SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. - The final day of play at the OCAA Curling Championships presented by belairdirect was a thrilling day of play. Three teams were crowned as champions by the end, the Sault Cougars for the mixed division, Niagara Knights in the women's division and the Fanshawe Falcons took the men's. The top three teams from both the women's and men's division will travel to Leduc, Alta., to compete in the national championship representing the OCAA.
The men's division was an interesting affair, with Fanshawe trying to surpass the first-seeded Niagara in the first semifinal. Fanshawe played a very strategic game taking three straight points after Niagara scored a single in the first end. With this start Fanshawe remained in control of the game, defeating Niagara 5-2.
The Sault took on Humber in the second semifinal; it was a tied game heading into the fifth end which became a big turning point for the Sault as they managed to steal two. Humber was able to pull it back making it a tied game heading into the final end, where the Sault made a button draw for a single point to win 6-5.
This set up for an exciting final of the Sault versus Fanshawe for the gold medal game. The highlight of the draw was when Fanshawe scored three, then stole two in the next end. The Sault made a quick strike back scoring three in the sixth end, but eventually came up short in the last end of play. Fanshawe finished the game with a score of 7-4 and were crowned the OCAA champions.
In the bronze medal match, Humber came out swinging with a lead of 4-1 in the fourth end, however this did not phase Niagara as they came back with five in the fifth end. This was a major turning point as Niagara never looked back winning 8-6 to take the bronze medal.
The morning saw two semifinals for the women's division. Top-seeded Niagara took on Humber, with Fleming and Fanshawe duking it out in the other match. Niagara and Humber had a back and forth match each taking the same amount of points off of each other, creating a constant tie. The match had to go into an extra end where Niagara defeated Humber 8-7.
In the other semifinal; Fleming took a commanding lead against Fanshawe scoring five in the first three ends. However, Fanshawe was not deterred as they stormed back scoring three in the fourth end, then four in the fifth. This gave Fanshawe the momentum needed to beat Fleming 10-7.
The gold medal game saw Niagara versus Fanshawe in an exciting match where Fanshawe stole one in the eighth end to bring the match into an extra end. Niagara executed an excellent end to set up a shot for three and the win; Niagara's skip was able to make the shot and grant her team a gold medal victory (10-7).
In the bronze medal match Fleming came out hot with a lead of five within the first three ends. Humber was able to chip away at the lead, with a score of three in the fourth end. After the fourth end break the teams traded single points, giving Humber the hammer in the eighth down by three. Humber was only able to score two in a close final end; with this Fleming took the bronze medal with a final score of 7-6.
The top-seeded Sault took on Fanshawe in the mixed division. The Sault took a strong commanding lead scoring four within five ends of curling. Fanshawe was able to cut the lead in half with two of their own in the sixth end; however Sault was able to score three in the next end secured the gold medal with a final score of 7-2.
Congratulations to all of the teams who participated in this weekend's OCAA Curling Championships. All games provided a crowd of spectators with exciting entertainment. Good luck to all those who are moving on to national play in Alberta at the end of March.
Championship Website: www.ocaa.com/curl
OCAA Curling Championships Results
OCAA Curling Championships Awards
OCAA Coach of the Year
Men: Dan Lemieux, Sault
Women: Dave Farnell, Fleming
Mixed: Shirley Westman, Fanshawe
OCAA Fair Play Awards
Ron Fearon Fair Play Award: St. Clair Saints
Vern Dow Fair Play Award: Fleming Knights
Hap Holman Fair Play Award: Fleming Knights
OCAA Championship Men's Second-Team All-Stars
Lead: Matthew Morra, Humber
Second: Ethan Doig, Niagara
Vice: Jacob Reid, Sault
Skip: Samual Steep, Niagara
OCAA Championship Men's First-Team All-Stars
Lead: David Cressman, Niagara
Second: Tyler Twinning, Fanshawe
Vice: Logan James, Fanshawe
Skip: Nick Servant, Sault
OCAA Championship Women's First-Team All-Stars
Lead: Brittany Elson, Humber
Second: Samantha Lees, Fanshawe
Vice: Hanna Hack, Mohawk
Skip: Chelsea Brandwood, Niagara
OCAA Championship Women's Second-Team All-Stars
Lead: Isabelle Allan, Fanshawe
Second: Renee Boyce, Niagara
Vice: Erin White, Fanshawe
Skip: Paige Droog, Fleming
OCAA Championship Mixed All-Stars
Lead: Amy Conley, Fleming
Second: Nicolas Robinson, Fanshawe
Vice: Angelica Muscedere, Fanshawe
Skip: Aaron Soulliere, Sault
Source: Sault College