WolfPack men’s curling team locks up bronze

Adam Williams, Sports Editor Ω

James Keough (CIS representative), coach Ray Olson, David Gore, Michael Hiram, Jared Jenkins, Russ Koffski, Darren Nelson and Jim Mann (CCA representative) pose with Bronze medals following Saturday's semi-finals loss to Waterloo. - PHOTO BY GEORGE WYCHERLEY PHOTOGRAPHY

James Keough (CIS representative), coach Ray Olson, David Gore, Michael Hiram, Jared Jenkins, Russ Koffski, Darren Nelson and Jim Mann (CCA representative) pose with Bronze medals following Saturday’s semi-finals loss to Waterloo. – PHOTO BY GEORGE WYCHERLEY PHOTOGRAPHY

WolfPack curlers continued to hammer home Kamloops’s reputation as a sporting mecca this past weekend. The hometown WolfPack men’s curling team played their way to a bronze medal finish at the CIS-CCA Curling Nationals.

The team, skipped by Darren Nelson, faced off against the Waterloo Warriors in the championship semi-finals, after defeating the Waterloo rink in the final game of round robin play. The semi-finals came down to the final rock of the tenth, where Nelson forced Waterloo skip Jake Walker to throw a hack-weight hit-and-stick around a centre guard to win the game and move on to the final.

“I guess there’s always a few shots throughout the game that kinda make the difference,” Nelson said. “Obviously if we make a couple more shots here or there it could have given us some extra points, or if we could have scored our two points with the hammer a couple more times it would have helped put us in a better spots.

“But he made a real nice shot on his last one — when you’re playing 10, tied without the hammer, you just have to try and give the other skip a difficult shot and hope he misses it. This time he made it.”

Nelson felt his team started the week off slow, even though they were winning games they weren’t as sharp as he would have liked. However they managed to finish the round robin in third place, with a 4-3 record and were doing some of their best curling heading into the playoffs.

The team came in with an expectation to medal and though they were able to do that, not having the opportunity to compete for the gold was difficult.

“I think every team was hoping to win, I definitely saw our team as making the playoffs,” Nelson said. “Overall you can’t be too disappointed with the outcome, obviously it would be nice to be playing in the final right now but I think given a little more time the bronze medal might feel a little more satisfying.”

A playoff berth wasn’t in the cards for the WolfPack women’s curling team, who struggled throughout the week and in fifth place with a 2-5 record, failing to make the playoffs. For skip Tiffany Krausher the opportunity to play on a national stage was an experience she will cherish forever, despite the disappointing outcome.

“It definitely wasn’t our best performance,” Krausher said. “There was definitely games where we played absolutely amazing, but it was tough near the end. For some reason we just couldn’t perform like we know we can perform.”

The Waterloo Warriors went on to win the men’s gold medal by a score of 7-5 over the University of Alberta Golden Bears and the Manitoba Bisons defeated the University of Alberta Pandas by a score of 9-7.

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