Alberta’s Rocque claims second straight women’s gold at Canadian juniors

CORNER BROOK, N.L. – Kelsey Rocque has done it again.

The 20-year-old Edmonton native captured her second straight women’s gold medal at the Canadian junior curling championships on Saturday night as Alberta beat Ontario’s Chelsea Brandwood 8-2.

Rocque, who won last year’s title with a different lineup (all of whom exhausted their junior eligibility at the end of the season), will now take aim at her second straight world junior women’s title.

She’ll be joined by third Danielle Schmiemann, second Holly Jamieson, lead Jessica Iles and coach Amanda-Dawn Coderre at the 2015 world junior championships, beginning Feb. 28 in Tallinn, Estonia.

“It definitely doesn’t get tired,” said Rocque. “To wear that Maple Leaf on your back is absolutely incredible. To do it twice? There’s no words.”

The Albertans controlled most of the game, taking the lead with a deuce in the fourth end and then adding a steal of one in the sixth when Brandwood was just heavy with her last-rock draw looking at two Alberta counters.

Brandwood had a shot to get a deuce back in the seventh but rolled a bit too far on her open hit and settled for a single. Alberta would respond with a deuce in the seventh and never looked back.

Rocque became just the fourth skip to win back-to-back Canadian junior women’s titles — the others being Alberta’s Cathy King (1977, 1978), Prince Edward Island’s Suzanne Birt (2001, 2002) and Manitoba’s Kaitlyn Lawes (2008, 2009).

In Estonia, she’ll try to match Scotland’s Eve Muirhead as the only skips to repeat as world junior champions.

The men’s playoffs are scheduled for Sunday.

In the semifinal, Saskatchewan’s Jacob Hersikorn plays 2014 silver-medallist Rene Comeau of New Brunswick.

The semifinal winner moves onto the gold-medal medal game later in the evening against reigning champion Braden Calvert of Manitoba.

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