Despite finishing round-robin play with a 1-3 record and missing the playoffs, local curlers Hailey Beaudry and Erin Tomalty said they were proud of their efforts at the 2017 U21 women’s provincial championship in North Bay last week.
“It was a good week,” said Beaudry, who skipped the rink.
“We had a few close games and we learned a lot from this one, that’s for sure.”
“We started off with a rough first game, which was unfortunate, but [it] did not change our minds about the end result we wanted,” echoed Tomalty, who played second.
“The next couple games were all pretty close.”
Beaudry’s rink, based out of the Fort William Curling Club and also including Bryn Morgan and Tiana Gaudry of Thunder Bay, opened play Dec. 28 with a 12-4 loss to Camille Daly (Copper Cliff CC).
“Erin and I knew that we were going to be in Thunder Bay for school, so we thought we would ask Bryn and Tiana if they’d be interested in forming a team there, and we had a meeting and set the season up,” Beaudry explained.
“We had an event in Brandon in November to lead up to this event, the Brandon Junior Sun Life challenge, where we lost in the quarter-finals of the championship round,” she recalled.
“Other than that, we play on Wednesday night in Thunder Bay in the Junior Major League and practise three-four other days a week depending on everyone’s school schedule,” Beaudry added.
The quartet bounced back in their next game that night—earning an 8-4 victory over Evelyn Hoffman (Idylwylde G&CC) to remain in playoff contention.
But the following day, Beaudry fell to eventual champion Krysta Burns (Idylwylde) by a score of 8-7 in 11 ends.
“For our game against Burns, I believe that was our strongest game throughout the whole week of this championship, besides the scoreboard loss,” Tomalty noted.
“The Burns team definitely is skilled and came prepared, and will represent the region well at nationals,” said Beaudry.
Beaudry then wrapped up play later that day with a 9-6 loss to Kira Brunton (Sudbury CC).
“We just didn’t come out on the top in the score [but] we had really good games against both of those teams,” Beaudry reasoned.
Up next, Beaudry and Tomalty will begin preparing for the 2017 U Sports-Curling Canada Canadian University Curling Championships with their Lakehead Thunderwolves’ teammates, which will be held March 18-22 at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.
The rink already has clinched a birth as host of the event.
The quartet will prepare with a trip to the Ontario University Athletics Championships in Oshawa from Feb. 16-20, along with other local competitions.
Both Beaudry and Tomalty stressed having an automatic berth early doesn’t affect their preparation.
“We want to prepare the best we can to represent the school to the best of our abilities,” Beaudry remarked.
“We want to represent Lakehead the best we can and want to win,” agreed Tomalty.
“We will continue to work hard at improving as much as we can before the event.”