Three of the University of Manitoba’s own represent Canada this week in Tallinn, Estonia for the 2015 World Junior Curling Championships. Braden Calvert (skip), Kyle Kurz (third), Lucas Van Den Bosch (second), Brendan Wilson (lead), and Colton Lott (alternate) made their way overseas on Feb. 24 to begin their World Junior experience.
Calvert, Kurz, and Van Den Bosch are students at the University of Manitoba studying agriculture, kinesiology, and business, respectively.
This is the second year in a row Team Calvert is curling for Canada in this competition. It’s uncommon for teams to achieve repeat gold medal wins in the Canadian championships, though this team pulled it off.
Manitoba is one of the main “powerhouse” regions for curling, with loads of excellent competition for both men and women.
Calvert had a terrific start to this year’s competitive play as he beat Team Dunstone, former bronze medal champions in the 2013 World Junior Curling Championships, in the final of the Manitoba Junior Provincial Championship. From then on he won against another strong team, Team Hersikorn representing Saskatchewan, in the national junior championships, for the right to bear Canadian colours.
Last year Team Calvert made it to Switzerland for this same world competition and lost 7-5 in the bronze medal game against Norway. These men faced Norway in their first game this year starting on the 28th.
The teams had a slow start for points as they blanked in the first end. In the fourth end, the Manitoban men produced a huge score of four, giving them a 5-1 lead. A miss on a pressured draw from Norway gave Canada a steal of three by the end of the sixth, a huge breaking point in the game.
Calvert successfully made a double take-out, turning it into a blank end in the eighth with an 8-3 lead. At this time Norway decided to shake hands early, making an excellent start for Team Calvert in the competition.
There is some great excitement happening on these sheets between all teams and it is worth the time to watch. So, remember the eight-hour time difference between Winnipeg and Tallinn and tune in to cheer and lend support to whichever team you favour.
The competition runs until March 8, with playoffs beginning on March 6. You can follow Team Calvert at the World Junior Curling Championships 2015 website at wjcc2015.curlingevents.com or on their Twitter page, @CalvertTeam. All games are also broadcasted live on YouTube at WorldCurlingTV.