Kelsey Rocque throws a stone during draw 12 of the Tour Challenge in Cranbrook, B.C. (Anil Mungal)

Rocque skips Canada to gold at Winter Universiade

February 7, 2017, 1:24 AM

Canada’s Kelsey Rocque has struck gold once again.

Rocque, a two-time world junior champion, won the gold medal at the 2017 Winter Universiade defeating Russia’s Victoria Moiseeva 8-3 during Tuesday’s final in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The University of Alberta crew of Rocque, Danielle Schmiemann, Taylor McDonald and Taylore Theroux were the tops of the tournament finishing first in the round-robin standings with a 7-2 record and beating Sweden’s Isabella Wranå 7-4 in the semifinals to reach the championship game.

Rocque, from Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., opened with the hammer and jumped out to an early 4-0 lead. After Rocque unlocked a frozen rock with her first skip stone in the second, Moiseeva hit off her own to take out one leaving Rocque an open draw for two. Moiseeva was light on her draw in the third to give up a pair and fall behind by four points.

Moiseeva, the reigning European champion, faced two counters again in the fourth and drew for a single to get on the scoreboard. Rocque matched in five to reclaim the four-point advantage at 5-1.

Rocque crashed on her own stone with her first skip shot in seven and the misfire opened the door for Moiseeva to eventually score a deuce and narrow the gap 5-3.

That was as close as Moiseeva would come to closing the deficit as Rocque drew for another point in eight and stole two more in nine when Moiseeva was once again light on the draw.

Rocque won back-to-back world junior curling championships in 2014 and 2015 to become the first Canadian women’s skip to capture consecutive junior titles. McDonald earned world junior gold with Rocque in 2014 while Schmiemann was a member of the 2015 squad.

Rocque claimed her second straight Canadian university curling championship a year ago to earn the right to represent the country at the 2017 Winter Universiade.

Meanwhile, Wranå beat Switzerland’s Elena Stern 6-3 in the bronze-medal game.

The Canadian men’s team from Wilfrid Laurier University featuring Aaron Squires, Richard Krell, Spencer Nuttall and Fraser Reid finished with a 4-5 round-robin record and did not qualify for the playoffs.