VICTORIA â€” Matt Hall led his Ontario rink past Northern Ontario’s Tanner Horgan in an extra end on Saturday night to advance to the men’s Canadian junior curling championship final.
Hall’s team from Kitchener â€” vice-skip Jeff Wanless, second Joey Hart and lead David Hart â€” will play for a gold medal on Sunday afternoon against B.C.’s Tyler Tardi.
Both Ontario teams will be playing for gold on Sunday. Skip Hailey Armstrong from Ottawa will take an unbeaten record into the women’s gold-medal game against Alberta’s Kristen Streifel in the morning.
“It’s been an amazing week; no matter how this week ends, we’ve got nothing to be ashamed of,” said Hall. “It’s always been a dream of mine to have that shot having a Maple Leaf on my back, and I’m so happy I’ll have the chance to do that tomorrow.”
Hall and Ontario’s men took advantage of a miss in the seventh end to score a game-changing four, erasing what had been a two-point lead for Northern Ontario and turning it instead into a two-point lead for Ontario with just three ends to play.
Horgan was attempting a tough double takeout that, best-case scenario, was going to hold Ontario to a deuce. But he wrecked on a guard to give Hall the open look at a draw for four.
Northern Ontario would tie the game with a 10th-end deuce, but Hall got two perfect tick shots from David Hart that kept the house open, and in the end, Hall had an open hit for the victory.
One province has claimed both the men’s and women’s titles in the same year on eight previous occasions: Alberta (Jocelyn Peterman and Brendan Bottcher) in 2012; Ontario in 2010 (Rachel Homan and Jake Walker); Saskatchewan in 2003 (Marliese Miller and Steve Laycock); Manitoba in 1995 (Kelly Scott and Chris Galbraith), 1984 (Darcy Kirkness and Bob Ursel) and 1981 (Karen Fallis and Mert Thompsett); and Alberta in 1978 (Cathy King and Darren Fish) and 1977 (Cathy King and Paul Gowsell).
The winning teams Sunday will represent Canada at the 2017 world junior championships, Feb. 16-26 in Gangneung, South Korea.
The Canadian Press