Well, it's not every day that a Newfoundland team wins a national championship and gets to represent Canada at an international tournament. So a big congratulations to the Stacie Devereaux rink for winning the Junior Women's Curling Championship, 7-6 over Manitoba. And in fine dramatic fashion by taking three in the final end. They now go to Minnesota for the World's. Which is too bad, in a way. You figure if you're going to an international curling final, you'd get to go to Scotland or Sweden. But they get Minnesota. As I recall when Brad Gushue got to the World's he got to go to Utah.
So really, I imagine they're thrilled at winning, but it's too bad they're not getting a better trip out of it.
It's interesting watching this level of curling. When you watch the men and women curl at national events a game can swing on a few inches. There are few total misses, yet you see it a lot more at this level. You certainly saw it in the 10th end when the Manitoba team made a couple of critical errors, including something I've never seen at that level of play - a rock hitting the boards before hitting its target. It certainly make for interesting curling. And a kind of game I can relate to, where you can call the shot, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to get made, no matter how straightforward it appears.
I actually do feel bad for the Manitoba skip. It was her second straight loss at the National final. That's the kind of thing that haunts you for a good long time. I hope she gets over it eventually.
The one thing that is kind of disappointing is that there was no team from Nunavut at the Nationals. There actually is a Junior Men and Junior Women's team in the territory and they'll be competing at the Canada Winter Games in a few weeks. Curling is still pretty basic in Nunavut. Once you get outside of Iqaluit there isn't much happening. And I realize that even if the juniors had played at the Nationals odds are they would have been smoked by everybody. Still, I think they would have had fun and certainly would have learned a lot. It's something to aim for in the future. It would be nice for the territory to at least have the option of make it to the Nationals as even part of a wider Territory team (the Brier and Scott feature one team representing The Yukon/NWT).
And no, this isn't some ploy so that I might some day get to the Brier. That will likely never happen. Hell, as good as it will get for me will likely be next weekend. I'm playing on one of the better teams at the club as a Second in the Furspiel (don't look at me, I didn't come up with the name.) First place is $2000. Plus there is a draw on some tickets on flights to Ottawa. Who needs national championships where there are airplane tickets up for grabs?