2009 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors
The M&M Meat Shops Canadian junior men’s and women’s curling championships will be played February 1-8 in Salmon Arm, British Columbia.
This marks the fourth year of title sponsorship by M&M Meat Shops, Canada’s leading retail chain of specialty frozen foods. The company recently announced a further three-year extension as title sponsor through 2012.
Thirteen men’s and 13 women’s teams (representing the 10 provinces plus Northern Ontario, Northwest Territories and Yukon) are set to compete.
Representing BC are Kelly Shimizu and her rink from Richmond and Brian Kedziora and his Golden Ears rink from Maple Ridge.
Among the other teams confirmed are, on the women’s side, defending champion skip Kaitlyn Lawes of Manitoba and 2007 Canada Winter Games gold medallist Rachel Homan of Ontario, while Prince Edward Island’s Brett Gallant, Canadian junior runner-up in 2007 and third place finisher last year, tops the men’s field.
Round robin games will be played at both the Salmon Arm Curling Club and Sunwave Centre. At the conclusion of the round robin, the first place teams advance to their respective finals, while the second and third place finishers meet in semi-finals on Saturday.
Both the women’s and men’s finals will be played on Sunday, February 8 at the Sunwave Centre and will be televised live across Canada on TSN. The women’s final takes place at 11:30 am PT/ 2:30 pm ET while the men’s final begins at 4:00 pm PT/7:00 pm ET.
The winners will then represent Canada at the 2009 world junior curling championships, March 5-15 in Vancouver. Canada has won a leading 16 world junior men’s titles since 1975 and eight women’s crowns since 1988.
The Canadian junior men’s championship began in 1950 in Quebec City. Alberta has won a leading 15 times while British Columbia has four wins, the last by skip Brad Kuhn in 2000.
The Canadian junior women’s championship was first played in Vancouver in 1971. Saskatchewan leads all provinces with 10 junior women’s titles while British Columbia has three victories, the last in 1987 by skip Julie Sutton (Skinner). The Canadian junior championships were conducted as separate events until being combined in 1987 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
Last year in Sault Ste. Marie, Quebec’s William Dion and Manitoba’s Kaitlyn Lawes won Canadian titles, then travelled to Östersund, Sweden for the 2008 world juniors, where they both earned bronze medals.