Beaudry rink set for nationals

Jamie Mountain

Fresh on the heels of an impressive performance at the U21 provincial curling playdowns held here in late December, the Hailey Beaudry rink is ready for a new challenge.
That challenge comes this weekend when the team, comprised of former Muskies Beaudry (skip) and Erin Tomalty (lead), along with Kendra Lemieux (third) and Emily Cooney (second), heads to Shawinigan, Que. to represent Northern Ontario at the U21 national playdowns.
The tournament, running from Jan. 13-21 at the Centre municipal de curling de Shawinigan and the Aréna Grand-Mère, will see Canada’s best junior men’s and women’s rinks vying to represent the nation at the worlds this spring in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Beaudry said she was happy with how her rink performed at the provincials here, where they beat favourite Kira Brunton (Sudbury) 9-5 in the final, but knows communication amongst themselves will be key to success in Shawinigan.
“I think our team performed well with sticking to our game plans that we discuss between ends,” she recalled.
“We also did well at the provincial level with forcing the other team to one point when they had hammer,” she added.
“If we could continue with that at the national level, then that would be great.”
Given how big of a stage they’ll be on, Beaudry knows her rink will have to keep a level head and not get lost in the moment.
“I’d like our team to just continue what we are doing, focus on the task at hand, communicating throughout the game, and just continue working on all of the skills we know that we can do throughout our games,” she remarked.
“I’m not really sure what to expect yet as most of the teams there [at nationals] we have never played before,” Beaudry admitted.
“But I have no doubts that we won’t be able to perform well,” she enthused.
The Tanner Horgan rink (Sudbury) will represent Northern Ontario in the men’s division.
Horgan advanced after beating the Chris Silver rink of Fort Frances 7-4 in the men’s final at the U21 provincials here last month.
Featuring 14 teams in each gender (representing each of the 10 provinces, in addition to Northern Ontario, the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut), the field will be split into two seven-team pools.
Teams will play a round-robin within their pool, leading to a championship pool that then will lead to the weekend playoffs.
Teams that don’t qualify for the championship pool will play a seeding pool to help determine the rankings for the 2019 Canadian junior playdowns (host site TBD).
In the meantime, non-playoff teams will participate in a mixed doubles competition.
It will be the first time Shawinigan has hosted the Canadian juniors.
But nearby Trois-Rivières has a rich history with junior curling, having hosted the 1993 Canadian junior championships (won by Nova Scotia’s Shawn Adams and Ontario’s Kim Gellard), as well as the 2004 world junior championships (won by Sweden’s Niklas Edin and Norway’s Linn Githmark).
TSN, the official broadcaster of Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will provide live coverage of the women’s and men’s semi-finals and finals.