Josh Bahr of Bemidji and his curling teammates will begin their quest for the World Junior Championship today in Perth, Scotland.
The Aaron Wald rink, which includes Bahr, Wald of Cloquet, Jared Zezel of Hibbing and John Muller of Hibbing, captured the USA championship a month ago and today the group will face Czechoslovakia in the morning round and Norway in the evening session.
The event features 10 boys teams and the round-robin will end Thursday. Any tiebreakers will be Thursday and Friday and the top four teams will begin the playoffs late Friday.
The playoff semifinals will be March 12 and the bronze and gold medal games are scheduled for March 13.
"I'm really excited to play in the World Championship," Bahr said earlier this week.
Bahr is making his second appearance at the World Junior Championships. In 2007 he was the alternate on the Chris Plys rink which tied for fourth but finished fifth and out of the playoffs after losing the tie-breaking match.
That competition was held in Eveleth.
"I've never been across the Pond (the Atlantic Ocean) so going to Scotland is very exciting for me," Bahr said. "I'm looking forward to seeing Scotland's castles, especially the one in Edinburgh."
Sunday's schedule sees USA facing Sweden and on Monday the rink will battle Canada and Switzerland.
Tuesday's opponent will be Scotland while Denmark and Finland will face Bahr and his teammates on Wednesday.
The round-robin will conclude Thursday when USA will battle China.
"Canada has to be one of the favorites and Switzerland is the defending champion and returns the same team," Bahr said.
"Our goal will be to get into the 1-vs.-2 playoff and, hopefully the gold-medal game," Bahr continued. "We're ready to go and we'll just see what happens."
World Junior Championships
Today's morning draw: USA vs. Czechoslovakia; Today's evening draw: USA vs. Norway
Sunday's afternoon draw: USA vs. Switzerland
Monday's morning draw: USA vs. Canada; Monday's evening draw: USA vs. Switzerland
Tuesday's afternoon draw: USA vs. Scotland
Wednesday's morning draw: USA vs. Denmark; Wednesday's evening draw: USA vs. Finland
Thursday's afternoon draw: USA vs. China
Note: Tie-breakers, if needed, will be Thursday evening and Friday. Playoffs will be Friday night and Saturday. Gold and bronze medal games will be Sunday