Women’s curling split first day of CIS championship

Photo by Andreas
Photo by Andreas Patsiaouros

KELOWNA, B.C. — Consistency was the key for the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s curling team as they went 1-1 on day one of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport curling championships. The rink lost to the Brandon Bobcats 5-4 before redeeming themselves 11-6 against the Univerity of New Brunswick Varsity Reds.

“It’s a good start,” head coach Jason Rice said. “We would have liked to have the two victories, but we’ll take what we have. It’s a good building stone going into a big three-game day tomorrow.”

The Hawks played a tight game against the Bobcats, holding a 3-1 lead after the fifth end. After no score in the next two ends, the Bobcats picked up a point in the eighth end and then stole two in the ninth to take a 4-3 lead. Laurier third-year skip Chelsea Brandwood took a single point to tie the game up at four after the tenth, sending the game into an extra end.

After a tight final end, Bobcats skip Janelle Vachon made the double takeout for the 5-4 win. Rice said there were a couple of key shots that Laurier couldn’t execute, which the Bobcats were able to capitalize on to take the steal.

“The big steal on us, that was a big swing point,” he said.

Momentum played a huge factor in the second game. After the Varsity Reds took a 3-0 lead after the second end, the Hawks bounced back and tied it up to get back in the game. Laurier stole their next three points to take a 6-3 lead after the fifth end.

But the Varsity Reds weren’t down yet — skip Samantha Crook made a tap for two in the sixth end to cut Laurier’s lead to one point before the Hawks brought the game out of reach in the seventh with an open draw for three.

The Hawks closed out the game in the ninth end, winning 11-6. Rice said the women focused on what got them to nationals in the first place so that they could bounce back in the second game.

“[We] refocused on consistency, really, and we had that a lot more in the second game,” he said.

Day two brings an even tougher schedule. Not only does Laurier play the undefeated Dalhousie Tigers, skipped by Kristin Clarke, but also faces Corryn Brown and the Thompson River Wolfpack. Rice said that the Hawks will be discussing both oppositions if they hope to deliver losses to the two undefeated skips.

“We’ll be just regrouping here tonight in terms of making up what we feel is a plan that will work for us,” he said. “Take this win tonight over UNB as a good focus point for building on and keep on improving in consistency.”

The first draw begins at 12 p.m. eastern time at the Kelowna Curling Club. Follow @cordsports on Twitter or our live blog on thecord.ca.

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