The rocks just aligned right for this Mordenite.
Despite playing without his regular third, Morden's Kyle Peters secured the first junior men's provincial berth available through the Junior Christmas Bonspiel yesterday. But he needed a little help from Heather's provincials-bound Adam Norget.
When Norget beat West Kildonan's Eric Wasylenko 8-3 two sheets over at the St. Vital Curling Club, it meant the winner of the game between Peters and Springfield's Ryan Young would earn a trip to the 2006 Target Junior Men's Provincial Championship, to be played at the Wildewood Curling Club, Jan. 4-8. Peters won 11-9.
"It feels good," said Peters, 18, who will make his second straight provincials appearance. "I thought we had a pretty good chance coming in because all the big names already had their berths. But it is kind of a new team with the positions switched around."
Third Justin Groening had told Peters he would pass on the junior spiel because he had better things to do.
"He just felt he wanted to take the holidays off," Peters explained. "But I think curling is a better way to spend your holidays."
Especially when you earn a provincial spot. And Peters plans to go without Groening. Second Mike Fehr, 18, moved up to third while lead Keith Bergen, 17, played second. Derek Hamilton, 17, who was added at lead, will accompany the rest to the provincials.
In his first appearance, Peters finished 4-3, which included a victory over eventual champion Daley Peters (no relation).
"If we keep playing like this, we should have a good chance," Peters said.
Both Young and Wasylenko will get another crack at qualifying through tomorrow's berth playoff as every other team involved on the A side are already heading to the provincials.
Meanwhile, the three junior men's event finals will be played at the Fort Garry Curling Club tonight at seven.
On the junior women's side, the provincial spot available through the main event has become a two-horse race. Wildewood's Breanne Meakin and Brandon's Jen Kienas were the last two teams without berths to advance the furthest in the main event. Kienas clipped Pembina's Kaitlyn Lawes 11-10 while Meakin defeated Assiniboine Memorial's Michelle Montford 10-0 to stay in the hunt.
Both Kienas and Meakin will play different teams at the Wildewood Curling Club at 12:15 p.m. today. If one loses and the other wins, the winner will earn a trip to the provincials, to be played at the St. Vital Curling Club, Jan. 4-8. If neither advances, they will play each other in a special playoff tomorrow.
The three junior women's finals will also be played at the Fort Garry tonight at seven.
The four Youth Event finals will be played at the Fort Garry today at 3:30 p.m.
BITER: Canada's Olympic-bound Shannon Kleibrink will apparently play the USA's Olympic-bound Cassie Johnson in an exhibition match at the same time as Winnipeg's Grand Slam semifinals (Jan. 8).