Hawks successfully defend OUA Championship
Laurier: 8 OUA Championship - Gold Medal - Western: 4
Laurier: 4 Guelph - OUA Semifinal: 3
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GUELPH, Ont. (February 20, 2012) - The Wilfrid Laurier women's curling team successfully defended their OUA Championship on Monday as they defeated the Western Mustangs 8-4 in the final at the Guelph Curling Club.
Skip Laura Crocker of Scarborough, Ont., and her team, consisting of Sarah Wilkes of Scarborough, Ont., Jenny Gates of Sudbury, Ont., Cheryl Kreviazuk of Ottawa, Pamela Feldkamp of Burlington, Ont., and Kerilynn Mathers of Kitchener, Ont., picked up two critical steals of two points each in the sixth and seventh ends to secure the victory.
"We feel really excited," said Crocker following the trophy presentation. "We really hung in there in a lot of our games [this week]. We had a ton of close games but we stuck through them and stayed together as a team and it worked out our way."
Monday's final was no different as the Hawks found themselves down early after giving up a steal of one to the Mustangs in the opening end. However, Laurier bounced back and Crocker had an open draw for three in the second end, making no mistake to give the Hawks a 3-1 lead.
Western would respond and score two in the third before a steal of one in the fourth gave them the advantage at the break.
Coming out of the break, the Hawks slowly began to take over the game. After a single in the fifth end evened the score at four, the Hawks set themselves up nicely for a steal in the sixth end and after a key miss from Western, Laurier walked away with a two point lead. It was the same story in the seventh as Crocker kept the house wide open and after two misses from Western's skip, Laurier had an insurmountable 8-4 advantage. The Hawks would simply run the Mustangs out of rocks in the final end as they celebrated their second-straight OUA title.
"I just told them to use their experience," said Head Coach Maurice Wilson when asked what he told the team in the fourth end break. "They've been given the opportunity to play in so many big games and you cant teach that. They've been through it all. They know what it takes to succeed in big games like this."
Prior to reaching the final, the Hawks had another hard-fought game in the semifinals against the Guelph Gryphons. Tied for most of the game, Guelph earned a steal of one in the seventh end to take the lead going into the final frame. However, the Hawks once again showed their experience as both Wilkes and Crocker made critical shots helping Laurier pick up two points to win 4-3 and book a trip to the final.
Crocker and her rink will now begin to prepare for the CIS Championships, to be hosted by Brock University at the Welland Curling Club in three weeks time, where they will once again be defending their title.
"We're excited about nationals," commented Crocker. "We're really happy to be back there and we know what it takes to win based on last year. We're just going to prepare really hard for the next couple of weeks leading up to it and hopefully that can bring us back-to-back championships."