Men’s curling drops OUA championship final 8-1 to Varsity Blues

(Photo by Heather Davidson)
(Photo by Heather Davidson)

GUELPH, Ont. — An unfortunate pick on Richard Krell’s final rock in the fifth end was all the Toronto Varsity Blues needed for the Wilfrid Laurier men’s curling to drop an 8-1 decision in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) final.

The Hawks, who had already secured a berth in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championships in Regina, Saskatchewan in March, were playing without their normal skip Aaron Squires. Squires was out due to illness.

“We certainly had a little bit of a challenge this morning when our skip went down and had a trip to the hospital,” head coach Gary Crossley said. “So that made us change our lineup. But they responded well to that this morning and that got us to Regina and that was the primary goal.”

But that was where the luck ended, as Laurier suffered a rough defeat to the hands of the Varsity Blues.

After holding with the Blues through four ends, Krell had a chance to cover his shot rock after the Blues made a mistake trying to take it out. However, the rock, which was supposed to be a guard, was picked by something on the ice and swayed to the left, giving Toronto a clear shot to hit for four.

“… We were struggling a bit and one unfortunate pick — not to blame the loss on the pick, but the pick was what opened the game up,” said Krell. “Congrats to [Toronto], take nothing away from them. They played really well.”

“It’s unfortunate to lose it on a pick, but that’s what happens,” Crossley said. “That’s curling.”

After the four points in the fifth, it was hard for Laurier to climb back. A single in the sixth was all the Hawks could muster before shaking in the seventh end after Krell’s shot was light.

Despite the loss, Laurier made the OUA final for the first time since 2011, clinched a CIS berth. The team, along with the women’s curling team, will be off to Saskatchewan in mid-March.

“If you would have told us before OUAs that we were going to finish second, I think we would have been pretty happy with that,” laughed Krell. “I can’t complain. Again, unfortunate finish, but that’s how it goes sometimes right? You can’t win them all.”

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