National curling title for Denyer
By Darren Lum
Published March 26, 2019
The Laurentian University Voyageurs women’s curling program is solidifying itself as a curling powerhouse, having just won its second U Sports Championship title in three years.
Part of this success includes a Highlands’ connection, as one of its members is former Red Hawks curler Alyssa Denyer, who has always appreciated the support from the Haliburton Curling Club and the Minden Curling Club, and is proud to call Minden her hometown.
Just like their provincial championship performance, the Voyageurs came through in the clutch again, beating the Brock University Badgers 7-5 in the 10th end at the Willie O’Ree Place in Fredericton, New Brunswick on Tuesday, March 19.
The Voyageurs skip Kira Brunton had to draw to the button for the win and came through, as she has all season.
Denyer revealed the confidence she had in her teammate and what she remembers of the moments that led up to when her skip threw the rock.
With her teammate Emma Johnson, she said, “I knew as sweepers about four rocks ahead of time that we would probably be sweeping an out-turn draw to the four foot on [Brunton’s] last. But she had thrown that same perfect draw multiple times that game, and all week, so I had all the confidence in the world that it would be an easy judge and easy sweep to get shot because we had been making those team shots all week,” she wrote in an email. “Of course it was exciting and nerve wracking, and lots of hugs and high fives were shared after shaking hands with our opponents.”
Denyer describes curling at the nationals was better than she could have ever imagined.
“Walking into the arena to see the iconic blue carpet around the sheets like you see in the Scottie’s and Briar, and [when I saw] the Curling Canada scoreboards, it really made it feel real. From start to finish it felt like each game we played [we] just got better and better. After beating some of the big name teams, like Alberta and Dalhousie, we continued to work together and make more shots and win more games. For my first national and to be able to win it with these girls and representing Laurentian was an unreal experience,” she wrote.
The team finished round-robin play at 5-2 and entered the playoffs as the fourth seed.
The Voyageurs routed the round-robin top-seed Dalhousie Tigers 8-2 to earn a berth to the championship final against the Brock Badgers, which was broadcast live on cbcsports.ca.
Her parents, Rick and Marilyn, who had made vacation plans for Mexico prior to the championship, stayed up to date with their daughter through texts sent by friend Cynthia Kocot.
“We were sitting on a bus on our way back from a day excursion to Playa Del Carmen. It was very nerve wracking when we received the text that said, ‘they have to draw in for the win.’ We erupted into applause when we received the final text, ‘YIPPEE,’” her father said.
Denyer said she connected with her parents via a video call on the way out to the car, following the medal ceremonies and photos.
“We were able to share the excitement with my family,” she wrote.