For the first time in 25 years UNB will be sending a team to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) nationals in curling.
“Being the first team back for the University of New Brunswick, we had a little pressure,” said women’s skip Jenn Armstrong. “But I think now they’re going to keep curling, at least in the university, which is what we wanted.”
The women were able to win the A Qualifier at the Atlantic University Championships over the weekend, pushing them to CIS where they will compete for the national title.
Their first game was against the Acadia Axewomen where they won 6-5, their second win a default because of the Dalhousie University Tigers being stormed in at home.
“We started off kind of shaky, [it] being our first real game together as a team,” she said. “But once the game started rolling we started playing better, and we actually got three in the last end to win, and we needed three.”
“They played so-so, got a little bit lucky,” added head coach Gary Wilson. “But sometimes you have to be lucky to play well, so we made the right shots at the right times and came out on the winning side.”
Their final game, however, was a strong 11-4 victory over the Saint Mary’s University (SMU) Huskies.
The draw in the seventh end against four would be the most memorable play for Armstrong as it was the game winner.
“If I would have missed that then it would have been game over; we would have been shaking hands.”
Despite the win, Wilson says the team needs to work on their communication and a few other things on the ice, but says the team has molded well considering they’re a new group.
“They’re not experienced as a group but they’re all very experienced curlers, so we just need to work on that unity and we’ll be fine.”
Coach Wilson is excited to be with the team as they are the first one in 25 years to represent UNB, but also because his daughter Shelby Wilson is on the team. He says their hard word and the time invested are paying off.
“We put the time into it but they’ve certainly played well and come together, and we were certainly rewarded for their efforts.”