Underway in Sudbury!
Day 1 Updates from the CCAA and U SPORTS Curling Championships
The 2023 CCAA Curling Canada Championships began Wednesday evening at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex in Sudbury, ON. Day One was highlighted by a spirited Opening Ceremonies, which also included student-athletes and teams from USPORTS and served as an intermission between the women’s and men’s first draws.
The women’s competition began with four competitive contests, with every sheet featuring at least one lead change. Two of the matchups were particularly exciting as the Fanshawe Falcons held off the Sault Cougars and the Red Deer Queens stormed back to topple the Humber Hawks.
Trading points across every end, the Falcons and Cougars were tied at the halfway point and again after seven. Fanshawe earned a single in the eighth and stole another in the ninth to earn a slight lead. Sault continued to battle but could only muster a single point in the final frame, sealing the 8-7 victory for the Falcons.
Red Deer held an early lead in their contest with the OCAA Champions, but the middle portion of this contest belonged to Humber. Down 5-2 after seven ends, the Queens earned a pair in the eighth then stole another two in the ninth and a single in the 10th to claim a 7-5 victory over the Hawks.
In the other matchups the Niagara Knights used some high scoring ends to hold off the SAIT Trojans 8-6 while the Concordia Thunder shook off an early deficit to the Augustana Vikings on route to a 6-2 win.
The Mohawk Mountaineers began the men’s side of the championship with a statement opening end worth seven points. Their opponents, the Fleming Knights battled on valiantly, winning a few subsequent ends, but the deficit proved too tough to overcome. Mohawk claimed the match 11-4.
The other three matchups were more methodical and closely contested, at least through the first half of each. Humber stole three in the opening end of their game against SAIT, but the Trojans battled back, and things were knotted up 5-5 after eight. Humber then posted a crucial three points in the ninth and took the match 8-5.
The Sault Cougars and Augustana Vikings traded points and blank ends with neither taking firm control of the match through six. The tide turned when Sault scored two in the seventh and stole another two in the eighth. Augustana got one back, but the deficit proved too much, and the Cougars held on for a 6-4 victory.
Edmonton rivals the NAIT Ooks and Concordia Thunder, who know each other very well, were tied at two after five. However, the Ooks then went on a run scoring three in the sixth, two in the eighth and another in the ninth to clinch the win 8-4.
Standings After Day One
|Women’s Teams||Record||Men’s Teams||Record|
|Red Deer Queens 1-0||1-0||Mohawk Mountaineers||1-0|
|Niagara Knights 1-0||1-0||Sault Cougars||1-0|
|Concordia Thunder 1-0||1-0||Humber Hawks||1-0|
|Fanshawe Falcons 1-0||1-0||NAIT Ooks||1-0|
|SAIT Trojans 0-1||0-1||Concordia Thunder||0-1|
|Humber Hawks 0-1||0-1||SAIT Trojans||0-1|
|Sault Cougars 0-1||0-1||Fleming Knights||0-1|
|Augustana Vikings 0-1||0-1||Augustana Vikings||0-1|
Day 1 of the U SPORTS Curling Championships kicked off in Sudbury on Wednesday night and the sixteen teams competing gave notice that the next four days are going to be some fantastic competition.
On the women’s side, it was the UPEI Panthers, Dalhousie Tigers, Alberta Pandas, and the hometown Laurentian Voyageurs all moving to 1-0 while on the men’s side, the Laurier Golden Hawks, Dalhousie Tigers, Alberta Golden Bears and Queen’s Gaels all found the win column.
The UPEI women found themselves in a defensive battle with the TMU Bold, sitting tied at 1 after the fourth end before the Panthers exploded for 4 in the fifth end to take a 5-1 lead into the break. The break served the Bold well, however, as they came out with a renewed focus, scoring one in both the sixth and seventh ends before stealing 3 in the eighth to grab a 6-5 lead. The Panthers responded with a single in the ninth and proceeded to steal the win with a single in the 10th.
The Dalhousie Tigers found themselves down early after the McMaster Marauders opened with a deuce before stealing one in the second. The Tigers responded with a roar, however, answering with a deuce before forcing the Marauders to a single and scoring a 3 in the fifth to head into the break up 5-4. After the Tigers stole one in the sixth, it was another steal of 2 in the final end that closed the book on a 9-5 win for the AUS champs.
In a battle of Canada West foes, it was the Alberta Pandas avenging their loss to the Victoria Vikes just three weeks ago, downing the Vikes 8-6. After forcing the Vikes to a single, the Pandas responded with 3 of their own to grab the lead. After the teams swapped singles, and blanked the next two ends, the Vikes scored a three of their own in the seventh to take a 5-4 lead. The Pandas bounced back with a pair in both the eighth and tenth ends to earn the 8-4 win.
The Laurentian Voyageurs opened their game against the Memorial Sea-Hawks with a pair before Memorial responded with 3. After trading singles, the Voyageurs converted for 3 in the fifth to head into the break with a 6-4 lead. Voyageur steals in each of the seventh, eighth, and ninth ends closed the book on a 9-4 win.
While the women’s draw only saw one game end before the tenth end, only a single men’s game actually made it the distance. In Laurier’s battle against Saint Mary’s, it was a closely contested game, with a Huskies steal countering a Golden Hawks deuce had the teams tied at 3 headed to the fifth end break. Laurier amped up the pressure in the second half and, after steals of 2 in both the seventh and eighth ends, it was a 7-3 for the OUA champions.
In an all AUS battle, the Dalhousie Tigers used a very strong second half to down the UNB Reds. In a very conservative start, each team scored a single and a deuce to head into the break tied at 3. Coming out of the break, it was all Tigers as they managed to score 2 in the sixth before stealing 3 in the seventh and a single in the eighth, leading to handshakes and a 9-3 win.
For the hometown Voyageurs, it was a case of too little, too late in their game against Alberta. After Alberta opened with a pair, Laurentian managed to blank the next two ends before the Golden Bears stole a single in the fourth. The Voyageurs finally got on the board with a single in the fifth but Alberta countered with a deuce in the sixth and again in the eighth. After sparking a glimmer of hope by putting 3 on the board in the ninth, the Voyageurs were run out of stone in the final end and Alberta walked off the ice with a 7-5 win.
In the lone game that went the distance, the Queen’s Gaels and Calgary Dinos began with some fireworks. After forcing the Dinos to a single, the Gaels put up a big 4-spot in the second in an end that saw almost every rock in play. A similar theme followed in the third when Calgary came back with 3 of their own, at which point the teams amped up the pressure, forcing each other to singles the rest of the way. A Gaels steal in the eighth would wind up being the difference as they brought day one to a close with an 8-6 win.
All 16 teams will hit the ice twice tomorrow, with the women kicking things off with draw three at 8:30am and again in draw five at 4:30pm while the men begin their day at 12:30pm and will provide the nightcap in draw six beginning at 8:30pm.