The Laurier curling teams are ready to hit the ground running and start off the new year right where they left of last season.
2016 was a remarkable year for the men’s curling squad, as they were able to capture the CIS gold medal after defeating the the Alberta Golden Bears 7-4.
The Laurier men had an historic season as they dominated the country finishing an impressive 20-2 overall, averaging 7.6 points per game.
The team also had some incredible individual performances as Aaron Squires was named a CIS first Team All-Canadian for the third time in his career and Richard Krell and Spencer Nuttall were named second team all stars.
In what was an incredible journey for the team — they won bronze and silver in the previous years. Now the many new faces on the team are embarking on a new journey under newly hired head coach Matt Wilkinson who is replacing former coach, Glenn Paulley.
The team will only sport a few familiar faces this season, as many of last season’s key players have since moved on from the program.
The women’s team also had an impressive 2016 season, as they captured OUA gold and advanced to the CIS finals.
Although both men’s and women’s teams will be saying goodbye to several key players and welcoming new faces to the teams, Wilkinson isn’t concerned that it will hurt the men’s team’s performance.
“It will be a little bit of an adjustment, but with the resume that a lot of these guys have and the skill level that they have, it shouldn’t be a big issue for us and we should still be considered a top contender in the conference.”
Even with a new roster and a new head coach, Wilkinson assured that team’s mentality has remained the same.
“Expectations are to win and to win an OUA championship. Then we’ll see what happens at nationals,” he said.
The men’s team has been practicing tirelessly and are ready to start a legacy of their own.
The Hawks will be in action for the first time in 2017 on Jan. 21, as they travel to St. Catherines for the Brock Invitational.