Laurier: 5 Guelph - Semifinal: 2
GUELPH, Ont. (February 17, 2014) - The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women's curling team won their seventh OUA Championship on Monday afternoon after they defeated the Carleton Ravens 4-3 in the gold medal match.
The Hawks, who went undefeated through round robin and playoff play, continued their recent dominance of the Ontario conference as they captured their third banner in the last four years.
"It feels very nice," said skip Carly Howard
of Penetanguishene, Ont., following the victory. "Last year we had a struggle at the beginning [of the year] so we wanted to come back strong. Having a lot of people who came before us that did so well, we really wanted to live up to that and have that moment as well and we did."
"It feels really incredible," added lead Cheryl Kreviazuk
of Ottawa, who captured her third OUA Championship as a member of the Golden Hawks. "I'm just so proud of my team. We worked really hard all season so it was definitely worth it and to go undefeated all week, absolutely incredible."
In what was a very competitive gold medal match, the Hawks and Ravens traded singles and blanks through the first five ends as Laurier held a 2-1 lead. In the sixth end, Carleton skip Jamie Sinclair, made a excellent triple takeout which would eventually lead to a score of two giving the Ravens a 3-2 lead.
Trailing by one, Howard and her rink looked to score a pair right back to re-take the lead. However, the Hawks' skip was light on her first rock holding Laurier to just a single point which gave Carleton the hammer going to the final end tied at three.
The game would come down to both skip's final shots. Howard drew to the four foot for shot rock with her last leaving Sinclair a tough shot for the win. Carleton's skip was unable to navigate the high guard, giving the Hawks a steal of one and the championship.
"I was really excited that I made my shot," commented Howard on the final end. "I thought, 'She's going to make this for the win'. I was going to come off the ice and just be happy that I made my last shot and that's all I could have done. But right out of her hand she called tight and I thought that spot was straight so I thought it would be fine but it hit the guard."
For Howard, vice Kerilynn Mathers
of Kitchener, Ont., second Evangeline Fortier of Ottawa, Kreviazuk and alternate Chelsea Brandwood
of Beamsville, Ont., the win puts the finishing touches on what has been a perfect season so far. Against OUA competition this year, the Hawks are a perfect 13-0.
The purple and gold reached the OUA final after a 5-2 victory over the Guelph Gryphons in the semifinals. In a similar finish to the championship match, the Hawks forced a steal of one in the eighth end after Howard's final shot negated what could have been a big end for the Gryphons.
The Hawks will now advance to the CIS Championship to be hosted by the University of Regina Cougars from March 19 to 23. Laurier will be looking to repeat the success of former skips Hollie Nicol and Laura Crocker whose rinks captured back-to-back national titles for the Hawks in 2008 and 2009, and 2011 and 2012 respectively.