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Wesmen curlers go 1-1 on Day 1 of nationals

Wesmen skip J.T. Ryan calls on his sweepers during a match at the U SPORTS curling championship. The Canada West conference announced Friday curling would be one of two new conference-sanctioned sports and will begin play in 2018-19.
Wesmen skip J.T. Ryan calls on his sweepers during a match at the U SPORTS curling championship. The Canada West conference announced Friday curling would be one of two new conference-sanctioned sports and will begin play in 2018-19.

BY DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics

The Winnipeg Wesmen broke even on Day 1 of the U SPORTS national curling championship Saturday in Leduc, Alta.

After scoring an 8-5 victory over the Waterloo Warriors in the first draw of the day, the Wesmen were unable to rally against the UNB Varsity Reds and dropped a 6-4 decision in a night draw to fall to 1-1.

In the first draw of the day, the Wesmen got off to a solid start against the OUA's Warriors.

The Wesmen swung things in their favour with a three-point steal in the fifth end that gave them a 5-1 lead. That steal came after the Wesmen had scored a deuce in the fourth to overcome an early 1-0 deficit.

Waterloo, which had last rock in the first end, blanked the first two ends and scored a single in the third to take its only lead of the match.

After the Warriors scored a deuce in the sixth to cut into Winnipeg's lead, the Wesmen added another three in the eighth to take full control 8-3. Waterloo scored another pair in the ninth and the teams shook hands.

Third Kyle Doering curled 95 per cent for the match for Winnipeg, and skip J.T. Ryan outdueled his counterpart John Willsey, curling 83 per cent to Willsey's 70 per cent.

In the 6 p.m. draw, some struggles in the middle ends did the Wesmen in. After scoring two with last rock in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead, the V-Reds scored successive steals of one in the fifth and sixth to take control.

The Wesmen got back in the match with a deuce in the seventh and steal of one in the eighth to tie the game at four, but UNB managed a single with last rock in the ninth and then stole another single in the 10th.

The standings after Day 1 are muddled with six of the eight teams sitting at 1-1 behind first-place Alberta, which stands at 2-0.

Winnipeg will look to get back into the win column Sunday with a morning match against the Dalhousie Tigers and a night contest with the Brock Badgers.