Laurier curlers come up short in OUA final

Last weekend, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s curling team fell just short of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) gold medal, losing in the provincial championship to the Waterloo Warriors.

This was the second year in a row that the Hawks only managed to come away with the OUA silver medal; however, making the OUA finals meant that the team automatically qualified for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championship.

“Obviously it was disappointing, coming so close, but overall, we’re happy with the way we performed,” said head coach Gary Crossely, who is in his first season at Laurier. “The championship was a really tight game that could’ve gone either way and in the end we came up short, but we’re excited to get a chance to play at nationals.”

The gold medal match came down to an extra end as the teams battled to a 5-5 tie at the end of regulation. On the final shot of the match, Laurier skip Danielle Inglis left the rock just a bit too short, leaving the Warriors closer to the button and giving them the win.

“I thought we controlled the entire game,” said fourth-year Laura Hickey, the team’s second. “I still think we’re a stronger team than [Waterloo] and in the end it came down to a couple missed shots. But now we’re just really excited about getting to go back to nationals. We’ve had a lot success there in the past couple years, and we know what it takes to win.”

The Hawks do indeed know what it takes to win at the CIS championship, as this year they will be going for their third consecutive national title. According to Hickey, one of the keys will be gaining positive energy early, as well as “controlling the controllables.”

“It’s all about getting momentum,” said Hickey of succeeding at the national championship. “Obviously we all know we have to come out and play well, but getting that first win under your belt really helps to propel you forward and get everything going.”

The Hawks will head to Edmonton March 10 to take on the nation’s best curlers, and Crossely is confident in his team’s chances.

“Overall, I think we’ve had a really good season, and I know we have what it takes to compete [at nationals],” he said. “I’m really looking forward to what should be a great experience in Edmonton.”