by Michel Belanger
December 20, 2013, TRENTINO, Italy (ISN) – Canada had a memorable Friday at the 26th Winter Universiade, claiming its first gold medal of the Trentino Games in women’s hockey, adding silver and bronze in short track speed skating, and defeating archrival Russia in men’s hockey on the penultimate day of competition.
In women’s hockey, Jenna Smith from the University of Calgary scored two goals and added an assist as Canada claimed its third straight Universiade title thanks to a 5-0 gold-medal win over Russia.
With the victory, the CIS all-stars not only completed an impressive run at the 2013 tournament, they remained perfect in 21 games since the inaugural FISU tourney in 2009. In Trentino, they outscored their opponents by a 77-2 margin overall, including another 5-0 win against the Russians in the round-robin and a 15-0 domination of Japan in Wednesday’s semifinals.
Team Canada had claimed Universiade gold for the first time four years ago with a 3-1 triumph over host China in Harbin, before repeating in 2011 thanks to a 4-1 defeat of Finland in Erzurum, Turkey.
“I’m excited, I’m elated!” said head coach Howie Draper from the University of Alberta. “I’m not sure this was our best game. When you’re playing in the final, your nerves start to get the better of you. I felt the first period was little rough but we picked it after we got the first goal and played a little more relaxed. Our girls executed the game plan and I’m very happy for them. It was a great team, great to coach them and nice to finish off with a gold.”
While the Canucks outshot their Russian rivals 52-12, including a 17-3 advantage in the opening period and 21-3 in the second, they were only up 1-0 at the first intermission on a goal by Jessica Pinkerton from the University of Guelph, who scored what stood as the game-winner at 11:39.
Smith, a native of Swift Current, Sask., finally doubled the lead midway through the second frame and assisted six minutes later on McGill’s Katia Clément-Heydra fifth of the tournament, which made it 3-0 after two.
In the third, Laurier’s Laura Brooker and Smith, with her second of the night, rounded out the scoring in the last five minutes.
Western goaltender Kelly Campbell made 12 saves to register her fourth shutout in as many outings in Trentino. The London, Ont., native faced 31 shots overall during the tourney.
In short track, Canadians added two podium finishes on Friday to end the three-day speed skating competition with five medals, including three silver and two bronze.
Guillaume Bastille of Rivière-du-Loup, Que., placed third in the final of the men’s 1000-metre, and then teamed up with Patrick Duffy of Oakville, Ont., Yoan Gauthier of Rivière-du-Loup and Sébastien Landry of Montreal for a second-place finish in the 5000m relay.
Bastille is not the only team member to return home with a pair of FISU medals. Duffy claimed silver on Thursday in the 500m, while Gauthier captured bronze in the 1500m on Wednesday.
“The 1000m went pretty well. Before the event, I wasn’t necessarily thinking about a medal,” said Bastille, a University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) student and a 2010 Olympic gold medallist in the relay. “In the first couple of races, I made some bad decisions. But as the day progressed, I felt better and better.”
In the final, Bastille crossed the line in 1:25.777 behind South Korea’s Noh Jin-Kyu (1:25.506) and Um Cheon-Ho (1:25.642), the same two rivals who beat Gauthier in Wednesday’s 1500m.
On the women’s side, Caroline Truchon of Saguenay, Que., was the top Canuck in the 1000m. The Collège de Rosemont student was second in the B final and sixth overall.
In the relays, the Canadian men competed in the A final of the 5000m after setting a Universiade record (6:51.506) in Thursday’s semis, while the women skated in the 3000m B final following a heart-breaking third-place finish in their semifinal.
This time around, it was the men who had their hearts broken.
After leading for most of the race, Bastille, Duffy, Gauthier and Landry couldn’t hold off their rivals from Hungary at the end and had to settle for silver.
In a very fast final, both teams went under the standard set by Canada 24 hours earlier. The judges had to go to the photo finish and Hungary was declared the winner with a time of 6:46.953, compared to 6:46.960 for the Canucks.
In the women’s B final, Canada prevailed in 4:21.222 to finish fifth overall. South Korea won the A final.
In men’s hockey, Tyler Carroll from the University of New Brunswick had a goal and an assist as Canada advanced to the gold-medal final thanks to a 2-1 semifinal victory over defending two-time champion Russia.
It was a remarkable win for the team comprised of Atlantic University Sport all-stars, who were facing a powerful opponent which entered the contest with an unblemished 4-0 record, having outscored its rivals by a 25-3 margin in the process. The Russian lineup includes 11 players with KHL experience, nine of them currently skating in the league.
Canada (4-1) will face Kazakhstan (5-0) in the championship match Saturday at 8:30 a.m. EST (2:30 p.m. Trentino), live on www.fisu.tv.
The Canucks are 3-3 in six previous appearances in the FISU final, including triumphs in 1981, 1991 and 2007, the latter a 3-1 win over Russia when the country was also represented by AUS standouts in Italy (Turin).
Today’s result also ensures the Red and White will return home with a medal for the 13th time in 14 trips to the biennial tournament.
“One of the keys was that we got a chance to get the lead. When you have a quality opponent, and you know it going to be a tight game, it’s critical. We did that and we protected it,” said Team Canada head coach Gardiner MacDougal from UNB, who was an assistant coach with the 2007 gold-medal winning squad. “Anytime you get a chance to win a world championship, it’s an amazing opportunity, so we look forward to that tomorrow.”
Canada was also competing in alpine and cross-country skiing on Friday.
On the slopes, Sandrine David of Montreal was 24th in the women’s slalom thanks to her time of 1:45.05 over two runs. As the alpine competition came to an end, David also ended up 17th in the combined standings (downhill, Super G, giant slalom, slalom).
In cross-country, six Canadians competed in the women’s 15km Classic Mass Start. Andrea Lee of Black Creek, B.C., placed 36th in 46:47.9.
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/winter/2013/index
Trentino 2013 website:http://www.universiadetrentino.org/en
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20 RESULTS
1. Nevena Ignjatovic, Serbia, 1:38.42; 2. Margaux Givel, Switzerland, 1:38.78; 3. Martina Dubovska, Czech Republic, 1:38.98; 24. Sandrine David, Montreal, Que., 1:45.05; Émilie Lamoureux, Mt. Tremblant, Que., did not finish run 2; Maëlle Bergeron, Quebec City, Que., did not finish run 1.
Women’s Combined (Downhill, Super G, Giant Slalom, Slalom)
1. Jana Gantnerova, Slovakia, 398 points; 2. Barbara Kantorova, Slovakia, 381; 3. Maria Shkanova, Belarus, 355; 17. Sandrine David, Montreal, Que., 216.
Women’s 15km Classic Mass Start
1. Oxana Usatova, Russia, 42:50.4; 2. Marte Monrad-Hansen, Norway, 42:54.0; 3. Astrid Oeyre Slind, Norway, 42:55.0; 36. Andrea Lee, Black Creek, B.C., 46:47.9; 42. Myriam Paquette, St. Bruno de Montarville, Que., 48:04.7; 45. Camille Pepin, St. Ferreol les Neiges, Que. 48:41.0; 46. Kendra Murray, Whitehorse, Yukon, 49:03.6; 48. Kajsa Heyes, Vancouver, B.C., 50:04.5; 53. Kara Jaspers, Thunder Bay, Ont., 52:30.9.
Canada (7-0) wins 5-0 over Russia (4-3) in final; wins third straight Universiade title.
Canada (4-1) wins 2-1 over Russia (4-1) in semfinals; will face Kazakhstan (5-0) Saturday at 8:30 a.m. EST (2:30 p.m. Trentino) in final.
SHORT TRACK SPEED SKATING
Women’s 1000m Heat 2
1. Namasthée Harris-Gauthier, Montreal, Que., 1:41.983, advances to quarter-finals.
Women’s 1000m Heat 3
1. Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que., 1:35.692, advances to quarter-finals.
Women’s 1000m Heat 3
3. Jamie MacDonald, Fort St. James, B.C., 1:35.101, does not advance, finishes 19th overall.
Women’s 1000m Quarter-final 1
3. Namasthée Harris-Gauthier, Montreal, Que., 1:31.523, does not advance, finishes 9th overall.
Women’s 1000m Quarter-final 2
1. Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que., 1:32.957, advances to semifinals.
Women’s 1000m Semifinal 2
3. Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que., 1:33.651, advances to B final.
Women’s 1000m B Final
2. Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que., 1:32.996, finishes 6th overall.
Men’s 1000m Preliminary 1
1. Guillaume Bastille, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:26.925, advances to heats.
Men’s 1000m Preliminary 3
2. Patrick Duffy, Oakville, Ont., 1:28.203, advances to heats.
Men’s 1000m Preliminary 8
1. Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:34.101, advances to heats.
Men’s 1000m Heat 2
3. Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:45.535, advances to quarter-finals.
Men’s 1000m Heat 4
1. Patrick Duffy, Oakville, Ont., 1:26.480, advances to quarter-finals.
Men’s 1000m Heat 5
3. Guillaume Bastille, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:27.917, advances to quarter-finals.
Men’s 1000m Quarter-final 1
2. Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:25.698, advances to semifinals.
Men’s 1000m Quarter-final 3
4. Patrick Duffy, Oakville, Ont., PEN, does not advance, finishes 16th overall.
Men’s 1000m Quarter-final 4
2. Guillaume Bastille, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:26.827, advances to semifinals.
Men’s 1000m Semifinal 1
3. Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:25.579, advances to B final.
Men’s 1000m Semifinal 2
2. Guillaume Bastille, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:25.351, advances to A final.
Men’s 1000m B Final
1. Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:29.025, finishes 5th overall.
Men’s 1000m A Final
1. Noh Jin-Kyu, South Korea, 1:25.506; Um Cheon-Ho, South Korea, 1:25.642; 3. Guillaume Bastille, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:25.777.
Women’s 3000m Relay – B Final
1. Canada (Namasthée Harris-Gauthier, Montreal, Que.; Jamie MacDonald, Fort St. James, B.C.; Keri Morrison, Burlington, Ont., Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que.), 4:21.222, finishes 5th overall.
Men’s 5000m Relay – A Final
1. Hungary, 6:46.953 (Universiade Record); 2. Canada (Guillaume Bastille, Rivière-du-Loup, Que.; Patrick Duffy, Oakville, Ont.; Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que.; Sébastien Landry, Montreal, Que.), 6:46.960; 3. Russia, 6:55.547.