The Saskatchewan Wheelchair Curling team is coming home with some hardware for the first time ever after defeating Alberta for the gold medal at the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships in Thunder Bay, Ont. on Sunday afternoon.
“We are pumped and excited. We can’t quit smiling,” said Moose Jaw’s Marie Wright, second for the team.
The team is skipped by Darwin Bender, third is Gil Dash and lead is Larry Schrader and co-coached by Moose Jaw’s Lorraine Arquin and Bob Capp.
The rink curled to a 7-2 record in the round robin that tied them with Quebec in the standings. They played a tiebreaker against Quebec and defeated them to finish in second place in the round robin standings. In the page playoff against Alberta (first) and Saskatchewan (second), Alberta scored one in the eighth end to win 5-4, which resulted in Saskatchewan playing in the semi-final game against Ontario and winning 7-2 and placing the rink in the final against Alberta. In the final, the two rinks went to the extra end, with Saskatchewan winning with a 7-6 decision.
“It very close. We were one down, coming home with the hammer and our skip threw into the four-foot for shot rock and tie it up,” said Wright. “In the extra end, we got one buried in the four-foot and Alberta couldn’t get around to it and we stole in the extra end to win the gold medal.”
Saskatchewan has never made it to the playoffs before and the rink was very excited to be the first team to make the playoffs and bring home the gold medal. The rink was also energized by the fans that were watching in Regina and Moose Jaw via an online stream.
“It is awesome. I don’t think we have come down from cloud nine yet. We are pretty pumped. We were definitely the underdogs coming into it, now I don’t think people think we are anymore,” said Wright. “There was a lot of people back home watching us too. It was pretty exciting to think that they could actually be watching us back home when they know how far away we are, but knowing that people were watching us was awesome.”
It was an exhausting week for the rink, as they curled twice a day without much of a break in between games, but “well worth it in the end”.
The season is now over for the rink, but will be looking forward to next year. The team gets back into Regina on Monday evening at 6:45 p.m.