Men’s curling make it to Nationals, finish fourth

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Sports

The Ooks men’s curling team had a season to remember. They made it to nationals, coming close to a podium finish. Let’s get into their season and see how they got there.

The team started the second half of their season with winter regionals hosted by NAIT at the Thistle Curling Club. The team went 5-0, winning games against SAIT 8-5, Lakeland College 11-3, Concordia University 8-6, University of Alberta Augustana 8-4 and a close match versus Red Deer Polytechnic 5-4. The 5-0 finish at the tournament had them pencilled in for the ACAC championship. 

At the championships, they started with a round-robin where the four teams played each other once for seeding. NAIT did great in their round-robin games, going 2-1. They won 7-1 against Lakeland College and 9-6 against Red Deer Polytechnic. Their one loss came against Concordia University; this would cost them as they finished in second-place after the round robin. The second-place finish saw them play Concordia University again. They would once again get the best of NAIT, sending NAIT into a one-game playoff against SAIT to see who makes it to the gold medal match. NAIT once again lost, automatically placing them into the bronze medal match. 

But NAIT’s luck would turn–they beat Lakeland and won the bronze medal, which meant they were heading to the CCAA National Curling Championship. The CCAA also started with a round robin. The Ooks lost their first game 13-5 against Mohawk College. They bounced back with a big win against SAIT 9-3, before dropping their next match to the Humber Hawks 8-6. The Ooks got back to winning ways, defeating Assiniboine Community College 9-2. Their streak continued, and they beat Concordia University 7-4. This win put the Ooks in the quarterfinals.

The Ooks played the Red Deer Polytechnic Kings in the quarterfinals, where their hot streak continued. They beat the Kings 10-5, booking their trip to the semi-final. They faced Mohawk College again in the semi, but had another hard loss at 10-3. The loss crushed their hopes for gold and relegated them to the bronze medal match. 

At the bronze medal match, the Ooks played their inner province rivals SAIT for a podium finish. But their bitter rivals shocked everyone  by beating the Ooks 8-5, ending their hopes at a podium finish. Even though the Ooks didn’t get on the podium, they still had a great showing at nationals. They placed fourth with some competitive matches, even beating some of the best teams in Canada. The Ooks will look to build on the success they had this season and be back even stronger next year and possibly win gold.

Cover image via NAIT Athletics

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