Nov 26, 2013
Team Jennifer Armstrong and Team Josh Barry will represent UNB at the Atlantic University Championships being hosted by UNB January 3-5, 2014.
For the first time in well over a decade, UNB will return to the Atlantic University Championship curling with both men and women team entries. But for UNB sciences fresh women and UNB Curling Teams President, Katelyn Kelly, the return to the Atlantic University Championship will surely be welcome but for her bitter sweet.
The UNB Curling teams selection process and tournament wrapped up this weekend with a double knock-out play-off between one of Canada's premiere women junior curling teams lead by Jennifer Armstrong, against Kelly who packaged and skipped a foursome of talented, experienced and impressive curlers including former local skips Bryna McMurtrie at mate, former skip Tyler Parmiter at second and lead Melissa Parks from the competitive ranks in Nova Scotia. While veteran and distingished Armstrong, who is mated by a cast of veterans with nationals experience including Jaclyn Crandall, second Shelby Wilson and lead Darie Tardif (with Gary Wilson Coach), appeared to be a lop sided match, Team Kelly made Armstrong work for the victory from the opening toss.
It all took place at the Capital Winter Club on championship ice that brings out the best in competitors and makes for exciting and dramatic games. And thats thanks to CWC's new addition to ice-making and veteran master ice maker Joe Mason out of Fredericton Junction who has been hired by CWC to take the ice to the highest level under the existing conditions. Joe, who is one of Atlantic Canada's top ice-makers who crafted world class ice recently at major curling events including the Scotties in Charlottetown, Final Eight Men/Women Championships in Fredericton Junction and the World Seniors and Mixed Doubles this past year in Fredericton. CWC ice for the selection tournament was absolutely fantastic says Mason with over 4 feet of curl, with a draw speed of 26 seconds or split time hog to stop of 21-22 seconds.
In the selection tournament morning game one at CWC, it was Kelly who had the last rock in end one by drawing 8 inches from the button. But it only bested Armstrong's draw by what the officials could measure as an eighth of an inch better. But Armstrong won every battle after the toss by delivering her trade mark clutch shots in every end up to the 6th when Kelly conceded after falling behind in a game that was much closer than the score of 10-2.
In the afternoon match, Team Kelly in a must win situation, again bested Armstrong's 21 inch from the button draw for last rock when Team Kelly swept their draw to cover the button for last rock. Again Armstrong led her team with successive solid shots to put Team Kelly on the defensive up to the eighth end when team Kelly coming home down 5-2 made it very interesting by making Armstrong throw her last rock a take-out and stay to save suffering a 3-ender and going to an extra end. Armstrong out-matched the determined Team Kelly and completed for her one of her dreams. Armstrong has wanted to compete and play for her University and the Reds curling team for the past three years. In the end it was this determination and drive that brought her obvious competitive talent to represent UNB at the Atlantic University Championship.
For Katelyn Kelly, who lead the charge to re-establish competitive curling at UNB by bringing the stakeholders together during the recent World Championships in Fredericton, it was a bittersweet weekend. While her team went down to defeat in two games, she will see UNB return to the Atlantic University Championship for the first time in decades and do so with two very competitive teams including Josh Barry who are easily title contenders at both the Atlantic and national level. Barry has had one of the best curling seasons yet with finishes that include a major bonspiel win in Switzerland last month. Barry's team will include an impressive cast that includes Barry at skip, Daniel Wenzek at mate, Daniel Prest at second and Mitchell Small at lead. Veteran Daryl Nowlan will be Barry's coach. And this was the objective says Kelly. Our objective is to re-establish curling at UNB to the level and standard synonymous with the UNB Varsity Red program. Kelly is also proud that not only will two national contenders be representing UNB at the Atlantic University Championship, but UNB will also be hosting the Atlantic University Championship in Fredericton when it comes to the CWC in January.
Following the selection tournament, Armstrong approached Kelly who will now joint Team Armstrong as their alternate 5th player.
The Atlantic University Championships will be hosted by UNB and played at the Capital Winter Club in Fredericton January 3-5, 2014. Games will be 10 ends to simulate the what will happen at the CIS/CCA Canadian Curling Association Championship. The Atlantic University Championship will be a double knock out for both men and women and winners of A and B section will advance to the CIS nationals being played in Regina, Saskatchewan, March 19-23, 2014.