GUELPH – The Laurier Golden Hawks women’s curling team earned its second straight Ontario University Athletics Curling Championship title, and the Waterloo Warriors took men’s curling gold for the first time since 2004-05 after Monday’s (Feb. 20) action at the Guelph Curling Club.
The Laurier squad, consisting of skip Laura Crocker (Scarborough), vice Sarah Wilkes (Scarborough), second Jenny Gates (Sudbury), lead Pamela Feldkamp (Burlington), and alternates Cheryl Kreviazuk (Ottawa) and Kerrilyn Mathers (Kitchener), avenged an early round loss to the Western Mustangs. Crocker and company downed Western, 8-4, in the final.
In the contest, Western, led by skip Caitlin Romain (Iroquois Falls), were able to steal one from the veteran Laurier team in the first end. The Golden Hawks responded immediately as Crocker made a draw for three in the second to take a lead. Western responded by putting up two in the third, before stealing one in the fourth to take 4-3 lead into the fourth end break.
Coming out of the break, Laurier evened the score with a single in the fifth end before stealing two each in the sixth and seventh to take home the victory.
Laurier advanced to the final after narrowly knocking off eventual bronze-medalists Guelph, 4-3. Western earned its spot in the final by slipping past the Brock Badgers, 5-4.
On the men’s side, thanks to an early morning tie breaker, the Waterloo Warriors won three games on the tournament’s final day to take home the seventh OUA Curling Championship banner in school history.
In the finals, Waterloo skip Jake Walker (Minden), guided his troops past the Carleton Ravens by a score of 3-2. The contest was tight throughout and scoring was scarce. Waterloo was forced to take a single point in the first end, but stole a single in the third to jump out to a 2-0 lead.
Over the next two ends, each team was forced into single points. Facing three Waterloo stones in the seventh end, Carleton skip Chris Lewis (Ottawa) drew to the single point to leave Waterloo with a 3-2 lead with the hammer in the final end. Despite Carleton’s best efforts, the Warriors applied pressure, didn’t allow the steal, and took home the gold medal.
The Warriors, skipped by Walker with vice Ed Cyr (Minden), second Geoff Chambers (Innerkip), lead James Freeman (Brantford) and alternate Nathan Ransom (Sioux Lookout), had a rocky path to the gold. Thanks to a four-way tie in pool play, the team had to beat Laurentian in a tie break to earn their semifinal spot. In the semi, it took an extra end for the Warriors to knock off the Toronto Varsity Blues.
Carleton earned its spot in the finals by knocking off Western, 5-2, in the other semifinal.
The Varsity Blues, lead by skip Evan Lilly (Sudbury) took the men’s bronze by beating Western 6-5.
The Waterloo and Carleton men, and the Laurier and Western women will now join host Brock Badgers men and women’s teams as OUA representatives at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport/Canadian Curling Association Championships. The championships will be held March 14-18 at the Welland Curling Club
Brock’s vice skip Jessica Corrado and second Lauren Wasylkiw made the women’s first all-star team and McMaster’s Robyn Murphy was named lead on the second all-star rink.
Brock’s skip Scott Brandon made the men’s second all-star team.
The women’s coach of the year honour went to Brock’s Murray Etherington.