Laurier: 6 Ryerson: 5
OSHAWA, Ont. – Heading into Draw 11 on Saturday morning only four teams will have perfect records in round-robin play of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) curling championship being hosted by UOIT at the Oshawa Golf and Curling Club.
Wrapping up Friday night was one of the biggest matches of the day for the men as the undefeated Western Mustangs and Laurier Golden Hawk teams went head-to-head in Pool A action.
After four straight blanks heading into the fourth end break with the hammer, the two-time defending champion Golden Hawks were forced to take one in the fifth by the Mustangs. Laurier bounced back and did their job in the sixth, holding Western to one.
Again, the reason why it was the game to watch on Friday night, the Mustangs were able to return the favour and force Laurier to take one in seven – showing how evenly matched the two rinks were. Up 2-1 without hammer coming home, it came down to the last rock and unfortunately for the Mustangs it went in the Golden Hawks favour as Laurier stole one to take the game 3-1.
Matthew Hall, skip of the Laurier team, was not a member of either of the last two Golden Hawk championship teams – which can add a slight amount of pressure to those that haven't been in the final yet.
"Yeah, absolutely (it adds some pressure) because we have a big name coming in with us and we have big shoes to fill, but we're confident, are playing well – we still have room for improvement – and are hoping to gain momentum the rest of the weekend," said Hall.
Laurier is now 4-0, leaving Western tied with Queen's and McMaster for second place at 3-1.
"We've got ourselves in a really good spot, we like where we are, we like where we're playing," he said. "We're still looking to improve the small things and move forward by getting a few more good games under our belt before playoffs on Monday."
Saturday will feature a number of important games for teams in Pool B as Toronto is the lone team at 3-0. The Carleton Ravens, Guelph Gryphons, Brock Badgers and Waterloo Warriors make up the four teams that are tied at 2-1, while the host UOIT Ridgebacks are 1-2.
Fighting for a top spot in Pool B, the Toronto Varsity Blues face the Waterloo Warriors and the Brock Badgers battle the Guelph Gryphons during the first draw of the day at 8 a.m.
On the women's side, the Brock Badgers are looking to get back to the provincial final and are well on their way as they sit at the top of Pool B with a 4-0 record.
In Pool A the Carleton Ravens are a perfect 4-0 and have all but guaranteed their spot in Sunday night's quarter-finals. Their final three games against Laurentian (3-1), Lakehead (1-3) and Laurier (3-1) will determine where they finish in the standings for the crossover quarter-finals.
Pool A has a logjam for second place with Laurentian, Trent and Laurier all sitting 3-1 through two days.
For the purple and gold, led by skip Chelsea Brandwood
of Beamsville, Ont., their first draw of the day against Ryerson could turn out to be the turning point in their week. Tied 5-5 without hammer heading to the final end, Laurier stole a single point to pull out the win after they trailed 3-1 early in the match.
Riding the momentum of that victory, the Hawks came out flying against the host Ridgebacks in their second draw scoring four in the first end and three in the third to pick up an easy 9-1 win in five ends.
Pool B is a similar situation as Queen's, Toronto and Waterloo head into Saturday with 3-1 records. The Gaels and Varsity Blues are head-to-head in the late draw at 9:30 p.m., meaning one of them is guaranteed to have a second loss heading into the final day of round-robin play.
Sunday night the women's quarter-finals will be played at 9 p.m., while the men's quarter-finals will be played Monday morning at 9 a.m.
Medal games will be held on Monday at 5 p.m. OUA Championship Schedule/Results/Standings
- with files from UOIT Ridgebacks