By Woodard, Dale on March 21, 2020.
This time, Hannah Terry wasn’t settling for silver.
That not only earned the skip for the University of Alberta Augustana Vikings women’s curling team an Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference title, it also gave Terry a distinctive individual honour as well.
Terry and her Vikings women’s team of third Nikki Smith, second Sara Paulgaard and lead Darby-Anne Swanson defeated the Red Deer Queens 5-4 at ACAC provincials March 1 in Red Deer to win this year’s provincial banner.
After settling for silver at the ACAC provincials last season – and playing in her third provincial final – Terry moved one notch up the medal standings, making a key hit-and-roll on her last shot in the gold medal game to clinch the win.
It also landed Terry the ACAC Women’s Curling Player of the Year award as she completes her second year at Augustana.
Her clutch, pressure-is-on shot in the gold medal game certainly helped.
“We were up in the final game and Red Deer tied it up in the seventh end,” said Terry, a graduate of Chinook High School. “But we had hammer coming home. On their skip’s last shot she made a hit to be sitting shot. So I had to make a hit and a little bit of a roll for us to be shot and win the game. I ended up making the shot and it rolled far enough to win.
“We had the big group hug. It was kind of emotional because it was my third provincials and my third provincial final. So to finally come out on top was very emotional.”
The Women’s Curling Player of the Year followed the gold medal victory.
“It was pretty exciting,” said Terry, who also named the Vikings Women’s Curling MVP in 2018-19 and helped her team to a national bronze medal at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Curling Canada Championship. “I never really expect to get awards. It was exciting, especially in my second year when I’m still new to the college and the league. It’s pretty cool.”
Terry and the Vikings went 5-1 at Fall Regionals, 3-3 at Winter Regionals and 4-1 at ACAC Championships with Swanson as the sole new addition to the team.
“We didn’t know what the season was going to hold,” said Terry, who’s enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Physical Education-Kinesiology and one day hopes to work in the healthcare field.
“We knew we had a good chance of possibly doing well again because we made it to provincials and nationals last year. Our lead graduated after last season. So it was still the same three girls and we brought a new lead onto the team and she ended up meshing really well with us, which made the season really fun.
“Fall regionals went really well for us and at winters we were able to win enough games to qualify for provincials.”
After losing their first game of provincials, Terry and her team regrouped, never losing a game the rest of the way.
“We ended up adjusting to the ice. But we wanted to go in there and have fun because we knew when we were having fun that is when we’re always playing our best,” she said.
“So that’s just what we did for the rest of the weekend. We just rode all the highs. For me it was the third provincials I’ve been to, so making the gold medal game, I felt really comfortable with it because I had the prior experience.”
The Vikings women’s foursome got familiarized with the hosts at this year’s provincials.
“We had to play Red Deer three times in a row,” said Terry. “We played them the last game of the round-robin and then again in the one-two game that same day. Then we had to play them the next day in the gold medal game.”
Playing in her last year at Augustana, Smith was the skip of the women’s team before Terry joined the program in 2018-19.
“We worked together really well on the back end and that made our team really strong”
Terry credited Swanson for making the jump to the college ranks.
“I was really proud of her because out of high school she didn’t have much of a competitive background,” said Terry. “At the beginning of the year at fall regional she was nervous and she really controlled her nerves very well in that last game and played very well.”
The Vikings ACAC gold medal sent the team to Manitoba for the CCAA Curling Canada Championship March 11-15 in Portage la Prairie.
The womens’ teams at the Canadian Championship were able to get in their games before the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the globe.
“We left (March 10) and when we left is when the madness started to pick up,” said Terry.
“We got there and they decided that since all of the university and college students were already there they were going to finish off the week with us and they cancelled the curling events that were supposed to be after, the mixed doubles and seniors. We got to play ours, which was kind of special considering it was the last major sporting events that might be held in a little while until all of this gets sorted out.”
After last year’s bronze medal at the national stage, Terry and her teammates were unable to duplicate that performance at this years CCAA’s.
“We had some tough breaks at nationals and with everything going on we just never really played the way we were capable of,” said Terry.
“We were just short of making the playoffs. We won a few games, but not enough to put us in the playoffs.”
Who Terry will curl with in her third year at Augustana remains to be seen.
“We have some recruits coming in from the high school in Camrose and Edmonton,” said Terry, who also coaches with Camrose Curling Academy and volunteers with the Vikings Little Rockers youth curling program.
“So there still should be potential for a strong curling team.”
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