The University of Alberta Golden Bears (4-3) dominated over the Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks (6-1) in the men’s semifinal match of the 2014 CIS/CCA University Curling Championships held in Regina at the Callie Curling Club, Saturday at 7 p.m. CST.
Laurier took three points with the hammer in the first end after Alberta skip Brendan Bottcher’s last rock draw turned out heavy. With Laurier sitting one on Alberta’s last rock of the second end, Bottcher hit and stuck around to take two, making the score 3-2 in Laurier’s favour.
A successful run-back double by Laurier’s second Spencer Nuttall and a double on Bottcher’s first rock, left Laurier skip Aaron Squires with a draw on his first rock. Squires ended up short, giving Alberta a chance to sneak behind the guards. Squires come out short again on his second draw leaving Alberta with a steal of two. The Golden Bears pulled ahead with a 4-3 lead.
In the fourth end, Bottcher was heavy on his last rock freeze attempt but still sat one as Squire was heavy and left Alberta with another steal.
The fifth end saw Laurier up against three Alberta stones on Squires last rock. Again, Squires threw heavy and the Golden Bears were able to steal to take a 7-3 lead over the Golden Hawks.
The sixth end saw the same fate for Laurier, as Squires’ draw against three Alberta stones went too far, leaving Laurier trailing with a score of 8-3. Alberta stole one more point in the seventh end leaving Laurier to play a clean eighth end and take one point, giving Alberta a 9-4 victory.
Golden Hawks’ lead, Fraser Reid, topped the game with an 89 shooting per centage, and Alberta out-shot Laurier 79 per cent to 68 per cent respectively.
The loss for Laurier gives them a bronze medal and third place finish in the 2014 CIS/CCA University Curling Championship. The Golden Bears’ win sends Alberta to the final against the University of Manitoba Bison (6-1) who received a berth to the final by finishing in first place after round robin play.
In the women’s semifinal, the Carleton University Ravens (5-2) defeated the Wilfird Laurier Golden Hawks (5-2).
Carleton led 2-1 after three ends. The fourth end saw some action, with the Ravens attempting to bury a rock in the four-foot, but that left Laurier third, Kerilynn Mathers, with a double. Golden Hawk’s skip Carly Howard hit and stuck around on her last shot to tie the game 2-2 going into the fifth.
After blanks in the fifth and sixth, Howard elected to draw behind on second Evangeline Fortier’s first rock, stealing one for a 3-2 lead.
Howard came up short on a freeze in the eighth end, which allowed Sinclair an opportunity to take three. Carleton was able to secure their lead 5-2 going into the ninth end.
After a timeout, Howard left a hit on her first rock for Sinclair. Howard’s second rock draw came up short giving Carleton a steal of one.
In the 10th, Carleton ran Laurier out of rocks, securing a 6-4 victory and a trip to the women’s 2014 CIS/CCA University Curling Championship final.
Sinclair shot 89 per cent, with the Ravens going 83 per cent over the Golden Hawks 75 per cent.
The Ravens will meet the University of Alberta Pandas (6-1) in the gold medal game. The loss gives Laurier a bronze medal in the championship, as they finish in third place with a 5-3 record.
The women’s final is scheduled for Sunday, 1:30 p.m. CST and the men’s will start at Sunday evening at 5 p.m. CST. Games will be streaming live on http://www.cis-sic.tv/.
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.