Tough going for Thunderhawks’ rink at nationals

Jamie Mountain

It was a tough outing for the Confederation College Thunderhawks’ men’s curling rink at the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association national curling championships that were held Friday through yesterday in Fredericton, N.B.
The rink, which includes former Muskies Kurtwood McGuire (skip) and Jason Bazylewski (second), went 0-7 to finish last in the eight-team field.
Sault skip Nick Servant curled at 93 percent to lead the Cougars (OCAA) to a 9-1 romp over the Thunderhawks in the first draw Friday morning.
The Thunderhawks then looked to bounce back from that loss later in the day against the Olds Broncos but Olds took control of the match in the fifth end.
The Broncos added one more in the sixth, then iced the victory with two in the eighth for a 7-3 margin.
In a battle of OCAA teams on Saturday morning, the Thunderhawks and Humber Hawks were deadlocked at 3-3 through six ends.
Backed by Benjamin Hughes (curling 94 percent), Humber scored five in the seventh and two more in the eighth to cement a 10-3 victory.
Then that night, the Lakeland Rustlers and Thunderhawks battled in a close contest that saw the Rustlers hold a slim 5-4 lead heading into the ninth end.
However, Lakeland exploded for four points in the 10th to win 9-4.
Jared Mason curled 91 percent for Confederation College while Conner English was at 88 percent to lead the Rustlers.
On Sunday, the NAIT Ooks were the lone undefeated team following the morning matches but the Thunderhawks didn’t make it easy.
The Ooks came out firing, scoring one in the first end, three in the second, and two in the third for a commanding 6-0 lead.
But the Thunderhawks rallied back–scoring one in each of the fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth ends to trim the deficit.
NAIT held on, though, and capped their 7-4 win with one in the ninth behind 88 percent curling from John Ritchie.
The Thunderhawks then squared off against the Fanshawe Falcons that afternoon.
Fanshawe scored early–and often–against the Thunderhawks and eventually wound up with an 8-2 win.
The Falcons had strong performances from Brady St. Louis (88 percent), Tyler Twining (83 percent), and Charlie Richard (81 percent) in the win.
In their final match of the tournament Monday morning, the Thunderhawks ended on a sour note with a 10-3 loss to the Concordia Thunder.
The Thunder started out slow but persevered to claim the victory and lock up a spot in the semi-finals.