BROCK UNIVERSITY (Mar. 28)— It took just six ends for the Brock Badgers women’s curling team to win a bronze medal at the 2018 USPORTS/Curling Canada Curling Championships Wednesday afternoon.
The Badgers, led by fourth-year skip Terri Weeks of McDougall, ON, hammered the Mount Allison Mounties 12-2 before the two teams shook hands after the sixth end at the Leduc Recreation Centre just outside of Edmonton, Alta.
It gave Brock its first medal at the Nationals since 2012, and the fourth since head coach Murray Etherington joined the program nine years ago.
“They really elevated their game,” Etherington said. “What we discussed coming into the competition was that we knew there would be strong teams and that we would have to take a few chances when the opportunities came along. And that’s what they did.”
After going 5-2 in the round robin portion of the USPORTS Nationals, Brock lost an 8-7 heartbreaker in the semifinals Tuesday night to Thompson Rivers. But they stormed back in the bronze game Wednesday, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first end, extending that to 6-0 by the third and then stealing five in the fourth en route to the dominant win.
The Badgers team, made up of Weeks, Jessica Humphries, Marcia Richardson, Joanna Francolini and alternate Jeanette Burnside, shot a combined 83 per cent in their final match together.
After the tournament wrapped up, Weeks, who will return to Brock for a fifth year in 2018-19, was named a First Team All-Canadian at skip after throwing a tournament-best 77 per cent. Weeks has traditionally played the vice position, but was called upon by Etherington to become Brock’s skip last year.
“She has worked hard at it,” he said. “In terms of her progression, I would have expected this performance from her next year. I would say she’s probably a year ahead of where we thought she would be.”
Brock went into the National Championships with the women winning bronze at the Ontario University Athletics finals and the men winning gold.
The Badgers men’s team opened the nationals with an 11-6 win over University of New Brunswick, but struggled after that and finished the tournament with a 2-5 record. That meant a seventh place overall finish for the men’s team consisting of skip Eric Bradey, Jamie Waters, Nick Lemieux, Ben Hughes and alternate Doug Thomson.
“For the men, after finishing bronze at the OUAs two years in a row, their big goal was to get to the gold medal game,” Etherington said. “They got there and they won it. So as much as you try to refocus for the Nationals, I think they were just a little bit off. In other tournaments you might be able to get away with that, but at the Nationals, everyone is strong.”
Brock’s Hughes, of St. Catharines, was named a Second Team All-Canadian at lead after shooting 84 per cent in the men’s tournament.