Knights Curling captures OCAA silver

The NC Knights women's curling team, including (back row left to right) skip Emma Caldwell, lead Lorelle Weavers, (front row) vice Courtney Smith, and second Renee Boyce, pose with their coach Jordan Thin.

The Niagara College women’s curling program captured a silver medal at the 2017 OCAA Curling Championship, hosted by Sault College in Sault St. Marie, on Sunday, February 19.

The Knights defeated the top-seeded Fleming knights in the semi-finals by before losing a tight 6-4 battle to the Humber Hawks in the Gold Medal game.

In addition to the silver medal, St. Catharines native Emma Caldwell was named an OCAA Second Team All-Star, while head coach Jordan thin was named OCAA Curling Coach of the year. This marks the second consecutive year Thin has earned the accolade.

The second place finish gives Niagara College intercollegiate athletics its first OCAA women’s curling medal since the 2012-13 season when they captured gold. The medal also gives the Knights five OCAA medals so far in 2016-17. The Niagara Knights women’s curling team consists of Lorelle Weavers (Burlington), Renee Boyce (St. Catharines), Courtney Smith (St. Catharines), and Emma Caldwell (St. Catharines).

The four-day event saw the Knights finish round robin play with a record of 4-2. In round robin play, the Niagara side secured victories over Mohawk (6-3), Fleming (8-5), Fanshawe (5-2), and Seneca (5-3). The team was beaten by St. Clair (7-5) and Humber (7-1).

The Knights advanced the medal round as the number four seed and faced the 5-1 Fleming Knights in the semi-final. The tight battle saw the two teams tied 3-3 after five ends. The turning point proved to be the sixth frame, when the Knights stole a pair, to go up 5-3. Fleming would take two points of their own in the seventh, but in the process gave Niagara the hammer for the eighth and final end. Niagara made no mistake, scoring two points to secure the 7-5 victory while advancing to the gold medal match.

The Knights faced the Humber Hawks in the championship game. In the round robin, the Hawks cruised to a lopsided 7-1 victory, in a performance that Knights Curling head coach Jordan Thin simply chalked up to “flat game” by his team.

The gold medal match proved to be much tighter. The two teams traded single points in the early stages. Niagara led a 2-1 after three ends. With the hammer in the fourth, the Hawks managed to score the elusive first two-point end. The Knights tied the game up in the fifth, but the Hawks once again scored a deuce in the sixth end to lead 5-3.
With the Hawks doubling down on clean and defensive play, Niagara managed to score a single point in the seventh end giving the Hawks a 5-4 lead heading into the final frame. The Hawks played clean, picked up a single point, and captured the hard fought 6-4 victory.

With the silver medal performance, the Knights now advance to the CCAA National Curling Championship being hosted from March 21-24 by the University of Alberta-Augustana in Camrose, Alberta.