The University of Alberta Golden Bears will try to win their third national title in four years when the 2017 U Sports/ Curling Canada University Championships begin in Thunder Bay, Ont. Saturday.
Skipped by Whitehorse’s Thomas Scoffin, the U of A rink is also comprised of third Karsten Sturmay, second Tristan Steinke, lead Caleb Boorse, alternate Christopher Kennedy and coach Rob Krepps
“We’re feeling good. We know we’re a bit of a new team, but we’ve been working under the same roof and in the same program all year,” said Scoffin. “Things are coming together nicely at the right time.”
Two weeks ago, at the Western University Championship, the Golden Bears swept all of their games, going 6-0 to win their second straight Western title and their fifth in six years.
Their closest game of the tournament was against the University of Regina Cougars, who are the other men’s western team to attend nationals. The Golden Bears won that game 3-1.
In fact, the Golden Bears were so dominant at the Western University Championships, they outscored their opponents 50-11.
When Scoffin, who is in his fifth and final year of eligibility within the university curling circuit, steps on the ice in Thunder Bay for his first game Saturday evening, it will be his fourth time at the event. He’s skipped his own team two
times, winning his first national title in 2015 and capturing silver in 2016. He was an alternate for Brendan Bottcher – who represented Alberta at the Brier this year – in 2014.
The Golden Bears came close to capturing a second consecutive title at the national university championships last year, but lost in the final 7-4 to Wilfried Laurier University Golden Hawks’ Aaron Squires.
The Golden Hawks have a new-look team this time around and will be skipped by Matthew Hall.
“They’re a new team this year,” said Scoffin, “so it’ll be completely different.”
With this being his last national university championships, Scoffin is looking to go out with gold.
“I definitely want to go out on top,” he said.
The Golden Bears open play against the Dalhousie University Tigers Saturday at 8 p.m. EST.