The Muskie boys', girls' and mixed curling teams headed into the NorWOSSA championships in Kenora on Sunday and Monday to kick butt and chew bubblegum—and they were all out of bubblegum.
Both the boys' and girls' rinks claimed NorWOSSA gold while the mixed team snared silver as they all represented Fort Frances with pride.
“The coaches Kim [Beaudry], Tirzah [Baird] and myself are extremely proud of every Muskie curler,” Muskie boys' coach Ron Silver enthused.
“They represented the Fort Frances High School, Fort Frances Curling Club and the Town of Fort Frances with dignity, respect, competitive pride and were humble in victory, graceful in defeat!”
The Muskie boys' rink, which is skipped by Owen Riches and also is comprised of Kian McEvoy, Jordon Bazylewski and Brett Schram, compiled a perfect 3-0 record en route to snaring the gold and booking their ticket to NWOSSAA.
Fort High opened play on Sunday by doubling the Whitefish Bay Winterhawks 8-4 before then delivering an 11-0 crushing to the Rainy River Owls. The Muskies then ended play on Monday with a hard-fought 5-3 win against the Kenora Broncos to finish the event unbeaten.
The Owls claimed silver with a 2-1 record and also advanced to NWOSSAA, which is slated for March 8-10 in Longlac.
Rainy River is comprised of Hayden Haw (skip), William Low (third), Carlin Drennan (second), and Carter St. Pierre (lead).
As for the Muskie girls' rink, they also went unbeaten in compiling a 4-0 record to snare gold and book their ticket to NWOSSAA.
The squad, which is skipped by Ashley Payne and also features Jillian Cousineau, Anna Peters, Daffni Chabot and Lauren Penney, opened play on Sunday with a default win over the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora) before then dumping the Sioux Lookout Warriors 7-4.
Then on Monday, the Muskies thumped the Red Lake Rams 9-3 before cruising to a 12-1 rout of the Owls.
“They curled well,” Muskie girls' coach Kim Beaudry said of her squad.
“[They] kept their focus and communicated well as a team.”
The Warriors nabbed silver to be the final team to advance with a 3-1 record while the Rams (2-2) were third and the Owls wound up fourth (1-3).
The Owls' rink is skipped by Kirsten Armstrong and also features Micaela Jolicouer (third), Avery Kreger (second) and Erika Gerula (lead).
In mixed division action, which was played in a double round robin format as opposed to a single round robin for the girls and boys, the Muskies compiled a 2-3 record to settle for silver.
The squad, which is skipped by Brayden Sabbe and also features Rylee Booth, Julianna Rousseau, Emelia Saciuk and Sadie Tolton, opened play on Sunday with a 10-0 romp over the Warriors before battling hard and getting edged 7-6 by the Rams later that day.
Then on Monday, the Muskies pulled out a 7-5 win over the Warriors and needed to win their final match against Red Lake to snare gold.
“However, [they were] just the wrong side of the inch and fell to Red Lake 6-5,” Silver noted.
That resulted in a three-way tie for first as the Muskies, Rams and Warriors all had identical 2-2 records.
By the way of the tiebreak procedure, the Muskies earned a bye to the four-end final against Red Lake where they again came short in a 3-1 setback to settle for silver.
This is the end of the road for the mixed teams as there is no NWOSSA for that division this season.
“Muskie curling isn't three different teams . . . It's one team with three goals, helping each other, each group to reach to their goals,” Silver reasoned.
“Together we all win!”
Following next month's NWOSSAA, OFSAA is then slated for March 25-28 in Uxbridge.