Excalibur Men Win First OUA Curling Championship
Vice Tyler Jones also earns spot on second team All-Stars
The Trent Excalibur men’s curling team was crowned 2011 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Curling Champions on Monday, February 21 at the Guelph Curling Club, marking the first time Trent has ever won the provincial title.
After placing third in round robin play, Trent avenged a round robin loss to the Laurier Golden Hawks to capture gold by a score of 8-6.
“The guys were awesome, especially given a line up that was not struck until late last Tuesday. Hard to believe a line up they've never tried in competition, could emerge as champions in a very strong field of men,” said Coach Dave Farnell, explaining that the championship was the first time the team played with Mike Bryson skipping, Tyler Jones at vice, Simon Barrick at second, and Behn Lane at lead. Chris Whitehill and Trevor Brewer played fifth respectively. “There were a couple of very tough shots under immense pressure I'll never forget ... and I've seen a lot in recent years. What a performance representing Trent University!”
The Trent men’s team, wearing their colourful plaid shirts went 6-2 in the round robin finishing third overall. In semi-final action, the Excalibur defeated the Guelph Gryphons in an extra end. With Guelph holding the hammer, Trent would steal one to win the game 6-5 setting up a Laurier, Trent gold medal game.
The men’s final featured some sharp shooting by Laurier and Trent who battled back and forth all game. Trent scored three points in the fourth end off a beautiful shot by skip Simon Barrick (Kitchener, Ont.) to take a 5-3 lead but Laurier responded with two of their own in the fifth to tie the game at five.
Trent would once again post another two points with the hammer to take a 7-5 lead with two ends remaining. The Hawks could only score one of their own with the hammer in the seventh end and were forced to steal one in the eighth to send the game to an extra end. Following a freeze shot by Mapletoft, skip Barrick made a pressure shot to the button to take one point and the 8-6 gold medal victory.
The University of Waterloo played host to 11 schools as they competed for the top OUA curling prize. The event took part over a five day span with each school playing in a total of eight draws with the top four teams in the men’s and women’s divisions moving on to the playoff round. The Excalibur women placed eighth overall in the championship.
View the video of the exciting gold medal game here.
Photo caption (from l to r): Mike Bryson, Chris Whitehill, Behn Lane, Simon Barrick, Tyler Jones and Trevor Brewer