Laurier Golden Hawks claim CIS gold with 6-4 win
Written by Laurier Athletics
MONTREAL - The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawk women's curling team repeated as national champions as they defeated the Saint Mary's Huskies 6-4 at the Royal Montreal Curling Club at the CIS Championships.
Earlier this season, the team led by skip Hollie Nicol (Markham, Ont.) finished with silve r at the winter Universiade in Harbin, China.
"It was a little hard to get refocused after being in China and representing Canada," commented Nicol on the slow start. "We play well with our backs up against the wall and we were able to do so despite the challenges of trying to repeat as national champions."
Earlier in the tournament the team defeated Saint Mary's 11-9, Regina 6-4 and Memorial 7-6 while losing to both other Ontario teams - Western 4-8 and Laurentian 6-9.
Laurier and Saint Mary's had met previously in the first contest of the round robin before the rematch in the gold medal contest. After falling behind by one in the second end of the championship game, the Hawks picked up two in the third to take the lead for what would be the balance of the contest. Laurier stole singles in both the fifth and sixth ends before Saint Mary's closed the gap with two in the seventh. The team's traded singles in the eighth and ninth ends before Nico l was left to close the championship by making her shot on the button.
Third, Danielle Inglis (Kleinburg, Ont.) led the team shooting 95% including a great shot in the tenth end of the championship game while skip Nichol was behind with 88% and second Laura Hickey (Toronto, Ont.) and Hilary McDermott (Guelph, Ont.) shot 80% and 71% in the gold medal match.
"It's the last year the four of us will be playing together for Laurier," commented an emotional Inglis after the medal presentation when asked about the importance of her second national title with the team. "The tournament was tough to get through this year with all these skilled teams."
The semifinal earlier in the day was against the University of Manitoba as a rematch of the previous seasons' national championships, which the Hawks won 6-4. Laurier was able to steal four in the second end before grabbing another point in the third end on route to the 9-3 win. The teams then shook hands after the eighth end when the Hawks picked up two.
The semifinal contest saw some great shooting by skip Nicol as well as Inglis who were shooting 75% and 81% respectively. The Manitoba skip Kaileigh Strath shot only 65% with two other members of her team unable to make several shots.
The CIS title is Laurier's lone of the year after winning four provincial titles earlier this year (women's soccer, men's soccer, women's field lacrosse, women's hockey). The Golden Hawk program has now earned 11 national and 55 provincial championships in its 22 varsity programs.