SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. - The Brock Badgers men's team and Laurier Golden Hawks women's team were crowned the OUA Curling Champions today at the Community First Curling Centre. Among the gold medalists is first-year student-athlete and Sault local Nick Lemieux.
The Badgers men are golden for the first time in over a decade. The squad, who finished the tournament with a 6-3 record after five days of competition, came out on top in a nail biter game over OUA silver medalists, the Ryerson Rams. A single in the eighth end sealed the Badgers' fate, giving them their first gold medal in the sport of curling since the 2006-07 season. Brock won 6-5.
The squad, consisting of Eric Bradey (skip), Jamie Waters (vice), Nick Lemieux (second), Ben Hughes (lead), and Douglas Thomson (alternate), have Sault ties. Lemieux, who has been curling since he was nine, is the son of Sault College Cougars Head Coach Dan Lemieux. Lemieux is a first-year student at Brock, studying in medical sciences.
"This is my first title since this is my first year of university," said Lemieux after winning the championships. "It's kind of surreal and hasn't really sunk in. The fact that it was in my hometown was amazing. Having my friends and family come out made it even better. We had huge crowds cheering us on all weekend."
The Waterloo Warriors men's squad earned a bronze medal after upsetting the Western Mustangs, 5-3. Despite their perfect record at the close of Saturday, the Mustangs were defeated in both of their matches today and will be returning to London empty handed.
On the women's side, the Laurier Golden Hawks are once again OUA Champions. The team last brought home an OUA banner in curling two seasons ago.
The Golden Hawks narrowly defeated the Queen's Gaels in the gold medal match, 5-3. A disappointing last shot from Queen's skip gave Laurier the title. Laurier finished out the tournament with a 6-3 record. The Golden Hawks squad consists of Kaitlin Jewer (skip), Riley Sandham (vice), Kelly Middaugh (second), Bridget Ribau (lead), and Susanna Wright (alternate).
The Brock women also brought home hardware, earning a bronze medal after edging ahead of the Lakehead Thunderwolves in the eighth end, 6-5.
The six medalling teams will advance to the national championships. The U Sports national curling championships are being hosted by the University of Alberta in March at the Leduc Recreation Centre. U of A will also be hosting the 2018 Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship and 2018 CCAA Curling Canada Championship.
Lemieux, who will be competing and is confident in his team's ability to medal at the national level, will be joined by his father who will also be in Leduc with his college squad.
A full list of award winners follows:
Women's First Team All-Stars
Skip: Krysta Burns (Laurentian Voyageurs)
Lead: Erin Tomalty (Lakehead Thunderwolves)
Second: Calli Barclay (Queen's Gaels)
Vice: Riley Sandham (Laurier Golden Hawks)
Women's Second Team All-Stars
Skip: Mary Fay (Queen's Gaels)
Lead: Miller Miller (Toronto Varsity Blues)
Second: Audrey Wallbank (Ryerson Rams)
Vice: Kendra Lemieux (Lakehead Thunderwolves)
Men's First Team All-Stars
Skip: Ryan Thompson Brown (Western Mustangs)
Lead: Owen Purdy (Queen's Gaels)
Second: Johnathan U (Ryerson Rams)
Vice: Parker Konschuh (Western Mustangs)
Men's Second Team All-Stars
Skip: John Willsey (Waterloo Warriors)
Lead: Brendan Acord (Carleton Ravens)
Second: Decebal Michaud (Queen's Gaels)
Vice: Jamie Waters (Vice)
Women's Coach of the Year
Dick Henderson (Lakehead Thunderwolves)
Men's Coach of the Year
The late Bill Charlebois (Lakehead Thunderwolves)