Record breaking performance for Junior Men’s curling at Canadian Championships
February 18, 2012
The 2012 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Championships, held last week in Napanee, ON, earned the Yukon Jr. Men’s their best score in six years of national competition.
The team, with skip Thomas Scoffin, had a 7-5 finish in the tournament.
“I’m really pleased with their performance,” said coach Wade Scoffin. “Winning and losing is one thing, but a major part of it is fulfilling our game plans and this year we were consistent with those plans.”
Their finish was also the best record held by a Yukon rink in the last 15 years.
Team Scoffin, with lead Will Mahoney, third Mitch Young and second David Aho, a former member of the N.W.T. Arctic Winter Games team and skip of this year’s AWG Yukon squad.
Team Scoffin beat silver medal winners, team Northern Ontario 7-5 and overcame the bronze medal team from Manitoba 5-4. Team Scoffin had a massive victory over Quebec, at 7-1, overcame the N.W.T. in a high scoring 10-8 match and squeezed by Newfoundland 7-6. They did not beat gold medalists, team Alberta.
“I would say our strongest game was right at the end, against Manitoba, the twelfth game of the week,” said Scoffin. “We stayed with it, even when the game wasn’t important to us, it was important to the tournament and we did well.”
It’s been quite a season for team Scoffin.
Last month, Thomas won bronze at the Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, a major international title for the 17-year-old Yukoner.
They’ve been training hard to keep on top of this year’s tough national competition.
“Preparing for the nationals, the guys were doing stuff every day, on ice, league play, practice, both in the league and personal,” said coach Scoffin. “In previous years we would have given up big scores once in a while. This year only three games we had scores of 3 points or more against us. In two of those we were able to come back and win.”
They are looking forward to a more relaxing stretch over the coming months.
“The rest of the season is going to be quieter,” he said. “Thomas is feeling happier about not having too much on his plate right now. The team is taking a big breath.
It’s been a busy season.”
The squad may have one more trip to the nationals left in them.
Both Mahoney and Young have one year left to play in the junior championships, while Scoffin could still play for three years.
“It’s been great, said their coach.
“I have had the privilege to coach most of these guys since 2005, which is a long time for the junior ranks. We’ve really been able to grow as well. It helps a lot.”
Yukon’s team under skip Sarah Koltun, had a less impressive finish at this year’s
The junior women’s squad also made their sixth trip to the national championships last weekend, finishing 4-8 and placing 11th overall.
Despite the low placements, the team performed admirably against all three medal winners.
The team of Sarah Koltun, Chelsea Duncan, Linea Eby, Jenna Duncan and coach Lindsay Moldowan, lost to gold medal winning, Alberta with a score of 7-6 and 8-7 against the silver medal winning team from Manitoba. They were also defeated by a score of 8-7 against bronze medalists, British Columbia.
The Jr. Women’s team placed 7th in last year’s tournament, with a final standing of 6-6.
At 18, Koltun is eligible to compete in the championship for two more years.
Representatives of the team were unavailable to comment by press time.