Ice dream shattered

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:48 AM ET

The gold medal was so close they could almost taste it.

But Team Canada's Kaitlyn Lawes will have to settle for silver after missing a difficult last shot for the win in the 10th end of the junior women's final of the World Junior Championships in Vancouver yesterday.

Lawes missed a come-around tap-back for two, allowing Scotland's defending champion Eve Muirhead to steal one and emerge with an 8-6 triumph at the Vancouver Olympic Centre.

Lawes was slightly too heavy with her final rock, slumping to the ice in agony after the miss.

"I don't know what to say," Lawes said to reporters in Vancouver, sobbing and losing here battle to remain composed. "It meant a lot to me.

"It's too soon to talk about it."

Lawes took bronze in last year's worlds, won by Muirhead.

"The whole team's upset," Canada coach Rob Meakin said from Vancouver. "It was a big game and they had a shot to win and it hurts.

"The way it is for us, it's gold or you're very disappointed ... It was their dream to win the world championship and you never know when you're going to get a chance again. But the girls played fantastic all week and they should hold their heads high. They're champions in my mind. But right now, it hurts."

Supported by third Jenna Loder, second Laryssa Grenkow and Breanne Meakin (Rob's daughter), the team from Manitoba beat Switzerland's Martina Baumann 9-3 in the semifinal late Saturday night to advance to the final.

Unprecedented

This is last year of junior for all but Meakin.

Muirhead played third on the 2007 squad, and her third straight world women's junior gold is unprecedented.

Muirhead admitted beating Canada at home made it even better.

"It's always good to beat the home nation," she smiled. "It's always difficult. They have a bigger crowd and more noise to put up with, but that's fine."

Muirhead leaves for Gangneung, Korea, today where she will skip Scotland at the world women's championship.

Muirhead could be in back in Vancouver for next winter's Olympic Games. She is one of six players being considered for Scotland's Olympic team.

The Lawes squad will arrive from Vancouver via Air Canada today at 12:42 p.m.

Canada's junior men also settled for silver as Brent Gallant fell 9-6 to Denmark's Rasmus Stjerne yesterday.

With Denmark leading 6-4 in the eighth end, Gallant was forced to draw against five. His last shot was heavy, sliding to the back of the 12-foot. The play was sort of deja vu. Stjerne lost a tough game to Gallant in Saturday's 1-versus-2 Page playoff game when the Danish skip gave up a steal of six in the sixth end to lose 11-5 in eight ends.

American Chris Plys, last year's champion, defeated Sweden's Oskar Eriksson 9-4 in eight ends to win the men's bronze.

In the women's bronze medal game, Switzerland juggled their lineup by moving Nicole Duenki to skip, then clipped Russia's Margarita Fomina 5-4.

BITER: Kalynn Park, Canada's fifth recruited from Alberta, got into the semifinal replacing second Laryssa Grenkow late in the match. Park's father, Kevin, plays third for Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton.

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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