Whitehorse Daily Star

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TALKING SHOP – From left, Kelsey Meger, Bailey Horte, coach Wade Scoffin, Sian Molloy and Kelly Mahoney discuss strategy in their game against Quebec at the junior curling nationals in Corner Brook, Nfld., Sunday. Photos courtesy of AMANDA RUMBOLDT

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EYES ON THE PRIZE – Yukon men’s skip Joe Wallingham delivers against Saskatchewan Sunday. The Yukon would lose 6-2. Photos courtesy of AMANDA RUMBOLDT

Junior rinks facing uphill battle at nationals

It’s been tough sledding early for the Yukon’s two junior rinks competing at nationals in Corner Brook, Nfld.

By Marcel Vander Wier on January 27, 2015

It’s been tough sledding early for the Yukon’s two junior rinks competing at nationals in Corner Brook, Nfld.

With a record of 2-4, Joe Wallingham’s rink could still have a chance at the elusive championship round – and are clinging to hopes of a potential tiebreaker game.

Meanwhile, women’s skip Bailey Horte and company started their first nationals experience with a 1-5 record and will be relegated to the seeding pool after today’s action.

Wallingham, 18, and his teammates Brayden Klassen (third), Trygg Jensen (second) and Spencer Wallace (lead) managed to knock off both Northwest Territories and Northern Ontario in early action.

Play began Saturday and Wallingham’s rinks incurred two straight losses, 5-3 to New Brunswick and 12-9 to P.E.I.

They would drop their third straight Sunday, 6-2 to Saskatchewan, before rapping off two straight wins, 8-5 over N.W.T. and 6-5 over Northern Ontario.

They went on to lose 8-2 to Alberta last night, however, to drop to 2-4.

This year’s tournament marks Wallingham’s third straight appearance at nationals.

Horte, 18, is curling with teammates Kelsey Meger (third), Kelly Mahoney (second) and Sian Molloy (lead). Their lone win came Saturday, 8-3 over Nunavut.

They incurred losses from Alberta 14-5, Quebec 10-2, Northern Ontario 9-3, Ontario 10-7 and Manitoba 12-5.

Following today’s games, the top three teams in each pool, plus two teams with the next best won-lost records will advance to the championship round for a further four games.

The other six teams of each gender will drop down into a seeding pool for the rest of the tournament, before competing in a mixed doubles tournament.

Wallingham and Team Horte coach Wade Scoffin could not be reached for comment this morning.

The men’s and women’s playoffs will be televised by TSN. The women’s semifinal is scheduled for Saturday at 9 a.m. PST, with the gold-medal game at 3:30 p.m. PST.

The men’s semifinal is Sunday at 9 a.m. PST, followed by the gold medal contest at 3:30 p.m. PST.

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