The Memorial Sea-Hawks, skipped by Greg Blyde, are headed back to the U Sports national university men’s curling tournament as a result of their runner-up finish at the Atlantic University Sport championships which concluded in Halifax on Sunday.
Blyde and teammates Daniel Bruce, Ryan McNeil Lamswood and Ben Stringer only suffered one loss in six games in the AUS competition, but that was in Sunday’s final, where Dalhousie cruised to a 9-2 win.
However, since the AUS will have two berths in the U Sports Canadian championships March 13-17 in Portage la Prairie, Man., Blyde, Bruce and McNeil Lamswood will have a chance at consecutive medals at the national university event. At the 2019 U Sports championships in Fredericton, N.B., they, along with Nathan Young, won a silver medal.
It’s worth noting that they also hadn’t entered the 2019 nationals as conference championships, but as a team that had earned one of the extra berths that went to the AUS.
It will be the second national championship of the winter for Bruce and McNeil Lamswood, who represented Newfoundland and Labrador — Bruce as skip and McNeil Lamswood as third — at the 2020 national junior championship in Langley, B.C.., earlier this month, when they won a silver medal.
McNeil Lamswood actually as a shot at playing in a third Canadian championship this season. He and his sister Sarah comprise one of 10 teams entered in the Newfoundland and Labrador mixed doubles beginning Tuesday at the Re/Max Centre in St. John’s.
Blyde will also be part of that event on a team with Lauren Barron.
The 2020 AUS women’s championship was held concurrently with the men’s competition. There, Memorial was represented by a rink skipped by another reigning provincial junior champion, Mackenzie Mitchell.
Mitchell, with a Sea-Hawks team that included two of her junior teammates, Katie Follett and Claire Hartlen, along with Felicity Snow. went into the final round-robin draw of the AUS championship needing a win to advance to the playoffs, perhaps as high as the second seed. But a loss to the Mount Allison Mounties left them at 2-3 and although that left them tied with the Saint Mary’s Huskies for fourth place. it was the Huskies who advanced top the semifinals. That was because they had defeated the Sea-Hawks in their round-robin meetings.
Dalhousie also went onto win the women’s division.
Mitchell (teamed with Greg Smith) and Follett (with her brother Sam) are also entered in the upcoming provincial mixed doubles championship.