The Canadian junior curling championships are returning to Newfoundland and Labrador for the first time in three decades.
On Tuesday, the Canadian Curling Association (CCA) announced the 2015 edition of the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors will be staged in Corner Brook, N.L., with the Pepsi Centre and the Corner Brook Curling Club as sites for the event being held Jan. 24 to Feb. 1, 2015. The championship finals will be played at the Pepsi Centre.
It will be the first time that Newfoundland and Labrador has hosted the Canadian juniors since 1985, when Alberta’s Kevin Martin prevailed in the junior men’s championship in St. John's (the men’s and women’s events were operated separately until 1987).
There will be 14 entries teams in both the male and female competitions (representing each of the 10 provinces in addition to Northern Ontario, the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut).
The field will be split into two seven-team pools, with seeding based on win-loss records at the 2014 Canadian juniors in Liverpool, N.S. Teams will play a round robin within their pool, leading to a championship pool, which will then lead to the weekend playoffs. Teams that don’t qualify for the championship pool will play a seeding pool to determine rankings for the 2016 Canadian juniors. Non-playoff teams will participate in a mixed doubles competition.
Newfoundland and Labrador teams have twice won national junior curling titles. Brad Gushue captured the 2001 men’s championship at St. Catharines, Ont., while Stacie Devereaux prevailed in 2007, again in St. Catharines.
It will be the fourth time Newfoundland and Labrador has hosted the Canadian juniors — Alberta’s Brian Howes won the men’s title in 1966 at St. John’s; Saskatchewan’s Patricia Crimp won the women’s title in 1975 at Grand Falls; and Martin won the men’s title in 1985 at St. John’s.