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. Laurentian and Trent are the lone teams of the top four left to face each other, with that game scheduled for Sunday at 11 a.m.
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
March 31, 2017 Voyageurs hand out annual awards Thursday night
March 30, 2017 Desveaux and Bradey named Brock Sports Athletes of the Year
March 27, 2017 Forget, Burns named Investors Group OUA Athletes of the Week
February 21, 2017 Hall, Guy named Investors Group OUA Athletes of the Week
February 20, 2017 History made in Oshawa at OUA Curling Championship
February 18, 2017 Standings will shuffle on Saturday at OUA curling championship
February 17, 2017 10 teams finish day one undefeated at the OUA curling championship
February 16, 2017 OUA Curling Championships begin today at the Oshawa Golf & Curling Club
February 2, 2017 Canadian teams battle for playoff positions at Winter Universiade
February 1, 2017 Canadian men's curlers fall to USA 6-4 at 2017 Winter Universiade
January 30, 2017 Golden Hawks team improves to 1-0 at 2017 Winter Universiade
July 26, 2016 Matt Wilkinson named Golden Hawks curling head coach