Team Canada, including PEI’s Katie Shaw, aims to defend World Junior titles, starting Sunday in Sweden (Curling Canada)

A pair of Canadian teams will aim to end the 2021-22 curling season on the podium as the 2022 World Junior Curling Championships get underway Sunday in Jönköping, Sweden.

It will be the first edition of the World Juniors since 2020 at Krasnoyarsk, Russia, where Canadian teams skipped by Jacques Gauthier and Mackenzie Zacharias swept to the men’s and women’s gold medals.

The 2021 World Juniors were cancelled, and the 2022 edition was originally scheduled for March 5-12, but was postponed to this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada’s teams for the 2022 World Junior Curling Championships. Top, from left, Katy Lukowich, Katie Shaw, Lauren Rajala, Jamie Smith, Isabelle Ladouceur, coach Steve Acorn. Bottom, from left, Scott Weagle, Adam McEachren, Joel Krats, Owen Purcell, coach Anthony Purcell. (Photos, Curling Canada/Darlene Danyliw)

The Canadian women’s team, from Sudbury, Ont.,  is skipped by Isabelle Ladouceur; she’s backed up by vice-skip Jamie Smith, second Lauren Rajala, lead Katie Shaw, alternate Katy Lukowich and coach Steve Acorn.

Owen Purcell’s men’s team from Halifax includes vice-skip Joel Krats, second Adam McEachren, lead Scott Weagle, alternate Scott Mitchell and coach Anthony Purcell.

Lori Olson-Johns and Jeff Hoffart will serve as the team leaders for the Canadian contingent in Sweden.

The Canadian teams were determined at the 2021 New Holland World Junior Qualifying Event in Saskatoon.

Canada’s 2022 teams will be looking to continue a run of success at the World Juniors that has seen teams wearing the Maple Leaf play in both the men’s and women’s gold-medal games in 2020, 2019 and 2018, with the men’s teams having won the past three world junior titles (Team Tyler Tardi in 2018 at Aberdeen Scotland, and 2019 at Liverpool, N.S., and Team Gauthier in 2020). Canadian women’s teams have won two gold (Team Kaitlyn Jones in 2018 and Team Zacharias in 2020) and a silver (Team Selena Sturmay in 2019).

Canadian men’s teams have won a leading 21 gold medals (Scotland is next with 10 gold) to go along with 10 silver and eight bronze in the 46 previous editions of the World Junior Men’s Championship.

Canadian women’s teams, meanwhile, have claimed gold 13 times (Scotland is next best with nine), along with nine silver and eight bronze since the World Junior Women’s Championship made its debut in 1988.

Ten men’s and 10 women’s teams will play a round-robin draw that wraps up on May 20. The top four teams will reach the semifinals on May 21, with first place playing fourth, and second place playing third. The semifinal winners play for gold, and the losers play for bronze, on May 22.

CLICK HERE to see the full event schedule.

World Curling TV (the broadcast arm of the World Curling Federation) will be streaming 16 games from the World Junior Championships. The games will be available exclusively on The Curling Channel in partnership with Recast.

CLICK HERE for information on the broadcast schedule.

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