Gryphon curling men place fourth at national tournament

PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. – The Guelph Gryphons finished the U Sports curling championships Sunday in fourth place the men’s category.

The Gryphs dropped the bronze-medal match 11-6 to the Alberta Golden Bears after falling 8-4 to the Laurier Golden Hawks in the semifinals.

Guelph had finished the round-robin portion of the national championship tied for fourth with the Regina Cougars at 3-4. Guelph won the tie-breaker thanks to a 9-5 victory over Regina Friday.

Laurier finished round-robin play atop the standings at 7-0 while Alberta was second at 6-1 and Dalhousie Tigers third at 5-2. Guelph and Regina tied at 3-4 while Brandon Bobcats finished sixth at 2-5 and the Brock Badgers and Memorial Sea-Hawks tied for seventh at 1-6.

The Gryphs and Laurier were engaged in a tight battle through the first six ends – Guelph led 3-2 – until Laurier scored four in the seventh. The Gryphs responded with one in the eighth before the Golden Hawks put it away with two in the ninth.

Dalhousie scored three in the 10th to edge Alberta 7-5 in the other semifinal.

The Gryphs never led in the bronze-medal match, but they kept fighting to keep it close through eight ends. Alberta had scored three in the first, but the Gryphs responded with two in the second. Alberta added two more in the third and the fourth was blanked before Guelph scored one in the fifth and stole one in the sixth. Alberta replied with two in the seventh, but the Gryphs got those two back in the eighth. However, Alberta scored two more in the ninth and wrapped it up with the final two in the 10th.

Members of the Guelph squad are skip Dylan Niepage, vice Nathan Marshall, second Sam Guilbeault, lead Ryan Yee and coach Steve Szymanski.

Laurier took the gold-medal match 8-5 over Dalhousie. The Golden Hawks scored three in the second and added single points in five other ends. Laurier was up by four after four ends, but Dalhousie didn’t roll over and managed to get the gap down to two in the end.

Guelph didn’t qualify for the U Sports championship tournament in the women’s category.

Alberta Pandas and New Brunswick Varsity Reds finished tied for first in the women’s category at 6-1 while the Queen’s Gaels were third at 5-2, McMaster Marauders fourth at 4-3, Dalhousie Tigers, Laurier Golden Hawks and Regina Cougars tied for fifth at 2-5 and Brandon Bobcats eighth at 1-6.

Sunday’s semifinals saw Alberta double McMaster 8-4 by scoring two in the ninth and two more in the 10th while New Brunswick slipped by Queen’s 5-3 with one in the eighth and a steal of one in the ninth.

The gold-medal match was a runaway victory for Alberta as the Pandas scored five in the second end and New Brunswick called it quits after six ends with Alberta up 10-2.

Queen’s captured the bronze with a 7-5 win over McMaster in the third-place game. The Gaels scored two in the ninth and the 10th was blanked.


  • Guelph Sports Journal