Team Johnson Tao (3-0; Edmonton) will clash.
“We knew coming into the week that Alberta and Manitoba were going to be two strong teams. I think tomorrow will be a very good game against them. We are both 3-0, so whoever wins will have a good shot at coming out first in our pool,” Mitchell said.
Team Tao defeated Team Josh Nowlan (1-2; Moncton) 9-1 to set up the game between the two unbeaten teams in Pool A. The other members of Team Tao are third Jaedon Neuert, second Ben Morin, lead Andrew Nowell and coach Skip Wilson.
Team Jordon McDonald (2-1; Winnipeg) defeated Team Mitchell Schut (0-3; Cornwall, P.E.I.) 12-2 to stay within a game of the leaders. Alberta and Manitoba will clash in the final round-robin draw.
Over in Pool B, Team Owen Purcell (3-0; Halifax) defeated Team Nathan Young (2-1; St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador) 9-3, Team Daymond Bernath (2-1; Saskatoon) overcame a four-point deficit after eight ends to defeat Team Raphael Patry (0-3; Jonquiere, Que.) 9-8, and Team Connor Deane (2-1; New Westminster, B.C.) defeated Team Jullian Bowling (0-3; Yellowknife) 10-1.
The top three teams from each pool will advance to the playoff round which begins Friday. The top team in each pool advances directly to the semi-final, while the second- and third-place teams collide to see which two advance to the semi.
Earlier Wednesday in women’s Pool A, Team Mackenzie Mitchell (2-1; St. John’s) defeated Team Isabelle Ladouceur (2-1; Sudbury) 8-5, Team Meaghan Walter (2-1; East St. Paul, Man.) defeated Team Cynthia St-Georges (1-2; Pointe-Claire/Laval) 12-2, and Team Erica Cluff (1-2; Fredericton) defeated Team Cassie Rogers (1-2; Yellowknife) 9-5.
In the B Pool, Team Elysa Crough (3-0; Edmonton) defeated Team Adrienne Belliveau (0-3; Dundas, Ont.) 9-6. Team Taylour Stevens (3-0; Halifax) defeated Team Rachel MacLean (1-2; Cornwall, P.E.I.) 10-4, and Team Madison Kleiter (2-1; Saskatoon) defeated Team Emily Bowles (0-3; New Westminster) 8-5.
The winners of the championship will advance to the worlds in March in Sweden.
This story will be available in French as soon as possible at https://www.curling.ca/category-all-posts-fr/?lang=fr
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