Been there, lost that

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:57 AM ET

Manitoba's Calleen Neufeld has qualified for her second straight Canadian junior women's curling final.

This time she plans to win the thing.

Neufeld needed only nine ends to dump B.C.'s Dailene Sivertson 7-3 in the semifinal last night in St. Catharines, Ont., and will meet Newfoundland's Stacie Devereaux in tomorrow's final (11:30 a.m., CBC).

Neufeld lost last year's final 10-6 to Saskatchewan's Mandy Selzer in Thunder Bay, Ont.

'ON A ROLL'

"We don't want to go through that tragedy again," Neufeld said last night.

Neufeld, 21, and her St. Vital-based squad of Sabrina Neufeld, 18 (no relation), Laryssa Grenkow, 18, and Breanne Meakin, 16, advanced to last night's semifinal thanks to a 9-3 drubbing of Saskatchewan's Hailey Surik in a tie-breaker yesterday afternoon.

The convincing victories yesterday, combined with their two must-win triumphs on Thursday, have Neufeld and her crew feeling mighty fine about themselves heading into the final.

"I would like to say so," said Neufeld, who is competing in her third straight national championship.

"We're getting on a roll now, so it feels pretty good."

Neufeld will attempt to become the first Manitoba squad to capture the junior women's crown since Kelly McKenzie accomplished the feat in 1995.

"Oh, man, that would be pretty amazing," Neufeld said. "I would love to do it."

McKenzie is now known as Kelly Scott, and the B.C. resident just so happens to be the defending national women's champ.

Devereaux, meanwhile, will attempt to become the first Newfoundlander to win a national junior women's title since the event began in 1971.

The 20-year-old lost to P.E.I. in her first match of the week but rattled off 11 straight victories -- including a 9-3 win over Neufeld on Tuesday -- to finish first in the round-robin and advance directly to the final.

Devereaux is competing in her fourth straight national championship, but tomorrow will be her first final. Neufeld believes having played in front of a live national TV audience last year might give her an edge tomorrow.

"That's a pretty good advantage for us, because now we know what it's going to feel like and look like and everything," Neufeld said. "Hopefully we can just build up from that."

Alberta will meet P.E.I. in today's junior men's final (12:30 p.m., CBC).


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