THUNDER BAY, Ont. (U SPORTS) – The Memorial Sea-Hawks (men) and the Laurentian Voyageurs (women) captured the 2017 U SPORTS/Curling Canada Curling Championships on Wednesday at the Fort William Curling Club in Thunder Bay.
Championship website (complete results): http://en.usports.ca/championships/curling/index
Laurentian skip and 2017 world junior bronze medalist Krysta Burns defeated Hailey Beaudry and the host Lakehead Thunderwolves 7-4 in the gold medal match, while Memorial’s Adam Boland claimed the national banner with 8-4 win over Thomas Scoffin and the Alberta Golden Bears. The victories capped a perfect 9-0 record for the Sea-Hawks, who easily beat UPEI’s Chris Gallant 9-2 in the semifinal Wednesday morning. Burns advanced following an 8-3 win over Dalhousie’s Kristin Clarke.
Alberta’s Kristen Streifel claimed the women’s bronze over Clarke, while Gallant finished third on the men’s side after defeating Regina’s Samuel Wills.
In the women’s semifinals, host Lakehead came out on top with a key 7-5 win against previously undefeated Alberta.
With the hammer, Streifel captured the first point of the day taking a single in the first end. Lakehead responded with a single of their own and stole two more in the third end, setting the Pandas on their heels. Streifel quickly tied the game at three but gave up a go-ahead pair in the fifth. From there, both teams traded points for the rest of the match. While Streifel was impressive with some clutch shots that kept the Pandas in the game, the Thunderwolves ran the Pandas out of rocks and took the 7-5 victory to advance to the final.
“Going into this game, we felt like we wanted to get back the win we should have had last night,” said Beaudry after the victory. “We played really well last night and the ice wasn’t on our side in the last few ends and we missed out on that. So we went out today and we really wanted that win.”
In the other women’s semi, the Voyageurs held a 5-1 lead after the sixth end, and carried the momentum to the five-point win to clinch a spot in the gold medal match.
On the men’s side, undefeated Memorial narrowly edged Regina 8-7 in the other semifinal. Wills held a slim 7-6 lead heading into 10th, but Boland rallied to score two in the final end after Wills came up short on a freeze attempt.
As the gold medal matches began, Boland’s Sea-Hawks foursome of Stephen Trickett, Zach Young and Evan Kearly, with coach Gary Ryan appeared inspired by hometown hero Newfoundland and Labrador skip Brad Gushue and his victory in the Tim Hortons Brier 10 days ago.
The turning point in the match came in the sixth end when Boland, behind 2-1, scored three to lead to take a two-point lead. After forcing Alberta to a single in the seventh, the St. John’s-based team cracked a four-ender, effectively sealing the win. Scoffin scored a single in the ninth before conceding the match.
The national title was the second for Memorial, after Colin Thomas captured the 2011 title as the host team.
In the bronze medal match, Gallant’s UPEI rink of Kyle Holland, Brooks Roche, Alex MacFadyen and coach Larry Rathje scored the go-ahead deuce in the eighth, and followed up with a force in the ninth to secure the 7-6 win.
On the women’s side, Burns and her Voyageurs teammates Megan Smith, Sara Guy, Laura Masters and coach Ryan Lafraniere earned the first U SPORTS Curling Championship in school history and first national title in any sport since the women’s basketball program won gold in 1991.
The decisive match was tied at two after five when, with hammer, Burns scored three points in the sixth to take control of the game. Beaudry responded with a deuce in seventh to tighten the score at 5-4, before Burns put the game away in the ninth, drawing for two and running Lakehead out of stones.
DAY 5 SCORES
Semifinal 1: Memorial 8, Regina 7
Semifinal 2: Alberta 9, UPEI 2
Bronze: UPEI 7, Regina 6
Gold: Memorial 8, Alberta 4
Semifinal 1: Lakehead 7, Alberta 5
Semifinal 2: Laurentian 8, Dalhousie 3
Bronze: Alberta 9, Dalhousie 2
Final: Laurentian 7, Lakehead 4
1st Team All Canadians – Men
Lead: Caleb Boorse, Alberta
Second: Zach Young, Memorial
Third: Stephen Trickett, Memorial
Skip: Wes Forget, Queen’s
1st Team All Canadians – Women
Lead: Jesse Iles, Alberta
Second: Kate Goodhelpsen, Alberta
Third: Danielle Schmiemann, Alberta
Skip: Kristen Streifel, Alberta
2nd Team All Canadians – Men
Lead: Evan Kearley, Memorial
Second: Michael Brophy, Dalhousie
Third: Matthew Manuel, Dalhousie
Skip: Adam Boland, Memorial
2nd Team All Canadians – Women
Lead: Lauren Chase, Dalhousie
Second: Hayley Unrau, Regina
Third: Nicole Titkai, Ryerson
Skip: Kristin Clarke, Dalhousie
R.W. Pugh Sportsmanship Awards
Men's: Alex Cormier, Queen’s
Women's: Emma Logan, StFX
Coach of the Year
Men’s: John Newhook, Dalhousie
Women’s: Garry Coderre, Alberta