Laurier women’s curling wins OUA championship
GUELPH, Ont. — They didn’t think they had it, but the Wilfrid Laurier women’s curling team pulled out an eighth-end victory to claim the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championship banner Monday afternoon.
In a 4-3 win over the Carleton Ravens, the Hawks picked up their third provincial banner in the last four years, as well as a berth in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championship earlier in the day.
“It feels really incredible,” fourth-year lead Cheryl Kreviazuk said. “[I’ve won] three times and I’m just so proud of my team. We worked really hard all season, so it was definitely worth it.”
After going 6-0 in the round robin, the Hawks pulled out a 5-2 semifinal victory over the Guelph Gryphons to advance to the final.
In a close final with each team exchanging points up until the fifth end in the final, the Hawks kept with the Ravens, allowing little breathing room on both sides.
In the sixth end, third-year skip Carly Howard decided to concede two points to the Ravens in order to get the hammer back in the seventh after some tricky play in the house.
In the seventh end, the Hawks picked up a single to tie the game back up at three, with Carleton having the hammer coming home.
In the eighth, after peeling multiple guards, Carleton’s skip Jamie Sinclair decided to leave a Laurier guard up front and attack the house.
However that ended up being a costly decision after Howard hit her final shot almost perfectly to force Carleton to draw to the button. But Sinclair’s final shot wrecked on that rogue guard, giving Laurier the steal of one and the OUA championship victory.
“[It feels] amazing,” Howard said. “We came in here wanting to go to nationals, but after what we were doing and how great we were playing, we knew that we could win the whole thing. And then we started going 2-0, 3-0 and all of that, and won the semifinal, we said ‘might as well win it all while we’re here.’”
The rink of Kreviazuk, Evangeline Fortier, Kerilynn Mathers and Howard join an elite group of Laurier curlers, including the 2014 Winter Universiade team of Laura Crocker, as provincial winners. The rink will travel to Saskatchewan later in March for a chance at Laurier’s third CIS banner in four years.
“Last year we had a struggle at the beginning, so we wanted to come back strong,” Howard said. “Having a lot of people behind us that did so well, we wanted to live up to that and have that moment as well. And we did.”