It's been a long time since UNB fielded a curling team but after finally re-establishing the sport at the University for the 2013-14 season the Varsity Reds women's curling team won the Atlantic University Curling Championship today at the Capital Winter Club.
UNB, led by Jennifer Armstrong, defeated Acadia 6-5 in their first game and won their second by default against Dalhousie who was storm-stayed in Halifax. They advanced to the final against Saint Mary's University where they won by a convincing 11-4.
Armstrong and her rink of third Jaclyn Crandall, second Shelby Wilson, lead Darie Tardif and alternate Katelyn Kelly have now advanced as one of the two women's teams to represent Atlantic Canada at the CIS Championship in Regina, March 19-23. The team is coached by Gary Wilson.
In the championship game against SMU they exchanged the lead several times but by the close of the seventh end were all tied up 4-4. UNB made some key moves in the eighth and, after a time out with Coach Gary Wilson, grabbed two to put them ahead 6-4. It was all over in the ninth as the Varsity Reds grabbed five to overwhelm the Huskies 11-4.
"We knew we were close the whole game," said Armstrong. "There were a few ends that we were iffy about and then stealing two and then five in the ninth - we never missed a shot."
Representing UNB at the Atlantic Curling Championship after a long hiatus in that sport put the pressure on team Armstrong. "I'm honored; especially being the first team back representing UNB – we didn't want to disappoint anyone for putting curling back in."
I'm really excited and can't wait to go to Saskatchewan. We hope that curling will continue at UNB," commented Armstrong.
On the men's side of the draw Memorial University won the championship defeating Saint Mary's after 11 ends.
Unfortunately the UNB men's team earlier lost to SMU. They will now play at 9:00 am on Sunday morning against UPEI. Should they win that game they will play SMU again for the chance to attend the CIS championship as the Atlantic second team.
Photo: left to right: Jennifer Armstrong, Jaclyn Crandall, Shelby Wilson, Darie Tardiff, Katelyn Kelly, and Gary Wilson.
Maureen Sparks, UNB Sports Information