(LEDUC, AB) - (U SPORTS) - The UNB Varsity Reds will play for the bronze medal at the 2018 U SPORTS men’s curling championship, in Leduc, Alberta, after falling 9-3 to the Alberta Golden Bears in Tuesday’s semi-final.
In the second semi-final on the men’s side of the championships, the Winnipeg Wesmen upset the No. 1 ranked Waterloo Warriors 5-4.
On the women’s side of the bonspiel, Alberta and Thompson Rivers will play for gold, while Mount Allison and Brock clash for the bronze medal.
“The team played fantastic, they made my job look easy,” said Golden Bears skip, and Leduc native Karsten Sturmay. “They are all really consistent from start to finish, so I can’t ask for much more. I think our guys are really going to enjoy playing in Wednesday’s final. The chance to win a national title at home is special.”
The national final appearance is the fourth straight for the Bears, who won their last banner in 2015, followed by back-to-back losses in 2016 and 2017.
The Pandas are also looking to add to their already impressive resume, as a win Wednesday over TRU would be their third national championship in four years.
The men’s and women’s winners will also earn the right to represent Canada at the 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyask, Russia.
After locking up first in the women’s standings, the 5-2 Pandas needed a few ends before taking control over Mount Allison. Tied 2-2 after five ends, Alberta scored three in the sixth, followed by another two in the eighth, on route to the 8-3 win over the Mounties.
TRU and Brock engaged in a back-and-forth thriller. The Wolf Pack held an early 5-2 lead, before the Badgers stormed back to eventually even the match at 7-7 after nine. A single by Thompson Rivers in the 10th sent them to the national final.
The Winnipeg men earned the lone upset win on Tuesday, erasing an early 2-0 deficit to eventually eliminate the top-seeded Warriors 5-4.
And, after losing to UNB in round robin play, Alberta exacted some revenge with their 9-3 win over the Varsity Reds.
“It’s been an unreal experience. Leduc has put on a fantastic event,” continued Sturmay. “The opportunity to complete as the host team in a national final, as well as in my hometown, is really incredible.”
The U SPORTS gold and bronze medal games get underway Wednesday at 3:00pm Atlantic.
RECAP AND PHOTOS BY: Golden Bears Athletics/for U SPORTS