FREDERICTON — Jocelyn Peterman and Brett Gallant defeated Nancy Faye Martin and Tyrel Griffith 9-6 on Sunday afternoon to win the Canadian mixed doubles curling championship.
Peterman broke open a tight game with a double takeout in the sixth end to score five points for a lead her team wouldn't relinquish.
"I knew there was a lot on the line with that shot," she said. "I took my time, but we knew what to expect with the ice."
Martin and Griffith responded with three points in the seventh end to make it an 8-6 game. But Peterman drew to the button for a single in the eighth for the win.
"It was great to be in this game, but a bit disappointing not to have it go our way," Griffith said.
Martin said despite getting behind in the sixth, they never gave up.
"We hung in there and tried for four in the seventh. It was very close and (we) made her throw her last rock. It was a great week," she said.
Earlier in the day, Peterman and Gallant eliminated 2018 champions Laura Crocker and Kirk Muyres with a 6-5 semifinal victory.
Peterman and Gallant, who also won the mixed doubles title in 2016, will represent Canada at the April 20-27 world mixed doubles championship in Stavanger, Norway.
"I feel really good about our team going there," Gallant said. "It's going to be really difficult. Other countries are sending their top guns. It's going to be a challenge, but I love our team."
The two first got together as a team when Gallant sent Peterman a message via Facebook. Since then, they've become a couple.
They became a bit emotional when asked about the chance to represent Canada together.
"I'd like to have a good performance and see what happens," Peterman said.
Sunday's final drew a decent crowd of about 600 spectators at Willie O'Ree Place.
Jeff Stoughton, program manager for mixed doubles for Curling Canada, said the game has been growing in popularity.
"Obviously the Olympics gave us great exposure for mixed doubles," he said. "It's been around for quite a few years but I think now the public is aware of it and curling clubs across Canada are starting to make some doubles leagues."
"We expect great things from them when we go to Norway," Stoughton added.
Canada's John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes won Olympic gold at last year's Pyeongchang Games.