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Smith rink captures second consecutive provincial junior men’s curling crown


It was a repeat performance, but an almost completely different experience for the Caribou Curling Club representatives who captured the provincial U21 junior men’s curling title for the second year in a row on Wednesday in Corner Brook.

Last year, the team — featuring Greg Smith, Kyle Barron, Ryan McNeil Lamswood and Craig Laing — cruised through the tournament undefeated. This time around, they started off 1-2 and only really got going on the third day of play.

“We pretty much had our backs against the wall and we had to scrap and fight our way to the final,” said McNeil Lamswood. “And we ended up winning in an extra end, which is pretty dramatic.”

It was a point in the 11th end that sealed it for the Stephenville-based squad, securing a 7-6 triumph over Stephen Trickett of St. John’s in the final.

The Smith rink scored two in the second and singles in the fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth ends before the winning shot.

Trickett produced a deuce in the first and seventh ends, with singles coming in the third and 10th.

Trickett had advanced to the final with a 10-4 semifinal victory over the host club’s Nick O’Neill rink — also consisting of Daniel Bruce, Andrew Bruce and Nathan King — earlier in the day.

McNeil Lamswood said having the hammer in an extra end is huge. He said the Trickett rink put up two really good centre guards, but Barron made an amazing peel on his shot that set them up for the win.

“It feels great,” he said. “Not too many times you can repeat as provincial champions and get to go to a national tournament two years in a row.”

That national tournament — the 2016 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championship — goes Jan. 23-31 in Stratford, Ont.

McNeil Lamswood admits the team struggled with the tougher competition at last year’s nationals, as they wound up in the reseeding bracket and finished 3-6 overall.

It won’t be a skip in the park this year either, but he believes the team is positioned to improve on that showing this time. They’ve been there before, he said, and have matured and gotten better as a team overall.

“So I think we should be able to give a bit more of a solid performance,” he said.

Last year, the team — featuring Greg Smith, Kyle Barron, Ryan McNeil Lamswood and Craig Laing — cruised through the tournament undefeated. This time around, they started off 1-2 and only really got going on the third day of play.

“We pretty much had our backs against the wall and we had to scrap and fight our way to the final,” said McNeil Lamswood. “And we ended up winning in an extra end, which is pretty dramatic.”

It was a point in the 11th end that sealed it for the Stephenville-based squad, securing a 7-6 triumph over Stephen Trickett of St. John’s in the final.

The Smith rink scored two in the second and singles in the fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth ends before the winning shot.

Trickett produced a deuce in the first and seventh ends, with singles coming in the third and 10th.

Trickett had advanced to the final with a 10-4 semifinal victory over the host club’s Nick O’Neill rink — also consisting of Daniel Bruce, Andrew Bruce and Nathan King — earlier in the day.

McNeil Lamswood said having the hammer in an extra end is huge. He said the Trickett rink put up two really good centre guards, but Barron made an amazing peel on his shot that set them up for the win.

“It feels great,” he said. “Not too many times you can repeat as provincial champions and get to go to a national tournament two years in a row.”

That national tournament — the 2016 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championship — goes Jan. 23-31 in Stratford, Ont.

McNeil Lamswood admits the team struggled with the tougher competition at last year’s nationals, as they wound up in the reseeding bracket and finished 3-6 overall.

It won’t be a skip in the park this year either, but he believes the team is positioned to improve on that showing this time. They’ve been there before, he said, and have matured and gotten better as a team overall.

“So I think we should be able to give a bit more of a solid performance,” he said.

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