Bears to curl for gold at Winter Universiade Games

    Team Canada to play Norway on Saturday night

    By U SPORTS Communications on March 9, 2019

    KRASNOYARSK, RUSSIA - The Canadian men’s curling team will play for first place after a thrilling, come-from-behind, last second shot win over Switzerland by a score of 9-8 on day seven. Canada is now guaranteed their third medal at the 29th Winter Universiade.

    Men’s Curling

    The Canadian men’s curling team of skip Karsten Sturmay,  third Tristan Steinke, second Christopher Kennedy, and lead Glenn Venance Captured a thrilling 9-8 victory over Switzerland in the semi-final match.

    With the semis win, the Canadians advance to the gold medal game against Norway on Saturday, March 9 at 9 p.m. ET (9 a.m. local time).

    Sturmay talked about the competition, “It was really back and forth. We knew that Swiss team was a great team and they were going throw everything at us despite us being up so early in the game.”

    In the end, Canada pulled a come-from-behind win as they scored one in the tenth (just missing the deuce with the hammer) and then stealing one in the 11th after a perfect freeze by the skip.

    Sturmay enthused after the thrilling victory, “ Holy moly! What can I say. I’m so proud of our team for never giving up and sticking with it. We were fortunate to get a small mistake on his last one and a great shot to lock that freeze on. We made them have to play something pretty tough for the win. In those situations, obviously the odds are stacked against you. But the most you can do is puts some pressure on your opponent and we came out on the right side today.”

    It was a back-and-forth affair and looked early like Canada had control as they jumped to a 6-2 lead after five. The Swiss mounted a comeback with three of their own with the stole the seventh which then lead the a nail-biter of the rest of the match and culminating in Switzerland flashing their final shot as they tried to remove the Canadian stone in the four foot.

    Now Canada plays for gold.

    “We are so excited to play for a gold medal. We came here striving for a medal for our country. In a competition of this level, to walk away with a medal of any colour is a huge accomplishment,” stated Sturmay. “Obviously, we are going out there tomorrow and give it our all and striving for gold. But the sun will come up again if we don’t get that.”

    Canada will now win their first medal (bronze) in men’s curling at a Winter Universiade since 2013 and the last time a Canadian men’s curling team has step on the top of a podium was in 2003.

    Women’s Curling 

    Canada (7-2; playoffs: 0-1) played in a highly competitive and intense match against Great Britain (5-4; playoffs: 1-0) in the morning #3 vs. #6 playoff game and lost 6-4 to not advance into the semi-finals.

    After a blank in the first, the women’s curling team (7-2) of skip Kristen Streifel (Alberta; Clavet, Sask.), third Danielle Schmiemann (Alberta; Stony Plain, Alta.), second Selena Sturmay (Alberta; Leduc, Alta.), first Jessica Iles (Alberta; The Pas, Man.) and fifth Paige Papley (Alberta; Beaumont, Alta.) earned the first point in the second when they stuck on a hit. Another blank followed in the third and then the Canadians forced GB to score a lone point in the fourth. With the hammer in the fifth, Canada could only muster one after trying to blank the end.

    Canada then forced GB to a single in the sixth and then produce a deuce after nice set-up earlier I the end and easy take out by skip Striefel for the two. After a blank, Great Britain scored at two in the ninth for the big tenth end.

    With the hammer, the Canadians could not put enough pressure on GB and Striefel had a difficult draw facing two rocks in the rings and two guards and was a tad heavy with her draw and come away with a tough loss.

    Canada had won the women’s curling gold medal in the last Universaide (2107- Almaty) and a silver in 2015 with the last time the nation did not win a medal in women’s curling in the Universiade was 2013.