The Katie Shaw rink took the long road, while the Mitchell Schut team avoided the stress of a winner-take-all final to clinch its second provincial title in 2021.
The two rinks from the Cornwall Curling Club are the Pepsi P.E.I. junior women’s and men’s champions for curlers aged under-20. Both championships, held at the Silver Fox in Summerside last weekend, featured a modified-triple-knockout format.
“It feels really good,” said the 17-year-old Schut, who clinched the title with a 10-4 win over the Brayden Snow rink from the host club in the first game of the championship round on Sunday morning. “It’s the first (provincial junior title) for the four of us (as a team). It’s a special one.”
The Katie Shaw rink from the Cornwall Curling Club won the 2021 Pepsi P.E.I. junior women’s curling championship at the Silver Fox in Summerside on Sunday. Members of the winning rink are, from left, Shaw, third Lexie Murray, coach David Murphy, second Alexis Burris and lead Isabella Tatlock. – Contributed
It wasn’t an adversity-free weekend for Team Shaw that persevered and won two elimination games on Sunday against their clubmates, the Rachel MacLean rink, to complete play 4-2 (won-lost).
“It’s always exciting to win your province for sure,” said the 18-year-old Shaw, who calls Stratford home.
The provincial champions regularly go on to represent P.E.I. at the Canadian junior championships, but that event has been cancelled this year due to COVID-19.
The David Murphy-coached Shaw rink, including third Lexie Murray, second Alexis Burris, lead Isabella Tatlock and alternate Hayden Ford, came to play on Sunday. MacLean needed to defeat Shaw just once to claim the provincial title.
Shaw took the morning draw 10-2 to force a winner-take-all final, which her rink won 6-1.
“We all came committed and focused to that first game (Sunday),” said Shaw. “We were all very determined to push it to the afternoon (final).”
Shaw said her rink “really brought the intensity” on Sunday. The skip was pleased with her team’s focus and communication, which she pointed out helped them figure out paths on the ice and make shots.
“We like to play a bit more of an open game than our opponents,” said Shaw. “In that sense, we kind of forced them into that game a little.”Shaw, Murray and Tatlock won the 2019 provincial junior women’s title with the Lauren Ferguson-skipped rink. Shaw said the team was able to draw on strong chemistry and familiarity with each other.
2021 has been a special one for the Schut rink. Along with winning the junior title, Schut and his teammates captured the provincial under-18 crown in January.
“We went into the weekend trying to play the game we have been playing all season,” said Schut. “We won the U18s earlier in the year, and we were facing the same teams again in this one.
“We knew we had a good chance, but we couldn’t underestimate any of the teams because we knew they would put up a good fight against us.”
Overall, the Pat Quilty-coached Schut rink went 6-1 in the P.E.I. under-20 event. Schut’s teammates are lead Liam Kelly, second Cruz Pineau and Chase MacMillan, who throws skip stones. Schut handles the third’s shots.
“We had good composure out on the ice,” said Schut, who lives in Cornwall. “We helped each other out. When we were missing shots, we helped each other out by reinforcing what we were working on all season.