Canadian College Curling Championships kick off in Leduc

The 2018 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Curling Canada Championships kicked off in Leduc, Alberta on Saturday afternoon with 16 of the top men’s and women’s college and university teams from across Canada competing for a CCAA national title. Defending national CCAA champions from Fanshawe College (2017 men’s champion) and Red Deer College (2017 women’s champion) are looking to repeat as champions against a competitive field from the PacWest, ACAC, OCAA, and ACAA conferences.

Women’s Draw

Draw 1 on the women’s side featured the 2017 national champion Red Deer College Queens (0-1) against the Niagara College Knights (1-0). The Knights won the OCAA Championship in February and are looking for redemption after just missing out on the podium at last year’s national event. The Knights came out to an early lead and never looked back, downing the Queens 8-5. Knights third Courtney Smith was outstanding, curling at 86 per cent for the match.

The all-ACAC matchup between the MacEwan University Griffins (0-1) and the NAIT Ooks (1-0) went down to the last stone with the Ooks coming out on top, 6-5. The Holland College Hurricanes (1-0) found the win column after a 9-4 decision over the Fleming College Knights (0-1), while the Fanshawe College Falcons (1-0) ran away with a 9-3 win over the Camosun College Chargers (0-1).

Andrea Meittinen and Renee Boyce, Niagara College Knights (Railene Hooper/CCAA photo)

Draw 2 featured an exciting, high-scoring matchup between the Camosun College Chargers (0-2) and the Red Deer College Queens (1-1). The Chargers erased a deficit by scoring four in the 8th end to tie the game at 7-7 before the Queens pulled ahead on the home stretch to run the Chargers out of rocks on their way to an 11-7 win.

The Holland College Hurricanes (1-1) shook hands after eight ends with the MacEwan University Griffins (1-1), as the Griffins rolled to a 12-3 win. The Niagara College Knights (2-0) found their second win of the day after defeating the Fanshawe College Falcons (1-1) 6-2 in a rematch of the OCAA championship final. The NAIT Ooks (2-0) join Niagara College at the top of the standings, picking up an 8-5 win over the Fleming College Knights (0-2).

Men’s Draw

In Draw 1, the University of Alberta-Augustana Vikings (1-0) finally got the best of the ACAC Champion Concordia University of Edmonton Thunder (0-2) after a couple of mistakes late in the game sealed a 9-6 decision for the Vikings. Skip Andrew Klassen curled at 80 per cent for the Vikings en route to the win.

The Sault College Cougars (1-0) started off with a hard-fought 5-4 win over the Red Deer College Kings (0-1) in a tight back-and-forth affair. PacWest champion Douglas College Royals (1-0) set the tone early on their way to a 10-4 win over the Fanshawe College Falcons (0-1), while the NAIT Ooks (1-0) cruised to a 9-5 victory over the Niagara College Knights (0-1).

Teams started to figure out the arena ice a bit more in Draw 2, with the four competitive matches. The featured match (live-streamed on CBC online) between the Concordia University of Edmonton Thunder (1-1) and the Red Deer College Kings (0-2) needed the extra end with the Thunder pulling off the nail-biter to steal three in the 11th end to walk off the ice with an 8-5 win.

Douglas College Royals Nicholas Umbach and Brayden Carpenter sweep while Sterling Middleton calls line on skip Daniel Wenzek’s shot (Railene Hooper/CCAA photo)

The Douglas College Royals (2-0) stayed perfect in round-robin play with an 8-6 win over the Niagara College Knights (0-2) behind a strong performance by second Brayden Carpenter who curled 80 per cent for the game. The University of Alberta-Augustana Vikings (2-0) also remained undefeated after coming out on top of a tight 6-5 match versus the Sault College Cougars. The Fanshawe College Falcons (1-1) earned their first win of the championships with a close 8-6 win over the NAIT Ooks (1-1).

Standings after Day 1

Women’s Teams Record
Niagara College Knights 2-0
NAIT Ooks 2-0
MacEwan University Griffins 1-1
Red Deer College Queens 1-1
Fanshawe College Falcons 1-1
Holland College Hurricanes 1-1
Camosun College Chargers 0-2
Fleming College Knights 0-2

Men’s Teams Record
University of Alberta-Augustana Vikings 2-0
Douglas College Royals 2-0
Fanshawe College Falcons 1-1
Concordia University of Edmonton Thunder 1-1
Sault College Cougars 1-1
NAIT Ooks 1-1
Red Deer Kings 0-2
Niagara College Knights 0-2

Sheet G will be televised throughout the 2018 CCAA Curling Canada National Championships, and will be available for viewing online at www.cbc.ca/sports.