Lawes taking charge

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:00 AM ET

Kaitlyn Lawes is making Canada the team to beat at the world junior women's curling championship.

The Pembina curler downed Russia's Margarita Fomina 6-4 yesterday afternoon in Vancouver to improve her round-robin record to 3-0, but it was her 8-3 win over Scotland's Eve Muirhead on Thursday night that really made a statement.

Muirhead is the event's two-time defending champ, and she is also in the running to play for Great Britain at next February's Winter Olympics.

"It was a great game," Lawes said of the Scotland battle.

"They are a very strong team, and we shot the lights out."

Lawes and her squad of Jenna Loder, Laryssa Grenkow and Breanne Meakin didn't exactly shoot the lights out against Russia yesterday thanks to straighter ice and funky rocks, but the 20-year-old skip said "we made the key ones that we really needed to make."

Lawes captured bronze at last year's worlds in Sweden, but the only time she won more than one game in a row was at the end of the week, winning two straight to get into a tiebreaker.

She admitted that last year's experience is helping her mental state this week on the West Coast.

"I feel a lot better and a lot more confident," she said. "Last year I was a little unsure and didn't know what to expect. It's been great so far. We're in the right position right now."

Lawes and Co. are getting plenty of support in the Vancouver Olympic Centre stands, too. In addition to the approximate 30 or so family members and friends, several school groups and local curling fans have turned out to cheer on the home team.

"It's fun to have the crowd on your side this time," Lawes said.

The University of Manitoba student is so focused on her task of bringing gold back to Winnipeg that she was stumped when asked whom she plays today.

"I have no idea, to be honest," Lawes said. "I'm looking forward to playing anyone."

For the record, Canada's lone match today is against the Czech Republic at 9 p.m.

On the junior men's side, Canada's Brett Gallant of P.E.I. was 2-0 heading into his game last night against Switzerland.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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