by ACAC Sports Writer Curtis J. Phillips
One thing was 100% guaranteed on the final day of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Curling Championships.
With four Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) teams competing in the men's and women's bronze medal games...Alberta was guaranteed a bronze medal.
CCAA Men's Curling Championship
In the men's final in Leduc, Alberta it was the NAIT Ooks against the University of Alberta Augustana Vikings while the women's game would feature the Ooks against Edmonton crosstown rival MacEwan University Griffins.
Held at Leduc Recreation Centre's twin arenas - Ken's Furniture Arena and Robinson Arena - the CCAA championships were in conjunction with the 2018 U SPORTS/Curling Canada Curling Championships (March 24-28; 2018), Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship (March 26-31, 20128) and the 2018 Canadian Mixed Doubles Championships (March 29-April 1).
Three points in the first end secured the NAIT Ooks the bronze medal against the Vikings in an 8-2 victory.
According to a CCAA media release the Ooks followed the first end "with a steal of one in the second. The Vikings would regroup to score one in the third end and steal a single in the fourth to cut the deficit in half. Yet the Ooks were relentless in their offense as they added two more in the fifth and another steal of one in the sixth to take a commanding 7-2 lead. The teams would trade single scores over the next three ends before shaking hands after the ninth, giving the Ooks the bronze medal with a final score of 8-4.
This was the fourth CCAA medal for the Ooks since 2013.
Competing in the men's draw were the Ooks, Vikings and fellow ACAC members Red Deer Kings and Concordia University of Edmonton Thunder while other CCAA representatives were Ontario Colleges Athletic Association's (OCAA) Fanshawe College Falcons, Niagara College Knights and Sault College Cougars along with Pacific Western Athletic Association's (PACWEST) Douglas College Royals rounding out the eight-team field.
CCAA Atlantic Colleges Athletic Association (ACAA) and Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec was not participating.
Ooks men, coached by Karl Myziuk, had advanced to the medal match with the following draws: 9-5 win against Niagara Knights, conceded to Fanshawe Falcons 6-8, 7-5 win against fellow ACAC member Red Deer Kings, conceded 4-7 to Douglas Royals, 7-5 victory over Augustana Vikings, 5-8 conceded to Sault Cougars, 9-4 decision against ACAC Concordia Thunder and conceded 4-12 to Fanshawe Falcons.
The gold medal went to Douglas 7-3 over the defending champion Falcons.
CCAA Women's Curling Championship
NAIT Ooks made it a double bronze performance at the CCAA stage.
Here is the CCAA report on the bronze medal match.
"The women's bronze medal game was another all-ACAC affair between the No. 3 seeded NAIT Ooks and the No. 4 ranked MacEwan University Griffins. The game started off slow with both teams trading singles in the first two ends, followed by the Griffins stealing one point in the third to take the lead 2-1. The Ooks would take control in the fourth with a score of two and a steal of one in the fifth, taking a 4-2 lead into the break.
Coming out of the technical timeout, the Griffins would settle for a single in the sixth end and steal a huge three points in the eighth end and regaining the lead over the Ooks, 6-4. NAIT would mount their own comeback to score two in the ninth end, tying the game at 6-6, before putting away the Griffins for good with a steal of two in the 10th to claim the bronze medal with an 8-6 victory. This was the Ooks' 6th CCAA women's curling medal in the last seven years.
The eight team competing in the women's side were the ACAC Ooks, Griffins and Red Deer Queens while the OCAA featured the Falcons, Fleming College Knights and Niagara College Knights with the PACWEST Camosun College Chargers and ACAA Holland Hurricanes rounding out the field.
MacEwan, coached by Tom Kitagawa, had the following draws: 5-6 loss to the Ooks, 12-3 win over Holland, 7-6 edging of the Niagara Knights, 12-4 crushing of the Fleming Knights, conceded 3-6 to Camosun, defeated Red Deer Queens 8-6 and lost to Fanshawe 5-9 and 5-6.
Ooks, coached by Jules Owchar, would see their draw bracket: beat MacEwan 6-5 and Fleming 8-5, lost to Fanshawe 4-6, swept away Holland 7-4, was doubled by Red Deer Queens 5-10, conceded to Camosun 5-7, edged Niagara 8-7 and lost to Camosun 3-6.
Griffins third Erin Wells was named to Women's Tournament All Star Team and Ooks coach Owchar the Curling Canada Coaching Award.
Gold went to Fanshawe Falcons in extra ends on the final throw in the 11th end for a 5-4 decision against Camosun Chargers.
Since 2012, when the CCAA Curling Championships were restarted after a long hiatus, having stopped in 1989, the ACAC has now captured two gold, three silver and five bronze in men's action while ACAC women have earned two gold, three silver and six bronze.