Team Kaila Buchy is off to the Canadian Juniors in Langley this week, to represent the province of British Columbia in the Women’s Juniors.
The 2020 New Holland Canadian Juniors will begin Saturday and run through to Jan. 26 at the George Preston Recreation Centre and Langley Curling Club.
Buchy was scheduled to fly out Thursday morning from Cranbrook to Vancouver, but her flight was cancelled due to weather. She hoped to fly out in the evening.
She couldn’t get there fast enough, as she is more than excited to be at the Junior Nationals for the first time.
Her last two successful season were at the U18 level.
Although she may have competed against some of the girls from other provinces, Buchy expects the competition to be intense.
“I think all the competition will just be bigger and better at the Junior level. It’s the next step before Women’s. Everyone has a little more experience.”
Buchy doesn’t think there is any particular team that stands out as a favourite.
“Everybody there, deserves to be there. We will have to bring our A game every time.”
Team B.C. will open against the Yukon on Saturday morning, and she can’t wait to hit the ice.
“I cannot wait. I just want to get down there.”
The team has set goals for the week.
“Our goal is to make the championship round, then if we do that, make the playoffs,” she said.
The competition is played with two pools of six or seven teams. A round robin is played within the pool with the top three making the championship round.
Kaila’s team is a mix of girls from Kimberley/Kelowna/Vernon, with Kaila at skip, Third Jaelyn Cotter, Second Katelyn McGillivray, Lead Cassidy Schwaerzle and Fifth Samantha Mclaren.
“We’re super good friends. It’s awesome to play with them.”
The team is coached by Kaila’s dad, Tom, who has represented B.C., at the Canadian Mixed many times, and who also just won the Kootenay Zone for the B.C. Seniors.
There are some interesting storylines from the other provinces. Karlee Burgess has a chance to make history as the first female player ever to win three times at the New Holland Canadian Juniors, but she’ll be doing it for a new province this year.
Burgess, who won Canadian and World Junior gold playing second for Nova Scotia (in 2016 with Mary Fay, and two years later playing for Kaitlyn Jones), moved to Manitoba in the off-season and will be playing vice-skip for Manitoba’s Mackenzie Zacharias (Altona) in her final year of junior eligibility. Burgess was a bronze-medallist at the 2019 New Holland Canadian Juniors with Nova Scotia. Also moving to Manitoba was Lauren Lenentine, who played vice-skip for Nova Scotia last year, and was the alternate for Team Jones at the 2018 World Juniors.
Alberta, meanwhile, will go for back-to-back gold medals with two members of Selena Sturmay’s Edmonton team that prevailed last year in Prince Albert, Sask., remaining.
The Buchy team is excited about the provincials and would like to thank their sponsors, Nufloors Penticton and Vernon, Sun Co Drywall, Parnell’s Appliance and Electronic, Goldline, Frank Vanden Broek at Sunlife Financial, the Kimberley Curling Club, the Vernon Curling Club, Gamma Epsilon MasterKimberley Elks Club and Tourism Kimberley, for their assistance.
The team would also like to thank everyone who supported them through Go Fund Me, and all those who made personal donations to help with costs of the trip to Langley.