OUA silver sweep

Curling teams second in Ontario

The men’s and women’s curling teams added two more OUA medals to Queen’s 2006 collection on Feb. 26, as they brought home a pair of silvers from the provincial championships in St. Catharines.

The strong finish was expected for both the men’s and women’s teams, who have been serious contenders for the provincial title for the past few seasons. The men won the OUA championships in 2004, and brought home the silver last season. The women last played in the championship game in 2004.

Head coach Scott Davie said he was optimistic about the Gaels’ chances going into the OUA championships, as both teams were entering the final weekend ranked first after round-robin season play.

“Both teams were capable of winning, however they both faced pretty even competition,” he said. “So really any team could have won.”

On Friday the men downed Windsor 7-3, while the women prevailed over Laurier 10-5. On Saturday the men slipped past Brock 7-6, but fell to Laurier 6-3. Meanwhile, the women struggled on Saturday, losing 9-6 to Waterloo and 10-5 to Brock.

“They had a pretty bad, but good enough day and managed to qualify to play in the semifinals on Sunday,” Davie said.

In Sunday’s semifinals, Davie said, both teams played much better than they had on Saturday.

The women faced off against Laurier and moved on to the gold-medal game with an 8-5 victory. The men were matched up against Brock and squeaked by them by a score of 8-6.

In their third OUA gold-medal match in as many years, the men’s team battled a strong Laurier team for the title. After a well-played game, the Gaels fell just short and lost to the Golden Hawks 7-4.

Skip Jonathan Beuk said that although the team was satisfied with their performance throughout the season, not winning the gold medal was a tough pill to swallow.

“We tried to bring our best game but didn’t quite make it,” he said. “We won the loser’s medal—we were happy to get the medal, but it’s sort of bittersweet.”

Despite being disappointed by not winning the OUA championships, Beuk added that the team had given everything they had in the effort.

“There was a lot of heart, we gave 110 per cent,” he said. “[Andrew] Ball and [Andrew Mannik were huge sweepers, and [Jeff] Grant was pretty on fire for most of the year, while [Greg] Day was pretty good when we needed him.” In their gold-medal game, the women fared a little better then the men had.

“The women played Brock in a close game, and were ahead halfway through,” Davie said. “Brock made a few critical shots and made it difficult for us to pull away.”

The Gaels and the Badgers were tied at the end of regulation play, and had to play an extra end to decide the winner.

“We had a chance to win, but went a little heavy on the last shot,” Davie said.

The Gaels lost the match 9-7, and took the silver.

After falling just short in their quest for OUA gold, both the men’s and women’s teams are now looking to next season, in which curling will be a part of CIS competition for the first time.

“We are starting to think about next year,” Davie said. “We have some significant players returning and we will have two very strong teams.”

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Dan Robson’s work always scores right on the button, eh.

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