Muskie boys’ rink nabs gold

Jamie Mountain

Both the Muskie boys’ and girls’ curling rinks will be heading into OFSAA here on a positive note.
Skipped by Chris Silver, the boys went 4-0 en route to capturing gold at the NWOSSAA championships held Sunday and Monday at the Fort Frances Curling Club.
They opened with a 5-2 win over the Atikokan Voyageurs on Sunday afternoon before cruising to a 10-3 drubbing of Ecole St. Joseph that night.
Then they downed Geraldton 6-1 on Monday morning.
Following a bye in the early afternoon draw, the Muskies closed things out with a 9-0 shutout over St. Ignatius later Monday.
Jason Bazylewski, Daniel Vandenbrand, Owen Riches, and Ben Olson make up the rest of the squad.
“Working as a team, I think, was the biggest thing,” Silver said about the rink’s success on home ice.
“At NorWOSSA, we could have got along a little more and that’s maybe why we didn’t have the best first game there,” he mused.
“But we were more supportive of each other [at NWOSSAA] and it’s too late to fix anything at this point, so we knew what our strengths were,” Silver reasoned.
“Just getting along and always being positive instead of focusing on the bad things that happen,” he noted.
“Hopefully we can bring that forward to OFSAA.”
In girls’ action, meanwhile, Tory Beaudry’s Muskie rink finished with the NWOSSAA silver medal after compiling a 4-1 record.
Ashley Payne, Katrina Slomke, Andrea Schram, and Lauren Penney are the other members of the team.
The squad opened with an 11-8 loss Sunday afternoon to the eventual champion Rainy River Owls, who went a perfect 5-0 to book their spot at OFSAA here later this month (both Muskie rinks have automatic byes into the tournament as the host teams).
Beaudry’s rink then rebounded with a 9-4 win over Geraldton on Sunday night.
The black-and-gold cruised to an 8-0 win against St. Ignatius in just three ends Monday morning before thumping Ecole Chateau-Jeunesse 10-2.
Then they capped play with an 11-0 rout of the Hammarskjold Vikings (Thunder Bay).
“I guess it was good getting more games under our feet,” said Beaudry, whose rink left yesterday to compete at the U18 provincials in New Liskeard that run today through Sunday.
“[We had] more games against kids our age, and I think it really helped us prepare and get more into the mindset of more competitive games instead of just our league games,” she reasoned.
Beaudry’s rink qualified for the provincials in New Liskeard by finishing in top spot with a 5-0 record at the U18 West regional playdowns held Feb. 2-3 in Keewatin.
The Jordon Bazylewski rink–which includes Kian McEvoy, Brett Schram, and Olson–also qualified for the provincials and made the trip to New Liskeard yesterday.
As for OFSAA, which runs March 20-24, both Muskie rinks are more than ready for it.
“Our game plan is the same throughout,” Silver stressed. “We’re more of a defensive team;, we like to play our game and then jump on our opportunities when they come.
“We’re really excited to play in front of the hometown,” he enthused.
“And it’s the last high school event for three of us–Me, Daniel, and Jason–so looking forward to hopefully ending on a good note and, if not, then just having lots of fun.”
What is Beaudry most looking forward to about the whole OFSAA experience at home?
“Just getting to represent our colours in our hometown and just kind of being like, ‘This is where we belong’ and showing what we can do,” she replied.
“We just want to do our best and try our hardest, and just not to get letdown by whatever the outcome is [even] if it’s bad.”