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Sports News - March 3, 2008

OCAA Curling

Mixed Curling Champs 08 The Mohawk mixed team returned home from Windsor with the Gold Medal at the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association Curling Championships.

Thanks to a perfect 4-0 record in the round robin, Kris Blonski's rink earned a bye to the final where it defeated Confederation College of Thunder Bay 7-4. Other members of the winning foursome included Kathryn Papaioannou, Russ Gray and Aimee Smith.

Coach Barry Macklin said there were two key moments in the championship game. Leading 1-0 in the fourth end, but facing four Confederation rocks, Blonski called and made an angle raise of a rock in the twelve-foot ring to the button. His rock was guarded by several stones and with no way in, Confederation had to give up a single point. Then in the fifth end with Confederation sitting just behind the button, Blonski made a corner freeze on that rock with his last shot. The opposing skip couldn't get it out and Mohawk stole another point for a 3-0 lead. Thanks to Blonski's clutch shots, the Thunder Bay rink missed out on back-to-back multiple-point ends and the Mountaineers would not be headed.

Confederation scored one in the sixth end, but Mohawk put the game away with a four in the seventh. Coach Macklin said, "Mohawk won for two basic reasons. They made the big shot when it mattered most and their opposition didn't have the mental toughness to deal with their missed opportunities." Macklin added there is no doubt in his mind that had the opposite happened, Mohawk would have bounced back to win the game.

Mohawk's other rinks failed to make the medal round, but the women's team won everyone's respect and took home the Fair Play/Sportsmanship Award. The team was skipped by Erica Bridge and included Jessy Bittie, Kyla Smith, Katie Mattice and alternate Dilek Karadag.

The men's team, skipped by Collin Bower, included Jordan Brown, Russ Hunter, Charlie Linington and alternate Michael Dufour. Their highlight was a 7-3 romp over Sault College, but it wasn't enough to advance.

Full results from the weekend are available at: