University championships underway in Regina
- Updated: March 20, 2014
The first day of action at the 2014 CIS/CCA University Curling Championships was completed Wednesday at the Callie Curling Club in Regina, Saskatchewan. Eight men’s and women’s teams from across Canada are competing for the national title.
On the men’s side 2011 CIS champions and 2011 Canadian Junior champions, Memorial University of Newfoundland Sea Hawks won 11-6 over host team University of Regina Cougars in nine ends. Memorial had a strong lead throughout most of the game, with a three point end in the first and a four point end in the seventh making it 8-4. They continued their lead, causing Regina to shake hands after nine ends.
The 2013 Canadian Junior champion skip, Matt Dunstone, and his University of Manitoba Bisons squad were able to come out ahead 8-6 against the Saint Mary’s University Huskies. The Bisons crawled ahead going into the fifth end, but the Huskies were able to tie it up with a three point end in the eighth. The Bisons were able to secure the win with a steal in the 10th.
University of Alberta Golden Bears took on the Brock University Badgers. The Golden Bears dominated with a 12-3 win. They remained strong through the entire game, scoring five points in the fifth and four points in the seventh. The Badgers weren’t able to find a break, and shook hands after the eighth end. The Golden Bears skip, Brendan Bottcher, and second, Brad Thiessen, are looking this weekend to win their second CIS title after their 2012 gold medal.
The final first draw for the men saw a repeat of the 2014 OUA championship finals, with gold medallists University of Toronto Varsity Blues taking on silver medallists Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks. At the fifth end break, Toronto was ahead 4-2, but the sixth end saw Laurier gain three points and again in the eighth. However, the Varsity Blues fell short in the 10th end after only stealing one to make it an 8-7 loss.
The women’s side saw close games for most teams. Host team University of Regina took on 2014 CIS Atlantic champions University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds. In a back-and-forth game, the teams were tied 5-5 after the ninth end. With the hammer, UNB was able to secure a point and the match making it a 6-5 final score.
The 2014 Junior and World Champions University of Alberta Golden Bears went up against the 2014 AUS champions University of PEI Panthers in their first draw. The Golden Bears were able to steal two in the first end and remained strong up to the seventh where the Panthers tried for a comeback. A blank in the ninth led to handshakes by PEI for an 8-4 win for Alberta.
The women saw another close game between 2014 Canada West champions and 2013 Canadian Junior champions Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack and 2014 OUA bronze medalists University of Toronto Varsity Blue. With back and forth ends, Thompson was able to take a 6-4 lead in the ninth. Toronto wasn’t able to come from behind, only scoring one in then 10th, made it a 6-5 final for the Wolfpack.
Carleton University Ravens took on the 2014 OUA champions Wilfred Laurier University Golden Hawks. The Ravens led for most of the game, but with a 5-2 lead in the eighth they gave up two points to the Hawks, who then stole two in the 10th for the 6-5 win 6-5.
The late draw at 8 p.m. CST saw Saint Mary Huskies (0-1) men take on Brock University Badgers (0-1). The Huskies took the lead in the early ends, but the Badgers managed to take the lead in the eighth end, 5-4. Saint Mary’s came back with a three point end in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough as Brock took their two in the 10th to make it a 7-6 final.
Regina Cougars (0-1) went up against Toronto Varsity Blues (0-1), with the Blues coming out on top 7-6. Regina had an early lead scoring four points in the first two ends, and keeping a 5-3 lead after the seventh. However, Toronto was able to come back, scoring two in the eighth and stealing one in both the ninth and 10th ends.
In the first game of championship to go into an extra end, Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks (1-0) took on the Memorial Seahawks (1-0). In a back and forth battle throughout most of the game, the Seahawks missed a run back in the last shot of the 10th end, allowing the Golden Hawks a steal of one to make it an 8-8 game. Memorial’s last shot of the 11th was a heavy draw that gave Laurier their second win of the day.
Alberta Golden Bears (1-0) were matched up with the Manitoba Bisons (1-0) in the final men’s draw of the day. Alberta, who dominated in their first game, swapped ends with Manitoba but held their lead to secure them their second win, 6-4.
PEI Panther’s (0-1) took on the Toronto Varsity Blues (0-1) on the women’s side. The teams were tied 5-5 after the sixth, but Toronto was able to pull ahead to take the game 9-6.
Regina Cougars (0-1) battled against the Laurier Golden Hawks (1-0). With Regina up 4-3 after seven ends, Laurier took the lead scoring five points in two ends. The Cougars shook hands after they fell 8-4 in the ninth end.
Carleton Ravens (0-1) dominated over the New Brunswick Varsity Reds (1-0) taking a 7-1 lead after the first three ends. The Varsity Reds tried for a comeback with the Ravens still in the lead 9-6 after the eighth end. Carleton scored four points in the ninth making it a 13-6 final.
A close battle between Thompson River Wolfpack (1-0) and Alberta Golden Bears (1-0) saw Alberta come out on top 6-5. Tied 5-5 going into the ninth, Thompson River’s last shot was a missed double giving Alberta a steal of one and the game.
Both the men’s and women’s Alberta Golden Bears will be taking on the Laurier Golden Hawks Thursday at 10 a.m. CST. The four teams are the only teams sitting at a 2-0 record.
The winning teams will be invited by the Canadian Curling Association to represent Canada at the FISU 2015 Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain, Feb. 4-14.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Curling National Championships are taking place at Soo Curlers Association in Sault. Ste. Marie, Ont., from Wednesday through Saturday. Eight women’s and eight men’s teams are competing in the event hosted by Sault College. For further information, visit www.ccaa.ca/national-championship-s15111.