David Pastor, Sports Reporter

Humber’s men and women curling teams both won silver medals at this year’s CCAA National curling tournament in Portage La Prairie, Man. 

Amidst the chaos of COVID-19, Humber’s curling team performed to the best of their ability and finished as the second-ranked school in the country in both men’s and women’s. It’s the third silver medal for the women since 2014 and the men garnered a gold and two silvers since ’16. 

Sean Turriff, the head coach of the curling team, praised Curling Canada, the organizers of the tournament for the hard work and commitment to making the tournament as successful as possible.

“The event was really well run, the organizers were extremely good of being on top of updates and managing situations,” he said.

The tournament consisted of the top eight men and women curling schools in the country. The tournament was packed with talent from Ontario and Alberta as only one team came from another province.

Ontario was represented by Humber, the Fanshawe Falcons, Sault Cougars and Confederation Thunderhawk. 

Alberta had six of the 11 schools that participated that included the Concordia Thunder and Nait Ooks from Edmonton, Lakeland Rustlers from Vermillion, Sait Trojans in Calgary, Augustana Vikings in Camrose and the Red Deer Queens. 

The Douglas Royals from New Westminster, B.C., was the lone school from another province in this year’s national tournament. 

The Hawks women’s team won four of its seven matches defeating division rival Fanshawe, 6-4, Augustina, 6-4, Red Deer, 9-4 and Concordia College, 10-5. 

Humber’s female curlers would advance to finals where they would fall to Douglas by a score of 10-1.

Parker Doig, Mikayla Ottogalli and Brittney Elson led the Hawks women’s curling team to silver at CCAA. (Courtesy CCAA)

Brittany Elson, the starting lead for the women’s team was named one of two OCAA all-stars for the females and the only Hawk to be selected for the First Team. Elson has been selected in each of the past three seasons.

Elson praised her teammates and said he was extremely pleased with the outcome of the women’s team performance considering a slow start at the start of the year.

“We came together, we’re a brand new team this year and it feels really good to go and hit our goal [making it to the finals],” she said.

The men’s team dominated the tournament winning all their round-robin matches beating Lakeland, 8-7, Concordia, 7-5, Confederation, 7-3, Nait, 7-3, Fanshawe, 7-2 and Sault by a score of 9-5.

Just as the women’s, Humber’s men curling team would make it to the finals but would fall to Concordia 10-9. 

Although the men’s team didn’t win, Turriff said he was extremely pleased with how they performed throughout the tournament is excited for the future of Humber curling.

“Our goal is always to win the national championship, and we really honestly thought we had a really good chance at winning gold this year, men and women’s,” he said. “At the time it stings but looking back I think were pretty proud of the fact that both teams are second in the country.” 

Three male Hawks made the First Team All-Stars, Zack Shurtleff, Matthew Garner and Emerson Steffler while assistant coach Clancy Grandy earned the Curling Coaching Award.

Humber will take this as a learning experience and make improvements as they attempt to gold next year.