Waterloo, Ont. – The action heated up on the ice on Day 4 of the 2019 OUA Curling Championships as pool play came to an end and playoff action got underway at the KW Granite Club.
Highlighting the day was the women’s quarter-finals which closed out action on Sunday. After a thrilling conclusion to pool play, eight teams were left standing to compete for the OUA banner.
The game of the night came between the top seed in Pool A, the Toronto Varsity Blues, and the fourth seed out of Pool B, the Laurentian Voyageurs.
With Toronto comfortably ahead, leading 4-1 through five ends, the Voyageurs made a stunning comeback, scoring three in the eighth end thanks to a double-takeout from skip Kira Brunton with her final stone to force an extra end.
In the ninth end, Laurentian got a stone buried behind cover and on the button, which Toronto was unable to remove with their final three stones as the Voyageurs handed the previously unbeaten Varsity Blues their only loss of the week at the worst possible time.
“We knew that if we played really well, we could get some more points going so we put together a few really strong ends and stuff started to go our way,” said skip Kira Brunton on how the comeback came together. “The eighth end, we said ‘we need to make all of our shots and see what happens’ and we did that.”
In other action, the top seed from Pool B, the Queen’s Gaels, used a score of four in the sixth end, set up by a key triple takeout from vice Calli Barclay, to blow out a close contest with the Carleton Ravens to cruise to a 7-2 victory.
“It was a tough shot but Calli’s a great player,” said skip Mary Fay on the critical play in the game. “She can throw the big weight and it was a great team shot. The girls swept it really hard. Calli threw it great. Mikayla, our second, set it up really well. She made a beautiful double peel to open everything up for us to make that end possible.”
Other quarter-final results saw the Brock Badgers edge the Waterloo Warriors 6-4 while the Lakehead Thunderwolves were never challenged in a 7-2 win over the Guelph Gryphons.
Men’s pool play concluded on Day 4 as the playoff contestants were confirmed after some great games.
In Pool C, the Brock Badgers (6-1) pulled off a narrow 6-5 win over the host Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks to secure top spot in the group, and in the process, eliminated Laurier from playoff contention.
They are joined in the playoffs by the second seed Carleton Ravens (6-1), the third seed Western Mustangs (5-2) and the fourth seed Guelph Gryphons (4-3).
In Pool D, the Ryerson Rams (6-1) locked up first place in their group thanks to two lopsided victories over the UOIT Ridgebacks and the Trent Excalibur.
Joining them to compete in the medal round are the second seed Laurentian Voyageurs (6-1), the third seed Waterloo Warriors (5-2) and the fourth seed McMaster Marauders (4-3).
Action on Day 5 of the championships gets underway at 9 a.m. with the men’s quarter-finals followed by the men’s and women’s semifinals at 1 p.m.
Medal games hit the ice at 5 p.m. with the gold medal games streaming live on OUA.tv.