Teams from the University of Alberta got off to strong starts at the CIS/CCA curling championships Wednesday, while the TRU WolfPack teams were up and down.
The Alberta Golden Bears men's team and Pandas women's team are both 2-0 after two draws at the university championships, which continue today at the Kamloops Curling Club. There are eight teams in each gender, the top three of which will move into the playoffs.
Alberta's men, skipped by Brendan Bottcher, are the defending CIS/CCA champions, and looked like it Wednesday. The Golden Bears opened with a 10-4 victory over Mike Bryson and the Trent Excalibur, before knocking off Robert Mayhew's Acadia Axemen 7-4 - neither game made it to the 10th end.
The Alberta women, meanwhile, with Kelsey Rocque at skip, needed 11 ends to knock off Ginger Coyle and the McMaster Marauders 9-8 - the Pandas were up 8-3 after five ends - before sailing past Veronica Smith and the U of P.E.I. Panthers 10-3 yesterday afternoon.
The Alberta women are tied for first with the Manitoba Bisons' Breanne Meakin, while Jake Walker's Waterloo Warriors are undefeated alongside the Golden Bears men.
Both Alberta teams will be in action in both of today's draws - at 2 and 7 p.m. Friday's draws will run at 9 a.m., and 2 p.m., with the final round-robin draw scheduled for Saturday at 9 a.m.
The WolfPack women, who are skipped by Tiffany Krausher, are in solid position after splitting their openers. TRU, also featuring third Alyssa Kyllo, second Ashley Nordin, lead Kym Edgeworth, alternate Katie Hill and coach Brenda Nordin, opened with an 8-5 victory over UPEI, before dropping a 6-1 decision to the Marauders.
TRU will take on the Guelph Gryphons (2 p.m.) and Pandas (7 p.m.) today.
The WolfPack men, with Darren Nelson at the helm, also are in the thick of things after splitting their openers.
Nelson, third Russ Koffski, second Jared Jenkins, lead Michael Hiram, alternate David Gore and coach Ray Olsen, lost 8-5 to the Axemen yesterday morning, before taking down the Excalibur 10-7 in an extra end last night.
Nelson, who has a little momentum after stealing three in the 11th end against Trent, will meet the Carleton Raves (2 p.m.) and Golden Bears (7 p.m.) today.