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Jr Pandas Heading to Nationals

Posted on January 11, 2017

Pandas win third Alberta Junior title in four years

By Connor Hood on January 8, 2017

The University of Alberta junior varsity Pandas curling team captured the 2017 Alberta Junior Curling title this past weekend at the Saville Community Sports Centre, booking their spot in the Canadian Junior Curling Championships January 21-29 in Victoria, BC.

The title is the Pandas third in the past four years, having also won the Alberta Junior title in 2014 and 2015. The win marked the sixth straight year either the Bears or Pandas have won the Alberta junior title.

The Golden Bears, meanwhile, entered as the defending champions, but failed to qualify for the playoffs with a 4-3 round robin record.

The Pandas secured a berth in the championship final by virtue of their 6-1 round robin record and No. 1 overall seed.  The Pandas, made up of skip Kristen Streifel, third Chantele Broderson, second Kate Goodhelpsen, and lead Brenna Bilassy, held a slim 2-1 lead after four ends over the Janais DeJong rink.  The teams exchanged scores throughout the next five ends, with a score of one in the ninth by DeJong leveling the final at five. The Pandas, however, were able to score three with hammer in the 10th to earn the 8-5 win.

"The Pandas played extremely well all week, and were full measure for their victory in the final.” said Bears and Pandas head coach Robb Krepps. “Our girls will be strong contenders at the Canadian Juniors, but they'll be up against a tough field in Victoria, so they'll need to bring their A-game to win."

The field in Victoria will be comprised of teams representing each province and territory, with the winner representing Team Canada at the World Junior Curling Championships in Korea. The 2014 and 2015 Pandas, skipped by former Panda Kelsey Roque and led by current coach Amanda St. Laurent, won both the Canadian and World junior curling championships.

The Pandas will begin the Canadian’s on January 21, as they open against Team Newfoundland and Labrador.



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