Rustlers curling teams place top 5 at nationals

Rustlers curling teams place top 5 at nationals

Head Coach Dusty Makichuk spoke highly of his teams last week with the Vermilion Standard, and couldn't ask for more of his teams.

"They played very well. We had two decent teams and they didn't disappoint us and over and above in most cases," he said.

Heading into national action, the Rustlers carried an unexpected injury from provincial play. Skip Branden Cookson sustained a head injury, prior to the bronze medal match. The mixed team had to forfeit and take fourth place below MacEwan University.

Makichuk confirmed Cookson entered the CCAA championship with a clean bill of health and skipped for all seven of the Men's games.

After Day 1 action on March 22, the Rustlers' Women sealed the day with a 1-1 record, following a loss to the Red Deer Queens and a win against the Humber Hawks with a triple in the 10th. The Men's defeated 2017 OCAA gold medalists, the Humber Hawks by a score of 8 – 2 and fell to the Fanshawe Falcons and end the day with a 1-1 record.

After Day 2 action on March 23, the lady Rustlers and Men's sealed the day with a 2-3 record, with similar trend on Day 3 with a 3-4 record.

Heading into final play, Makichuk said both teams were tied for a playoff spot, and placings were ultimately decided based on a rock through.

"The girls, they needed to win the last game they were in; that was how close they were and the boys were in the same position. The last game in the round robin, we ended having five tied for fourth in the round robin. It was ultimately decided by a draw to the button. That is how we didn't make it to playoffs and placed fifth," he said.

Both teams ended CCAA play with 304 records.

"They really came a long way. Many of the players are in their second year with me, so they understand the system a little more and they know each other better.

As for next year, Makichuk said he is only losing one man and two women, so he has high hopes his 2017-18 season teams will be able to keep up the momentum.

"Once you get a taste of the nationals, you really want to go back. It is an excellent event of course."

Taylor Hermiston
Vermilion Standard
www.vermilionstandard.com