BY DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
The Winnipeg Wesmen men's curling team is taking it down to the wire in a quest to secure a playoff berth at the U SPORTS national tournament in Leduc, Alta.
The Wesmen team of lead Rob Gordon, second Ty Dilello, third Kyle Doering and skip J.T. Ryan dropped both games Monday and fell to 3-3 in the process. They will now need a win in their final round-robin game Tuesday against Regina to secure one of the top four positions that qualify for the playoffs.
The Wesmen dropped a 7-5 decision to the OUA's Ryerson Rams in the morning before falling to the Alberta Golden Bears 4-3 in a night draw.
In the morning draw, the Wesmen were upset by the Rams, who moved to 2-3 at the time with the victory.
The Wesmen were done in with a three-end stretch in which they gave up a deuce in the fifth followed by successive steals of one in the sixth and seventh.
Winnipeg battled back with a deuce in the eighth and a steal of one in the ninth to pull to 6-5, but the Rams used last rock in the 10th to seal the deal.
The teams traded singles through four ends before the Rams were able to break it open.
The Wesmen curled 78 per cent for the game, their lowest output of the tournament to date. Ryerson curled at 74 per cent.
Against Alberta, the Golden Bears scored a deuce in the fifth to break open a 1-1 tie and take a 3-1 lead. The Wesmen blanked the next two ends, scored a single in the eighth and stole another single in the ninth to tie the game. Alberta would prevail by scoring a single with last rock in the 10th.
The Wesmen curled 86 per cent for the match to Alberta's 84 per cent.
Winnipeg's road to a playoff will now go through another Canada West team when the Wesmen face the Cougars in a 2 p.m. draw Tuesday. A win there against the 1-5 Cougars would secure the fourth and final playoff spot in the eight-team event.
The Wesmen were helped out by the Waterloo Warriors, who beat Ryerson in the night draw. That loss sent the Rams to 2-4 and kept them from pulling even with Winnipeg in the standings and making a path to the playoffs clearer for U of W.
Should the Wesmen qualify for the playoffs, semifinals will go later Tuesday.