MCURL opens nationals with extra end victory
Golden Hawks edge Lakehead 7-6 on Day 1 of U SPORTS/Curling Canada Championship
Sunday, March 19, 2017 - Posted by Jamie Howieson
THUNDER BAY, Ont. (March 18, 2017) – Wilfrid Laurier University men’s curling skip Matthew Hall made an open hit to score a single point in an extra end lifting the Golden Hawks to a 7-6 victory over the host Lakehead Thunderwolves on Day 1 of the U SPORTS/Curling Canada Championship at the Fort William Curling Club.
After giving up two to the Thunderwolves in the tenth end to tie the game at six, the purple and gold took advantage of Lakehead skip Dave Henderson’s (Waterloo, Ont.) final shot sliding too deep into the house as they hit the open rock at the top of the eight foot to move to 1-0 after the opening draw.
Entering the championship as the defending national champions after Aaron Squires skipped Laurier to the title a year ago in Kelowna, B.C., Hall, a native of Kitchener, Ont., and his rink of vice Jordie Lyon-Hatcher of Ottawa, second Kenneth Malcolmson of Toronto and lead Russell Cuddie of London, Ont., got off to a strong start in their game against Lakehead.
With the two teams tied at one after three ends, the Hawks took control of the match as they picked up a pair in the fourth end after Hall made an open draw to take a 3-1 lead.
Laurier stretched their advantage in the fifth end as the Hawks got a rock buried biting the top of the button and Henderson was heavy on his final shot, giving the purple and gold a steal of one and a 4-1 lead at the break.
After Lakehead responded with a pair of their own in six to cut the Hawks’ advantage to 4-3, Laurier had a chance to answer back in the seventh. Already lying one in the house, Hall was heavy on his final shot and the Hawks were held to just a single point.
The two teams would trade singles in the next two ends giving the Hawks a 6-4 lead heading to the tenth end. However, Lakehead got a late miss from the purple and gold, allowing them to score two to force an extra frame.
In the 11th, Lakehead appeared poised to force Hall into a tough draw with his final shot but when Henderson’s rock slid through the 12-foot and into the eight, it gave Hall an easy shot which he converted and Laurier walked away with an opening-day victory.
Next up for the Hawks, they will face the Memorial Sea-Hawks (1-0) and the Dalhousie Tigers (1-0) on Day 2 of the championship on Sunday, March 19.
Live scores from the Fort William Curling Club can be found on curling.ca/scoreboard.
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