As day four of the U SPORTS/Curling Canada Championships got underway, all 16 teams had one thing on their mind; book a spot in the semi-finals. When it was all said and done, four men’s teams and four women’s teams assured themselves of a chance at a medal while the remaining eight teams had their Championship come to an end.
The men kicked things off with the morning draw and the two front-runners secured their tickets to Sunday with a pair of victories. The Laurier Golden Hawks never scored less than two and used a three-ender in the fifth and massive steal of four in the eighth to down the Calgary Dinos 11-8. In contrasting fashion, the Dalhousie Tigers only had one multiple-point end but used a big steal in the ninth to defeat the Laurentian Voyageurs 5-3. The Queen’s Gaels had a flair for the dramatic as, after being down 7-3 through six ends, the Gaels rhymed off scores of 2, 3, 1, and 1 in the final four ends to keep their playoff hopes alive with a 10-7 win over the Saint Mary’s Huskies. The Alberta Golden Bears also kept their playoff dreams alive and well as they kept the UNB Reds off the board until the fifth end and cruised to a 7-3 win.
In the afternoon draw, two games had direct playoff implications. The winner of the Alberta-Queen’s matchup, both at 3-3, would punch their ticket to Sunday while Laurentian would join them with a win while a Voyageurs loss would set up a tie between three or four teams for the final spot. In the Alberta-Queen’s matchup, the Gaels put a stranglehold on the game, scoring seven points over the first four ends, and cruised to a 10-3 win. In the Laurentian-Calgary battle, the Dinos opened up with three before the Voyageurs bounced back with two of their own. After their opening flurry, the scoring ground to a halt with three total points being scored over the next seven ends to leave the teams knotted at four heading to the final end. With the Voyageurs sitting two, the Dinos needed a piece of the button with the game’s final shot. Unfortunately, for Calgary, the draw came up well short and the Voyageurs made sure there would be no tiebreaker, winning 6-4.
In the other two games of the draw, Laurier scored five points in the ninth end to earn a 9-6 victory over Dalhousie and clinched the top seed, forcing the Tigers to settle for the second seed. UNB opened with six unanswered points to cruise to an 11-7 win over Saint Mary’s in what would end up being both team’s final game of the Championship.
On the women’s side, the hometown Laurentian Voyageurs avenged their loss in the OUA Championship game and defeated the McMaster Marauders 4-3 on the strength of steals in both the seventh and eighth ends, clinching a semi-final spot in the process. The Memorial Sea-Hawks stole a total of seven points to down the Dalhousie Tigers 9-2 while the Alberta Pandas used back-to-back steals of three to vanquish the UPEI Panthers 10-4 in eight ends. In the final game on the ice, the TMU Bold used a big three-ender in the ninth to help force an extra end, however, it was Victoria stealing a single in the extra frame for the 7-6 win to keep their title quest alive.
In the evening draw, three of the four playoff spots were on the line and all seven remaining teams had a path to get there. Laurentian, the one team already assured of a spot in the playoffs, blanked the first the ends against Victoria before converting a deuce and promptly stealing four before the break, cruising to a 7-2 win and ending the Vikes quest to play on Sunday. Right next door, Dalhousie converted for multiple points in every odd end while forcing UPEI to singles in the even ends, on their way to an 11-4 win and, at a minimum, in the tiebreaker discussion. Needing a win to ensure their name was mentioned that discussion, Alberta stole a total of seven points and cruised to a 10-3 victory over Memorial, leaving both teams at 4-3. In the final game on the ice, TMU needed a win to join the group at 4-3. McMaster had other plans, however, and, on the strength of two steals, the Marauders finished their Championship with an 8-5 win over the Bold.
With the round robin in the books, all focus now turns to the four semi-final games at 9:30am tomorrow morning before the medal games at 2:30pm tomorrow. On the women’s side, Laurentian battles Dalhousie while Memorial matches up against Alberta. On the men’s side, Laurier battles Queen’s while Dalhousie and Laurentian go toe-to-toe.
- Laurentian Voyageurs, 6-1
- Memorial Sea-Hawks, 4-3
- Alberta Pandas, 4-3
- Dalhousie Tigers, 4-3
- Toronto Metropolitan University Bold, 3-4
- McMaster Marauders, 3-4
- Prince Edward Island Panthers, 2-5
- Victoria Vikes, 2-5
- Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, 6-1
- Dalhousie Tigers, 5-2
- Laurentian Voyageurs, 4-3
- Queen's Golden Gaels, 4-3
- Alberta Golden Bears, 3-4
- New Brunswick Reds, 3-4
- Calgary Dinos, 2-5
- Saint Mary's Huskies,1-6