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World Junior Curling Championships 2003 
 

World Junior Curling Championships 2003

Canada strikes double gold in Flims

Canada's Steve Laycock along with Chris Haichert, Michael Jantzen, Kyler Broad and the alternate Ben Hebert today became World Junior Champions after defeating Sweden 5-4 in the finals. It was a tight game that was decided by lost opportunities. In the tenth both Sweden and Canada had chances to win the game. When Carl-Axel Dahlin, the Swedish fourth was to play his last stone Sweden was already counting one stone and Dahlin had a tough but makeable draw to clinch the game. He found the way into the tee but was hard and Sweden had to settle for one point sending the game into an extra end.

In the extra end Sweden failed to get their guards up and then Canada had no problems peeling away anything the Swedes put up and Steve Laycock had an open hit & stick to win the championships. This was the seventh straight gold medal for the Canadian Junior men. For Eric Carlsén and his team it was the second straight finals loss in the World Junior's and it was also the last chance for Eric and Carl-Axel to compete in the Junior's. The Swedish front players Emanuel Allberg and Nils Carlsén can get another chance if they find new players for next year.

In the bronze game Switzerland won against Norway 7-4 to claim the bronze medals. Jan Hauser played excellent all week and was backed by his team with Pascal Hess, Fabian Kuster and Remo Schmid.

Canadian women first undefeated champions

What a finish to the championships! The game between Canada and USA was tied 4-4 coming home in the tenth and USA needed to steal to win. USA got some guards up but Canada was able to remove them but there were a couple of stones in play with Canada having the shot. USA tried to tap their best stone in the house towards the Canada shot came up short and Marliese Miller guarded the shot with her first stone leaving Cassie Johnson with a long and angled raise to be able to get a shot with her final stone. Cassie executed beautifully, removed the Canadian shot leaving two USA counters just behind the best Canadian shot. The guard that Canada had put up now worked against them and Miller faced a difficult take-out where she could only see about half of her own stone. She played a hard takeout, got the hit where she wanted and Teejay Surik, the Canadian vice-skip could sweep the USA shot to end up further from the center than the best Canadian stone and Canada won 5-4. The two last stones simply were master shots and either way it would have been a worthy champion.

Marliese Miller along with her team-mates Teejay Surik, Janelle Lemon, Chelsey Bell and the alternate Tammy Schneider is the first women's team to go undefeated through a World Junior Curling Championship. The closest before them were Sweden's Margaretha Lindahl that lost the final in 1995 by a measurement. USA had the chance to become the first back to back winner but it was not to happen this time around.

The first point of the game came already in the first end when Marliese Miller of Canada sticked with a peel to give Canada a single. USA blanked the second and in the third Canada tried to bury the stone behind a short guard with Miller's last but the stone was visible. Cassie Johnson tried to blank but the stone sticked in the back of the house equalising the game one all.

Canada blanked the fourth after some try's to get behind a corner guard. In the fifth Canada gets a chance to count two when they could draw behind a guard with Teejay Surik but she came up short. Cassie Johnson took the chance to draw around the same guard, buried the stone but it was behind the tee-line so Miller decided to freeze it (or at least draw to the line), but Miller also comes up short and USA still counts one. Johnson locks the whole situation with her last stone forcing Miller to draw to the four-foot for one Canadian point and lead halfway through with 2-1.

USA blanked the sixth and looked as it was going to be the same in the seventh when Miller missed her last take-out  leaving a draw for two points in an empty house for Cassie Johnson, USA took the lead 3-2. In the eighth Canada got two stones counting early and kept it all the way even though Miller had some luck on her final stone when she came slightly wide and sticked on a stone to the side of the house to get her deuce to take the lead again 4-3.

In the ninth Cassie Johnson was forced to draw to the button for a single point to tie the game coming home and the tenth end was just fun, exciting and just such a final end that one wants to see in a championship (as described at the top of the page).

Italy defeated Sweden in the bronze game 7-4 to improve on their fourth position last year. Diana Gaspari and three out the four team-mates will go to Winnipeg to represent Italy in the World's this year, quite a busy month for the Italians.

Former World Junior Champions

Unfortunately I haven't entered all the World Junior's into the statistics database yet so you can't use that but if you wish to see all the former champions of the World Junior's they are listed here:

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2003-03-03

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