Settling for silver at home

Golden Bears take gold at nationals

Photo by Heather Davidson
Photo by Heather Davidson

For fourth-year vice Richard Krell and the Wilfrid Laurier University men’s curling team, capturing the Canadian Interuniversity Sport silver medal was the result of a four-year building project for the squad.

The members of the rink, fourth-year lead Fraser Reid, third-year second Spencer Nuttall and fourth-year skip Aaron Squires, lost a close match to the Alberta Golden Bears, 6-4 in 10 ends.

“It’s kind of like an accumulation of all the time and hard work and effort that we put into this. I think the synergy really built in between the four of us and we’re obviously really thrilled to be where we are,” Krell said after the gold medal game.

The rink built on their CIS bronze medal performance last year and dominated the university circuit this season, finishing with a staggering 21-4 record against CIS opponents.

“I feel pretty satisfied. I thought the boys really brought it all together during the week and they elevated their level of play significantly. It was the best I’ve seen them curl all year,” head coach Glenn Paulley said.

“They responded to the challenge with their best performances and the best performances that I can hope for.”

The game remained tight with both teams trading a single each and blanking ends up until the halfway point of the draw. In the sixth, Squires made an uncharacteristic mistake while going for the inside-out tap, where the rock flashed and allowed Alberta to score two.

The Golden Bears took another double after forcing Laurier to pick up a single to take a 5-2 lead after eight ends.

The Hawks picked up another double to bring them within a point and after lying two in the house Alberta’s skip, Thomas Scoffin, threw a tap for the win.

“We had a great setup that end,” Krell said. “I think my rock slipped a little too deep on the T-Line and Thomas [Scoffin] made a great tap, Aaron [Squires] made a great hit on top of that and Thomas had to make a really nice shot.”

The squad opened up the day with a commanding 9-2 victory over the Saint Mary’s Huskies. During the fourth end, the Golden Hawks sat five in the house without hammer, forcing Huskies skip Scott Babin to draw for one. Unfortunately for Babin, their rock went heavy and wide, giving Laurier an 8-1 lead coming into the fifth end and eventually the victory.

Reid, Krell and Squires were also named first team all-Canadians, while Nuttall earned second team all-Canadian honours.

Paulley praised the men for their performance during the tournament as well as their accomplishments throughout the season.

As for next year, all of the athletes have confirmed they are returning to the team.

“I’m pretty thrilled that the guys have all decided that they are going to return for another year of varsity play and going forward I can only expect that they are going to get better and they are going to improve and for next year I like our chances at both OUAs and CIS moving forward,” Paulley said.

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