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Junior run ends for local rinks

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It was their worst end at the worst possible time.

A five-ender in the second for Tiana Gaudry (Thunder Bay) was the beginning of the end for the Fort Frances rink skipped by Hailey Beaudry, which lost 10-2 in six ends in the second tie-breaker yesterday morning at the junior women’s provincial curling championship in Sioux Lookout.

Beaudry and her rink of third Nicole Hartlin, second Erin Tomalty, and co-leads Tory and Anika Beaudry opened with one in the first.

But then they got blindsided by Gaudry in the second and gave up the most points of any end they played during the four-day event.

The local crew tried to hang in with a single in the third to cut the lead to 5-2.

But Gaudry kicked it into overdrive—scoring a single in the fourth before stealing three in the fifth and one more in the sixth.

Beaudry opted to shake hands at that point.

Gaudry caused headaches for tournament organizers when she stole a pair to beat Beaudry 8-6 in an extra end in the final round-robin draw Monday afternoon.

A win by Beaudry would have locked up third place and a berth in yesterday’s semi-final against Megan Smith (Sudbury), who finished second in the standings at 6-1.

Instead, it was Beaudry, Gaudry, and Camille Daly (Copper Cliff) who all ended up with 4-3 records after Daly upset Smith 7-6 to sneak into the mix.

All three rinks were 1-1 against each other during the round-robin, so tournament official Muriel Anderson had to refer to the total combined distances of each team’s pre-game, closest-to-the-button shots throughout the event.

Gaudry’s rink had the shortest distance—allowing her to advance directly into yesterday morning’s second tie-breaker.

That meant Beaudry and Daly had to duke it out in the first tie-breaker Monday night.

After beating Daly 8-5 in nine ends to open round-robin play Saturday, Beaudry traded haymakers with her opponent for seven frantic ends.

An exchange of deuces and then side-by-side three-enders had the score tied 5-5 after four.

Beaudry scored two in the fifth, but gave up singles in the sixth and seventh to leave the game tied at 7-7.

The Fort crew notched one in the eighth before stealing a vital point in the ninth to lead 9-7.

One for Daly with last rock in the 10th was not enough, with Beaudry pulling out the 9-8 decision.

The Beaudry rink, which was coached by Hartlin’s older sister, Taylor, had gotten off to a good start.

After beating Daly, they rocked Hayley Horton (Blind River) 11-2 in seven ends later Saturday to improve to 2-0.

But it was a different story Sunday as Beaudry was dumped 12-3 in eight ends by Krysta Burns (Sudbury), who wound up finishing first in the standings at 7-0 and getting a bye to yesterday’s final.

Beaudry then fell 7-1 in six ends to Smith.

With a playoff spot slipping away, Beaudry got her team back on track—scoring the first eight points of the game, and then eight more over the last two ends, for a 16-2, seven-end romp over fellow Fort Frances skip Ashley Payne.

Cassidy Romyn (Sioux Lookout) was the next to get steamrolled by Beaudry in an 11-4 victory in six ends in Monday’s first draw.

As for Payne and her rink of third Cloey Brigham (Atikokan), second Jillian Cousineau, lead Andrea Schram, and fifth Katrina Slomke, their debut at the junior provincials was an education in what it takes to play and compete at that level.

With Payne just in Grade 8, and no player on the team above Grade 10, the lack of previous experience was a big part of the team finishing in last place with an 0-7 record—getting outscored 98-14 in the process.

Coached by Beaudry’s mom, Kim, the Payne rink had the unfortunate draw to face what would be the two top teams in the standings on the first day.

The result was a 15-2 win in six ends by Smith and a 14-2, six-end triumph for Burns.

Payne then fell 18-2 to Daly in her first game Sunday before being drubbed 13-1 by Horton.

Trying to end on a positive note Monday, Payne first lost 14-3 to Gaudry.

Then in a battle of winless teams to close out the round-robin, Payne actually got the lead against Romyn with a single in the first.

But the host rink picked up two in the second, then nabbed steals over the next five ends, en route to an 8-2 victory.

The 2016 Canadian junior championships will be Jan. 23-31 in Stratford.

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