Four-way tie atop mens standings at junior curling championship

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SALMON ARM, B.C. - A bad day for Northern Ontario has resulted in a four-way tie for first place in men's competition at the Canadian junior curling championships.
The previously unbeaten rink from Thunder Bay lost twice Wednesday, falling into a tie at 6-2 with Alberta, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
In Wednesday's afternoon draw, Northern Ontario fell 9-6 to struggling Nova Scotia. The worst was still to come, as Dylan Johnston's rink was hammered 10-5 by Alberta's Kevin Yablonski in a game in which Alberta was up 8-1 at the fifth end break after stealing four in the third.
"They were 6-0 coming into today," said Calgary's Yablonski, about his Northern Ontario foe. "Then they dropped one. We knew that if we took a few points and got the upper hand, that we were just going to go from there. We just knew that if we had our A game out, we'd be all right.
"On the steal, we had a little discussion on the shot - either draw one in and sit two or try an easy two-foot runback and sit four in the 12-foot, and if the skip is a little nervous about it, he might put it through like he did."
Alberta has been on a bit of a roller coaster itself, winning its first three, then dropping two and now back on a three game win streak.
"We've got three wins after those two losses so we are back on track," said Yablonski.
P.E.I., skipped by Charlottetown's Brett Gallant, kept pace with a 9-3 victory over Ontario, while New Brunswick, led by Steve Burgess of Fredericton, rebounded from its afternoon loss to Gallant by beating Quebec 7-3.
In other games, Manitoba improved to 4-4, tied with Saskatchewan and idle Newfoundland, after a 10-3 pasting of Yukon. Saskatchewan fell into the tie after being upset 4-3 by the Northwest Territories.
On the women's side, Ontario's Rachel Homan of Ottawa improved to 7-1 with a tight 6-5 victory over P.E.I..
Right behind at 6-2 is Alberta, which defeated Northern Ontario 7-4.
In an upset, Manitoba's Kaitlyn Lawes of Winnipeg, the defending Canadian champion, dropped an 8-6 decision to Sarah Koltun's Yukon rink, giving up steals in the ninth and 10th ends.
The loss dropped Manitoba to 5-3, alone in third place, while Yukon improved to 3-5.
In another surprise, Northwest Territories, skipped by local substitute Jennifer Gerow, won its second game and is now 2-6 after beating Saskatchewan 6-3. Saskatchewan is now one of six teams knotted at 4-4.
The other game saw New Brunswick get back on the winning track after a three-game slide, defeating Quebec 6-4. Both teams are 4-4.
The winners will represent Canada at the world juniors, March 5-15 at the Olympic Centre in Vancouver.
Canada has won a leading 16 world junior men's titles since 1975 and eight women's crowns since 1988.

Organizations: Olympic Centre

Geographic location: Alberta, Northern Ontario, New Brunswick Prince Edward Island SALMON ARM Manitoba Saskatchewan Thunder Bay Yukon Nova Scotia Ontario Northwest Territories Charlottetown Fredericton Canada Newfoundland Ottawa Winnipeg Vancouver

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