Nova Scotia’s Team Purcell wins World Junior bronze (Curling Canada)

Canada’s Team Owen Purcell is taking home the bronze medal after emerging victorious on Sunday at the 2022 World Junior Curling Championships in Jönköping, Sweden.

Team Owen Purcell won bronze at the 2022 World Junior Curling Championships. (Photo, Cheyenne Boone/World Curling Federation)

The junior men’s team from the Halifax Curling Club defeated Norway’s Grunde Buraas 13-4 in eight ends at the Jönköping Curling Club to win the bronze-medal game.

“It’s awesome. This is a fantastic moment in my curling career, and I hope it leads to more. Considering we started the event at 0-2, I’m really proud of how we were able to claw back and the way we handled the pressure of needing to make the shots and play the games that counted,” Purcell said.

A spot in the playoffs – never mind the podium – was in question early in the week after Canada started the event with back-to-back losses to the United States and Germany. But Purcell, vice-skip Joel Krats, second Adam McEachren, lead Scott Weagle, alternate Scott Mitchell, coach Anthony Purcell, and team lead Jeff Hoffart dug their collective heels in and battled back. The team finished the round robin on a four-game winning streak to finish third in the standings and secure a playoff spot.

Canada took control of the game in the third end with a score of four and followed with a steal of two in the fourth end to take a 7-2 lead. Team Purcell had the inside track to the bronze-medal victory from that point forward.

“We played phenomenally, set up really good angles and went from there,” Purcell said of the third-end score. “We never looked back, and the guys played extremely well. This is probably one of our best-played games this week, so I’m really proud of the guys.”

Canada forced Norway to one in the fifth end and scored a second four-ender in the sixth end to get a stranglehold on the game. 

Norway conceded after being forced to one point the next end and gave up a deuce in the eighth.

Purcell is quick to credit the team around him for this week’s success, as he wouldn’t be here without them. His teammates on the ice, who battled back from the slow start, to his father sitting behind the bench as the team coach, have played a crucial role in the bronze-medal run.

Joel Krats, left, and Adam McEachren after winning bronze at the 2022 World Junior Curling Championships. (Photo, Cheyenne Boone/World Curling Federation)

“It shows that the guys have that ‘star’ attitude. They can play really well when the game is on the line, and I’m really proud of what they’ve done,” Purcell said, adding that getting to wear the Maple Leaf for the first time with his dad has been an incredible experience for the family. 

This experience isn’t just about the victories on the ice either for the 21-year-old skip. Purcell and his team have developed grit and learned a lot about being mindful and staying positive when not everything is going their way. Resiliency was the key theme all week and a trait that everyone on the team can take to wherever life takes them.

“I’m really proud of how we’ve been able to grow as people and players this week. I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity,” Purcell said.

Purcell, a computer science student at Dalhousie University, has another opportunity to represent Canada soon. This September, he and his university curling team will compete at the qualification event to determine Canada’s representation at the 2023 FISU World University Games

In 2020, Purcell and teammate McEachren played on a team that earned silver at the U SPORTS Canadian University Championships.

Team Purcell’s win marks the ninth bronze medal a Canadian junior men’s team earned at the event and increases Canada’s leading medal count to 40 medals earned. 

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Meanwhile, Canada’s Team Isabelle Ladouceu, which included PEI’s Katie Shaw, finished the World Juniors with a 3-6 record. It drops Canada into the B event next season.

Canadian junior women will now have to place top-3 in the World Junior B event to be able to compete in the World Juniors. Info from Devin Heroux (CBC)

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