June 28, 2022

Crew Newfoundland and Labrador skip Nathan Younger makes a shot as he performs Crew Yukon on the Tim Hortons Brier in Lethbridge, Alta., on March 4.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

It wasn’t the brilliant lights or TV cameras that gave Newfoundland and Labrador’s Nicholas Codner the conclusion he was truly a competitor on the nationwide males’s curling championship.

It actually sunk in for the 15-year-old as soon as he arrived on the match lodge.

“Simply the blokes strolling round. It’s like, ‘Oh my God, that’s Kevin Koe. Oh my God, that’s Mike McEwen,”’ Codner stated Monday. “It type of hit me. It was like, ‘Oh my God, we’re on the Brier.”’ Codner is the fifth for a younger group that’s making its Brier debut on the Enmax Centre. Skip Nathan Younger and vice Sam Follett are each 19, a 12 months youthful than lead Ben Stringer and a 12 months older than second Nathan Locke.

With Olympian Brad Gushue not within the provincial subject because of the Winter Video games schedule, Younger’s aspect took benefit and earned the N.L. berth with a victory over Greg Smith.

They performed like veterans in a 7-5 victory over Yukon’s Thomas Scoffin of their Brier round-robin opener Friday evening. Three losses adopted, together with a 9-3 defeat to Wild Card Two’s Matt Dunstone on Monday, however you wouldn’t realize it by the grins on their faces.

Whatever the outcomes, the children are absorbing the expertise of taking over the nation’s high groups.

“Attending to play them, actually up shut, and seeing what number of pictures they actually make is wonderful,” Younger stated.

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Enjoying in entrance of three,000 followers on opening evening didn’t faze the Newfoundland and Labrador group in any respect. They jumped out to a 5-1 lead and threw a strong 74 per cent within the victory.

“It has been a giant studying curve,” stated Toby McDonald, who’s serving as group coach with Jeff Thomas. “They’re clearly a great group. They’re type of choosing our brains dry. They’re actually occupied with getting higher.”

Younger skipped his aspect to an 8-5 document on the 2019 Canada Winter Video games in Pink Deer, Alta. They received silver final 12 months on the world junior qualifier in Saskatoon and are constructing in direction of the upcoming Canadian under-21 playdowns in Stratford, Ont.

“We could also be a younger group right here, however I don’t suppose we consider ourselves as being the youngsters on the Brier,” Younger stated. “We consider ourselves as Crew Newfoundland and Labrador and we’re so excited to be right here.”

Codner made his debut on Saturday in a 14-3 loss to Koe. He made all 4 of his pictures after approaching in its place within the seventh finish.

“It’s the primary time I’ve skilled followers – ever – (whereas) curling,” he stated. “I’ve solely curled in a curling membership. It’s fairly cool, I’ve received to say, while you’re on the market. Even when they’re cheering on different sheets, the vitality and the ambiance is loopy.”

Within the night draw, Wild Card Two’s Matt Dunstone held on to beat Alberta’s Koe, 8-6, to stay undefeated, Canada’s Bottcher defeated Saskatchewan’s Colton Flasch 8-6, Ontario’s Glenn Howard squeaked previous New Brunswick’s James Grattan 5-4 and P.E.I.’s Tyler Smith defeated Newfoundland’s Nathan Younger.

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“Clearly you suppose you’re going to finish up on the Brier sometime however not this younger,” Codner stated. “It has been wonderful. We nonetheless have a couple of video games left and it’s going to be superior to be taking part in in opposition to a number of the finest on the planet.”

Koe beat Scoffin 9-3 within the morning draw Bottcher beat Smith 11-4.

Flasch downed Grattan 8-4 within the different early sport.

In afternoon play, Brad Gushue’s Wild Card One group (4-0) remained unbeaten after an 8-3 win over Jamie Koe of the Northwest Territories.

Nova Scotia’s Paul Flemming (3-0) stored his successful streak intact by holding off Wild Card Three’s Jason Gunnlaugson 7-6 in an additional finish. Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs beat Quebec’s Michael Fournier 6-1 and McEwen walloped Nunavut’s Peter Mackey 18-1.

Competitors continues by means of Sunday.