Hawks fall behind at U-Sports National Curling Championships
Wilfrid Laurier University began day three of the U-Sports National Curling Championships against the red hot Thompson Rivers WolfPack.
The WolfPack had a 3-1 record going into the game, coming off of three consecutive wins after losing their opener.
The game started off as a back-and-forth affair, as both teams exchanged one-point leads. However, things started going downhill for the Hawks in the sixth end; the WolfPack scored two huge points which extended their one-point lead to three.
After Laurier tacked on a point of their own in the seventh, the WolfPack once again responded with a two-point eighth end, effectively putting the Hawks away.
Laurier would end up losing the game by a final score of 8-5, falling to an overall record of 2-3 at the Championships.
Things wouldn’t get much easier for the Hawks, as they would have to face the hosting Alberta Pandas in a must-win game for their second match of the day.
The Pandas got off to a fast start, jumping out to a 7-2 lead after four ends. After the Hawks responded with a two-point fifth end, Alberta would continue to pile on the pressure, adding two more of their own in the sixth.
But the Hawks showed that they are OUA champions for a reason, eventually rallying back and tying the game at nine in the tenth end, which forced an extra eleventh end.
However, the odds were stacked against Laurier in the eleventh as the Pandas had the hammer (last-rock advantage) and ultimately, that proved to be the difference.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, their final shot from skip Kaitlin Jewer didn’t fall their way, ending Laurier’s National Championship playoff hopes.
“It’s a long game. So we knew that although we went down early, we could come back. We just had to put some pressure on and they gave us a lot of opportunities, so we knew that if we capitalized on them that we could make a comeback. So we just went out there and fought for it and unfortunately it didn’t go our way, but we made a pretty good comeback so I’m proud of the team,” Kaitlin Jewer said after the game.
The Hawks record now after three days at the Nationals is 2-4. With only one game remaining in the round-robin, it is mathematically impossible for the Hawks to make the playoffs as they need at least four wins to qualify.
Even though it has been a difficult tournament for the Hawks, it is important to realize that they have faced some of the best teams in the country and simply making it to the Nationals is a big accomplishment in itself.
“All these teams just have a lot more experience playing on arena ice than we do. We’ve been very unlucky all week. It seems like we’re on the wrong side of the inches all the time,” Jewer said.
“There were a few shots that just didn’t go our way and that really cost us. We should still be very proud of how we played.”