Yukon stuns Northern Ontario 5-4 for first win at 2023 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship
After four ties at the 2023 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship from the Swift Current Curling Club in Saskatchewan, it was never a question of if Yukon would win its first match, but a question of when.
UConn, made up of skip Terry Miller, deputy skip Lainey Klassen, second Peter Anderson and captain Laura Wilson of the White Horse Curling Club, looked increasingly strong with each match despite opening its 2023 Canadian mixed campaign with an 0-2 record, dropping an 8-decision. 4 to Pierre-Luc Morissette of Quebec (1-1; Jacques Cartier) and surrender to Scott MacDonald of Ontario 8-5 (1-0; St. Thomas) on Sunday.
However, Monday was a new day. Yukon saved its biggest finish at the top of the week, stunning former world mixed silver medalist and last year’s Canadian mixed runner-up Trevor Bonneau of Northern Ontario (1-1; Thunder Bay) by a 5-4 score.
There’s no denying that the Yukon is riding high after back-to-back strong performances, but Skip Terry Miller feels like there’s another cog in his engine.
“It wasn’t my game, but it was good enough. We definitely had some breaks in that game,” Miller said. “They’re a great team, but they opened the door for us a few times and we took advantage of that.”
This iteration of the Yukon team has already represented the region in Canadian mixed curling in both 2021 and 2022, even defeating eventual 2023 World Mixed Curling Championship bronze medalist Felix Asselin 8-0 in the round robin at last year’s Canadian Mixed Championships In Prince Albert, Eagle.
Miller says there are similarities between today’s win and the round-robin win in Prince Albert, with the performance of deputy skip Lainey Klaasen standing out above the rest.
“It was the same last year when we played Quebec,” Miller said. “Lainee was on fire. Same thing today. She made two great shots and that was the difference in the game.”
Klassen echoed Miller’s sentiments about her performance.
“It was a good game. I felt like I had a really good game,” Klaassen said. “I really feel like beating such a strong team.”
Speaking about the momentum UConn is currently riding, Klassen says they will look to stay in the groove to win tough games.
“This is our third game and we’ve been in every game,” Klassen said. “All three were against tough opposition. We’re just feeling it. I feel like I’m feeling it. It definitely makes you hope for more wins.”
More wins are sure to be on the cards for Yukon at the Canadian Championships in 2023 as Miller will represent the region at the upcoming Everest Men’s Club Championships in Winnipeg followed by the Canadian Senior Men’s Everest Championships in Vernon, BC. Klassen will also wear Yukon colors again at the Everest Women’s Club Championships.
Three national championships in one season is enough to hurt any athlete, but the 61-year-old Miller says the sport keeps him young.
“The more curls, the better. I love it,” Miller said. “When I go out on the ice, I feel like I’m in my 20s. “It’s like the Fountain of Youth playing there.”
In overtime action Monday afternoon, Manitoba’s Kyle Courts (2-0; Winnipeg) beat Nunavut’s Peter van Streen (0-3; Iqaluit) 12-1, while British Columbia’s Cameron De Jong (1-1; Victoria) won his first title. Beat Newfoundland and Labrador’s Keith Ryan (0-2; Labrador City) by a score of 10-2. Saskatchewan’s Sean Mitchem (1-1; Swift Current) also joined the win column, edging Prince Edward Island’s Tyler Smith (0-2; Crabud) 7-3.
Action continues at the 2023 Canadian Mixed Curling Championships Monday night at 6 p.m. (all times central).
Live coverage of the 2023 Canadian Mixed Curling Championships will be available on Curling Canada’s live streaming platform, curling canada+. All papers will be available to stream, with select draws for a commentary feature.
For event, team and raffle information, visit Event location.
Draws and live results are available on Curling Canada Results page.