Interlake curlers, teams to compete in junior provincials

Matt Bijl's team from the Stonewall Curling Club will compete in the 2020 Telus Provincial Junior Curling Championships in Dauphin, Man. from Dec. 31, 2019 to Jan. 5, 2020. L to R: Skip Matt Bijl, third Elias Huminicki, second John Trinke, lead Liam Wachal and coach Darrel Argan. (Photo credit: Twitter/@TeamBijl)

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The 2020 Telus Provincial Junior Curling Championships will take place in Dauphin from Dec. 31, 2019 to Jan. 5, 2020 and this year’s edition will feature plenty of young talent from the Interlake. Four teams from the region will compete in Dauphin and two teams from elsewhere have Interlake curlers as skips.

Josh Maisey will skip his Winnipeg Beach Curling Club team for the third straight year at junior curling provincials. His team of third Oliver De Meyer, second Sean Giesbrecht and lead Sebastien Pruneau finished with a 3-4 record last year in Winnipeg and 2-5 in the 2018 event in Altona.

Maisey is also a two-time defending high school provincial boys’ curling champion for the Gimli High School Lakers. The team was ninth in the Manitoba Junior Curling Tour standings with its best result being a semifinal appearance at the Kyle Flett Memorial Bonspiel in Petersfield last November.

Matt Bijl’s team from the Stonewall CC will make its first appearance at junior provincials. Bijl, with third Elias Huminicki, second John Trinke, lead Liam Wachal and fifth Luke Trinke, were eighth in the MJCT but won the Quality Inn Winkler Junior Classic last October.

“Overall when it really mattered my team has came to play. I have been really impressed with the play of my team all season,” Bijl wrote in an email to The Stonewall Argus and Teulon Times. “If we can control what we are able to, I believe that would give us the best chance of winning but it would not be easy.”

Stonewall’s Emerson Klimpke is leading his team from the Morris CC, consisting of third Reece Hamm, second Tim Johnson of Arborg and lead Jayden Rutter. They were runners-up in Petersfield and Winkler before winning the MJCT Tour Final Championship in Winnipeg last month. Klimpke’s team has reached four straight event finals.

“We have been playing some real solid games, start to finish. Maintaining our focus on the task at hand and having proper shot execution. Making the right choices and knowing what you can and can’t do in certain situations,” Klimpke wrote in an email to The Argus and Times. “I look forward to competing in my last Junior Provincials in Dauphin at the end of the month with some really good friends I’m proud to call my teammates.”

Stonewall’s Thomas Dunlop is the third for Brett Walter’s squad while Petersfield’s Shawn Thidrickson is lead for Josh Friesen. Zack Bilawka of East St. Paul is the lead for Jacques Gauthier. All three teams hail from the Assiniboine Memorial CC in Winnipeg.

On the women’s side, Walter’s sister Meghan is skipping her own team from the East St. Paul CC. The team consists of Meghan, third Morgan Reimer, second Lauren Kuzyk and lead Mackenzie Elias. The skip won the 2019 World Mixed Curling Championship in Aberdeen, Scotland as third for Colin Kurz last October. Walter lost last year’s final to Altona’s Mackenzie Zacharias.

Also from the East St. Paul CC is Katy Lukowich’s foursome, consisting of third Jaycee Terrick, second Julia Milian, lead Lexa Sigurdson and fifth Gracey Gulak. Her team is coached by Lukowich’s father Mark, who won the 2002 men’s provincial title. The team was seventh in the MJCT standings and won the Family Foods Junior Classic in Stonewall last October. She wrote to The Argus and Times saying her team’s season was the best yet.

“To win provincials, my team will have to get a few good practices in before we leave for Dauphin, and once we get there, I think that our key to success will be staying focused on our goal to make playoffs and to always be communicating with our teammates,” Lukowich added.

Moosehorn’s Talyia Tober and her team from the Fort Garry CC from Winnipeg returns to junior provincials after finishing 2-5 last year. With her sister Tansy at third, second Olivia Bruneau and lead Stephanie Feeleus, their best result this season was reaching the final in Petersfield.

“We had a slow start to the season but have seem to found the focus and determination needed to achieve our goals,” Talyia wrote to The Argus and Times. “For our team to win it will require focus, strength, determination and mental toughness for us to come out on top.”

Ashern’s Cassidy Otto will be the fifth for Victoria Beaudry’s team from the St. Vital CC in Winnipeg.

The champion teams will represent Manitoba at the New Holland Canadian Juniors in Langley, BC from Jan. 18 to 26.