Feb 08, 2015
GRANADA, Spain (CIS) – Alpine skiers Vincent Lajoie (Sherbrooke, Que.) and William Schuessler (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.) collected Canada’s highest individual performances of the 27th Winter Universiade so far, finishing fifth and sixth respectively in the men’s super combined event in the Sierra Nevada mountains on Sunday.
Lajoie and Schuessler, both of the University of Montreal, had strong runs in the opening event, the Super G, with Schuessler earning fourth place, while Lajoie was hot on his heels in fifth. In the slalom portion, Lajoie bettered his final standing by jumping ahead of his U of M teammate, while Schuessler fell two spots to finish in sixth.
Over at the Fuetenueva Pavilion, Canada’s men’s and women’s curling teams went undefeated, as the men scored wins over Russia and Spain to remain in the medal round hunt, while the women recorded a huge win over the host Spaniards to stay perfect in the tournament so far.
Men’s skip Matt Dunstone (Winnipeg) and his University of Manitoba teammates second Daniel Grant (Winnipeg), third Jim Coleman (Winnipeg) and lead Chris Gallant (Charlottetown) were facing a must-win situation on Sunday thanks to a 1-3 record, and needing to earn six wins in the nine game round-robin. Up against a Russian (4-2) team that recorded a 3-6 record at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Dunstone led his crew to a decisive 9-5 victory, thanks to a 4-0 lead through four ends. Canada then dominated Spain 11-2 to improve to a 3-3 record.
The Winnipeg-based foursome faces a tough task in undefeated Norway (6-0) on Monday.
“We knew we had to come out big today,” said Dunstone. “We knew we were playing one of the best teams at the tournament today, and we had to raise our game to play them. I thought we did a great job as a team stepping up and playing big when we needed to.”
“It’s not how you start a tournament, but how you finish,” he added. “We’re hoping this is the start of something good for us, as we’re still in it.”
In the women’s draw, Canada improved to 6-0 thanks to a 16-2 triumph over a Spanish team that didn’t exist 12 months ago. Breanne Meakin’s (Winnipeg) team will continue their march to the medal round with games against Norway (3-3) and defending Universiade champion Russia (5-1) on Monday.
The lone negative on Sunday was Canada’s first-ever loss in women’s hockey in Universiade history. Team Canada, which came into the day with an impeccable 22-0 overall record – including three gold medals – since the sport made its FISU Games debut in 2009, fell 3-1 to a Russian team that features eight Olympians and the current leading scorer in CIS women’s hockey – Iya Gavrilova from the University of Calgary – at Mulhacen Pavilion.
Canada finishes pool play with a 1-1 record, while Russia improves to 2-0 and takes top spot in Pool B in the short, four-game tournament. Both teams will play in the semifinals on Wednesday against opponents still to be determined.
After the Russians opened the game with a 2-0 lead, scoring goals in the first and second period, Canada drew within one, scoring with the Russians in the box as Saint Mary’s University forward Breanna Lanceleve (Lower Sackville, N.S.) notched her second of the tournament with eight minutes to play. Canada, however, could not find the equalizer, and Russia cemented the win with an empty-net goal.
“I thought it was a pretty good game,” said Canadian head coach Jon Rempel of the University of Manitoba. “They’re a very good team, and with a group as young as we have with a lot of first-timers here, we battled hard and took the game over at the end. We got stronger in the second half of the game but we just couldn’t find the equalizer at the end.”
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/winter/2015/index
Granada 2015 website: http://www.granada2015.org/en/
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8 RESULTS
Men’s Super Combined
1. Sandro Boner, Switzerland, 2:04.70; 2. Giulio Bosca, Italy, 2:05.05; 3. Matej Falat, Slovakia, 2:05.06; 5. Vincent Lajoie, Sherbrooke, Que., 2:06.22; 6. William Schuessler, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., 2:06.80.
Women’s Preliminary Round (9 matches)
CAN 3 0 5 2 4 2 x x x x – 16
ESP 0 2 0 0 0 0 x x x x – 2
Men’s Preliminary Round (9 matches)
CAN 0 2 1 1 0 0 1 0 2 2 – 6
RUS 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 2 0 0 – 5
CAN 2 0 3 0 0 0 6 x x x – 11
ESP 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 x x x – 2
Canada (1-1) loses to Russia (2-0) 3-1, finishes round robin play in second place in Pool B. Will face either China or Japan in the semifinals on Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 5:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. local).
About the Winter Universiade
The Winter Universiade is a biennial international multi-sport event open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.
The Granada Universiade will feature nine compulsory sports and one optional sport. Compulsory sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, ice hockey, curling, nordic skiing, short track speed skating, figure skating, synchronized skating, snowboarding. Optional sport: freestyle skiing.
NOTE: Biathlon and Nordic skiing will take place in Strbske Pleso and Osrblie, Slovakia from Jan. 24 to Feb. 1, prior to the start of the Games in Granada.
Official website: www.granada2015.org
About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, over 11,500 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 56 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca or follow us on: