National gold for RDC women curlers, men earn bronze

The RDC Women's Curling team played their best when it mattered the most and earned CCAA gold.  Photo - Tony Hansen
The RDC Women's Curling team played their best when it mattered the most and earned CCAA gold. Photo - Tony Hansen

Saturday, was the final day at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Curling National Championships in Camrose and both Red Deer College Curling teams were in the hunt for a medal. The Red Deer College Women's Curling team (Brett DayKatie PrimroseSara McMannMarla Sherrer and Taylor Konschuh) peaked at the right time. After a strong Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Curling Championships where the group earned silver, the women's team elevated their game, defeated top seeded Fanshawe in the semi-finals and then won over the ACAC gold medal winners, Concordia, to earn a CCAA Women's Curling National Championship. After a morning setback, the RDC men (Jordan Smith, Austin Kelts-Larsen, Ty Parcels, Ryan Dahmer and David Austin) showed persistence and picked up a bronze medal in the afternoon. 

On sheet 3 at 9:30 a.m., the RDC Queens played well in the semi-finals, defeated the 1st place Fanshawe Falcons 7-5 and earned an opportunity to play for national gold. Concordia defeated NAIT 8-7 to set up a showdown between the 2 ACAC squads for the national title. 

In the men's morning semi-finals, the Mohawk Mountaineers defeated the RDC Kings 8-1. The Fanshawe Falcons won 13-5 over the Humber Hawks in the other semi-final. This set up a Fanshawe and Mohawk matchup for gold, while RDC and Humber faced each other for bronze.

In the medal games, RDC Curling Head Coach Brad Hamilton had both RDC teams well prepared and they came away with some hardware. At 2:30 p.m., the Red Deer College women faced a familiar opponent, the Concordia Thunder. Even though the Thunder won ACAC gold it didn't faze the Queens. The RDC Women's Curling team was sharp, defeated Concordia 7-6 and claimed a national gold medal. The Fanshawe women picked up bronze after they won 8-7 over NAIT. At the same time, the RDC Men's Curling team soundly defeated the Humber Hawks 10-3 and earned a CCAA Curling National bronze medal. The Fanshawe men's team won gold after they defeated Mohawk 7-4. 

Once the RDC women's team found their groove it was difficult for other teams to beat them. 

"The women got off to a slow start but got on a roll to qualify for the playoffs," said Hamilton, who was named the CCAA Women's Curling Coach of the Year. "They saved their best for the playoffs and had two huge wins to take gold. Brett Day was named the CCAA Women's Curling Tournament All-Star Second."

Hamilton liked the ability of the RDC Men's Curling team to persevere for a national medal after a setback in the semi-finals.

"The men had a great week winning the round robin," said Hamilton. "Unfortunately, they struggled in the semi-finals but rebounded with a great game to win the bronze medal. Ryan Dahmer was named the CCAA Men's Curling Tournament All-Star Skip."

The RDC women last won CCAA gold in 2014 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. In 2012, the Red Deer College men's team last picked up a national medal when they earned silver in Peterborough, Ontario.

2017 CCAA Women's Curling Medals

Gold - RDC

Silver - Concordia

Bronze - Fanshawe

2017 CCAA Men's Curling Medals

Gold - Fanshawe

Silver - Mohawk

Bronze - RDC