Alberta wasn’t much different than Sault Ste. Marie for Brock women’s curling, however the script completely changed for the men’s team. The women’s team would earn a U Sports bronze medal after a five-day trip to Alberta. A medal that will go nicely with the bronze earned during the OUA Championships.
The men’s team went to Alberta as the OUA Champions, but multiple close matches during the U Sports round robin left the Badgers out of the medal matches.
For the women, round robin ended with them finishing tied for first among eight teams. On the opening day of the tournament, the Badgers picked up a 7-4 victory over Regina, as the team would pick up four combined points in the seventh and eighth end. Day one would conclude with a 14-5 victory over Mount Allison, which saw the Badgers pick up three points in the first, sixth and eighth end, and four points in the fourth end.
Day two started off rough for the women, as a ninth end led to Thompson Rivers getting four points to lead to an 8-2 win over Brock. The Badgers bounced back big in the second match. They defeated the OUA Champion Laurier Golden Hawks, 10-2, thanks to four ends that had the Badgers get two points each.
The Badgers continued their momentum into day three with a 14-4 win over Memorial – the women had a 5-0 lead after one end and put icing on the cake with four points in the seventh end. Match two on the third day saw Brock win 8-4 over Queen’s.
With a spot locked in for the semi-finals, the Badgers lost their last round robin match 9-7 to Alberta.
They would play their semi-final match on Tuesday night, trying to get their revenge against Thompson Rivers. The Badgers went up 2-0 after one end, but the WolfPack would get five points over the next three to lead 5-2. Brock would bounce back, but trailed 7-5 after eight ends. Badgers skip Teri Weeks would lead the team to a crucial two points in the ninth end to send the tied match to a 10th end. Unfortunately, for the Badgers the WolfPack got the clinching one point in the extra end to move onto the U Sports finals with an 8-7 win.
In the bronze medal match, the Badgers were up against Mount Allison, a team Brock had already blown right by. The third-place game was basically the same as the round robin match between Brock and Mount Allison. The Badgers would get three points in the first end and go up 6-0 after three. The fourth end was significant with the Badgers getting five points and another one in the sixth end to lead 12-0. The Mounties would get two back in the sixth end, however they would concede the rest of the match as the Badgers earned the bronze medal with a 12-2 victory.
Badgers were led by fourth-year skip Teri Weeks; second-year Jessica Humphries (third); Marcia Richardson (second), also in second-year; Jo Francolini, a third-year lead; and their alternate Jeanette Burnside, who is also in her third-year.
The OUA Champion men’s team were led by skip Eric Bradey, in his fourth-year; also in fourth year, Jamie Waters (third); first-year Nick Lemieux was the teams second; Ben Hughes in third-year held down the lead position; and third-year Douglas Thomson was the alternate.
In terms of the action on the sheet, the Badgers finished round robin with a 2-5 record.
They got off to a great start on day one thanks to a four-point ninth end, that led to a 11-6 win over UNB. Match two was different, as the Badgers fell to Waterloo 8-5 – the Badgers also lost to Waterloo during round robin in the OUA Championships, but beat them in the OUA semi-finals.
Day two saw a repeat of the OUA Championship, as the gold medalist Brock would defeat the silver medalist Ryerson Rams 9-7 – the Badgers beat the Rams 6-5 in the OUA finals. However, like day one, the Badgers closed out the day with a loss, losing 9-5 to Winnipeg.
On day three, Brock would fall to Dalhousie 5-3. It was a close battle until the end, as the Badgers stayed alive with a point in the ninth end but Dalhousie closed the door with a point in the 10th end. Draw six saw another close match, with Regina picking up their lone win of the weekend over Brock, 7-6. After going up 3-0 after two ends, Regina answered back with three in the third and kept Brock off the scoreboard for five of the last seven ends. It was a point in the 10th end that gave Regina the victory.
With no chance to make the semi-finals, the Badgers closed out the tournament on day four with a 6-2 loss to Alberta.
Both Brock men’s and women’s curling teams continue to be impressive every year. This was their second appearance in the national tournament in the last three years. Mike Smith led the coaching duties for the men’s team and Murray Etherington was the head coach for the women, with assistant coach Karen Heywood.