National curling title

(Edmonton) Four members of the University of Alberta Golden Bears curling program captured the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championship last Sunday in Ontario.

The Alberta provincial team, led by skipper Brendan Bottcher and third Evan Asmussen, second Landon Bucholz and lead Bryce Bucholz beat Northern Ontario's Brennan Wark 9-6 in the championship final on Feb. 12.
Bottcher and Wark traded deuces in the fifth and sixth ends, then Bottcher opened up another lead with two more in the seventh. Wark narrowed the lead to 7-6 with one in the eighth, but Bottcher took two in the 10th to seal the win.

It is the first Canadian junior title for the Edmonton rink. They are all members of the U of A’s Golden Bears curling program, which trains in the Saville Sports Centre on the U of A’s South campus.?The Golden Bears' rink helped Alberta win its nation-leading 16th title since the championship began in 1950, but the first since 2007.

Bottcher will now skip the Golden Bears at the western regional qualifying tournament, which takes place Feb. 16-18 in Winnipeg. The U of A’s top CIS team, which will compete at the qualifying tournament, consists of Bottcher, Mick Lizmore, Brad Thiessen and Karrick Martin, son of Canadian curling icon Kevin Martin.

Should the Golden Bears fare well at the western regional tournament, they will go for gold at the CIS/Canadian Curling Association championship March 14-18 at Brock University in St. Catherine’s, Ontario.??

Bottcher's junior team will next represent Canada at the 2012 World Junior Curling Championships March 3-11 in Ostersund, Sweden.

-with files from Canadian Press