Men's and women's curling finish fifth at Canadian final

Evan Lilly and Scott McDonald named to tournament all-star squads

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Laurier Golden Hawks women's curling team

Mike Whitehouse/Laurier Athletics

LAURIER REPEATS AS CURLING CHAMPS. Despite winning both the men’s and women’s Ontario University Athletics championship in curling, the Mustangs failed to capture a medal at nationals. The Laurier Golden Hawks women’s team (pictured above) took the gold again.

After dominating the competition in the Ontario University Athletics finals, the men’s and women’s curling teams ended the season with a pair of fifth place finishes at the national championship in Montreal.

After finishing pool play with a 3-2 record, the men’s team played the Saint Mary’s Huskies in the semi-finals. Despite coming back from a four-point deficit in the sixth end, the Huskies relied on the outstanding play of skip Kendal Thompson to pull ahead at the end.

“[The] fact is that the Saint Mary’s skip was making almost everything, and in the late ends, we simply left him too many chances to bail his team out of trouble and leave us in a really tough spot,” Mustangs second Evan Lilly said. “If it weren’t for him, it would have been a completely different game.”

After trading points in the seventh, eighth and ninth ends the Saint Mary’s squad led 7-6.

“Thompson made an impressive hit and roll behind cover which meant that [Western skip Scott] McDonald was forced to draw the pin to force things to an extra end. When [our] attempt came up just short, Saint Mary’s stole the end and won the game 8-6,” Western head coach Rory Munro said.

The women’s team finished pool play with a 2-3 record, one game shy of earning a semi-final playoff berth. The team’s victories came against the University of Regina as well as the eventual champions " the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks.

Despite the disappointing end, each team earned its share of accolades as they both brought home OUA gold last month. Additionally, Evan Lilly was named a First Team All-Canadian in Montreal while teammate Scott McDonald notched a spot as a Second Team All-Canadian.

“It’s a great feeling, especially since second isn’t my natural position,” Lilly said of his honour.

“Individual awards in curling are much less important to me than team accomplishments. I would much rather have seen us win than [...] named first team all stars and finish outside the playoffs,” he added.

Looking forward to next year, the men’s team hopes to be battling for OUA supremacy once again, despite the likely loss of McDonald, who will be graduating after using only two years of eligibility.

“The rest of us will be back, but losing our skip is a pretty big loss,” Lilly said. “Next year some positions will have to be shuffled, and how far we go is going to depend in large part on the new players coming in. We’ll still have all the tools to contend for an OUA championship next year [but] our main goal will be to finish in the top three in the OUA so we can go to the CIS championships again.”

" With files from Emily Panetta

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