Feb 12, 2015
GRANADA, Spain (CIS) – Team Canada captured its first medal of the 27th Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain Thursday as the women’s hockey team took home silver following a 3-0 loss to Russia in the championship game.
In the first of a trio of Canada-Russia contests across three different sports in a 24-hour period, the Russians were able to limit Canada’s chances and, despite outshooting their opposition 40-34, were unable to solve netminder Yulia Leskina, one of eight Olympians on the Russian roster.
The loss snapped Canada’s gold medal streak in women’s hockey at three, and Russia becomes the first team other than Canada to win the Universiade tournament in its short history.
“The bounces were going over our sticks – it happens, every league we play in it happens to us in the games, but this time it got the better of us,” said Canada’s team captain, Laura Brooker (Fergus, Ont.) from Wilfrid Laurier University. “I’m proud of the team and proud of what we did in the last two weeks.”
“I thought we generated a lot of stuff today, but we didn’t get a lot of second chance opportunities,” said Canadian bench boss Jon Rempel from the University of Manitoba. “Of the 40 shots we had there were some quality ones, but just not enough to get through.
“The girls worked hard – there’s no issue with the effort, they worked hard the whole tournament. We had a lot of challenges here, we faced them as they came our way, and we faced them as we could.”
The second Canada-Russia match-up will also be for gold in women’s curling as the two nations face off in the Universiade championship game Friday morning at 3 a.m. EST (9 a.m. local). Canada advanced to the gold medal game thanks to an 8-3 win over Switzerland in the semi-final Thursday morning.
After a nervous start, the Canadians broke open the game with a steal of three in the sixth end as Swiss skip Michele Jaeggi sent her final stone through the house drawing against three Canadian rocks. From there, skip Breanne Meakin (Winnipeg) and her Carleton University rink of third Lauren Horton (Almonte, Ont.), second Lynn Kreviazuk (Ottawa) and lead Jessica Armstrong (Ottawa) kept the pressure on Switzerland and put it away with another steal, this time of two points, in the ninth end.
Canada remains undefeated at 10-0 at the Universiade and will look to complete a perfect competition when they face Russia’s Anna Sidorova, the reigning champion from 2013, for the gold medal Friday morning. The Red and White has played in three women’s curling finals in the past, winning FISU gold in 2007 in Turin, Italy.
“We like to keep it open in the first few ends, but then I had some unforced errors, which could have been some nerves, but the girls were playing great today and they kept me in it. I started making a lot of shots and it paid off in the second half of the game,” said Meakin, whose team edged Russia 9-7 earlier this week in round-robin action. “There was a definite momentum swing, especially after we stole three. The crowd really started to get into it, and it was a good finish.”
On the ice at the Universiade Igloo, Canada just missed out on another podium finish in the women’s 500-metre short track speed skating event as Joanie Gervais (Saguenay, Que.) came up just 15 hundredths of a second short of a third-place finish in the final – Canada’s third fourth-place finish in short track at the FISU Games.
“I wasn’t aiming for a specific position, but I was telling myself that I was able to go for a spot in the A final, and it worked out,” said Gervais. “I ended way behind the top three after the first lap, but I was able to catch up and try to overtake for third place at the finish line. I came close but unfortunately, it didn’t work.”
In the women’s relay, the Canadian team qualified for the A final, set to take place Friday.
In Thursday’s semi-final, Gervais, Namasthée Harris-Gauthier (Montréal, QC), Jamie MacDonald (Fort St. James, B.C.) and Caroline Truchon came up with the second-best time (4:19.564) behind China (4:17.798) and ahead of Ukraine (4:26.769). The Canadian women will go up against China, South Korea and Japan in the final.
The Canadian men’s relay finished third in their semi-final and will compete in the ‘B’ Final on Friday. Also on the agenda for Friday at the Igloo is the individual 1000-metres competition.
Up at the Sierra Nevada ski resort, only two of the five Canadians entered in the men’s giant slalom managed to finish both runs on a day where conditions wreaked havoc on the alpine skiing competition. Philippe Rivet (St-Lambert, Que.) posted Canada’s best finish in 24th place, while Simon-Claude Toutant (Montreal) finished 27th. William Schuessler (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.), Roger Carry (Calgary), and Vincent Lajoie (Sherbrooke, Que.) all recorded DNFs on the day.
The final alpine event, the slalom, gets underway with the women’s event Friday, followed by the men on Saturday.
After Friday’s gold medal final in women’s curling, attention will shift back to the Granada Sports Palace for men’s hockey action, as Canada and Russia will face off in the Universiade semi-final, live on www.livefisu.tv (11 a.m. EST / 5 p.m. local). The winner will face the winner of the other semi-final between the Czech Republic and Kazakhstan in the final event of the Granada Games, the men’s hockey gold medal game, on Saturday.
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/winter/2015/index
Granada 2015 website: http://www.granada2015.org/en/
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12 RESULTS
Men’s Giant Slalom
1. Michelangelo Tentori, Italy, 1:37.46; 2. Rocco Delsante, Italy, 1:37.81; 3. Jonas Fabre, France, 1:38.00; 24. Philippe Rivet, St. Lambert, Que., 1:39.67; 27. Simon-Claude Toutant, Montreal, Que., 1:40.50; William Schuessler, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., DNF; Roger Carry, Calgary, Alta., DNF; Vincent Lajoie, Sherbrooke, Que., DNF.
CAN 0 0 0 0 2 3 0 1 2 x – 8
SUI 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 x – 3
Canada (10-0) defeats Switzerland (6-5) 8-3 in semi-final, will face Russia (8-2) in final on Friday, Feb. 13 at 3 a.m. EST (9 a.m. local).
Canada (2-2) loses 3-0 to Russia (4-0), wins silver medal.
SHORT TRACK SPEED SKATING
1. Joanie Gervais, Saguenay, Que., 45.056, advances to quarterfinals.
Jamie MacDonald, Fort St. James, B.C., penalty, does not advance (no final ranking).
2. Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que., 44.822, advances to quarterfinals.
2. Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que., 44.931, advances to semi-final.
1. Joanie Gervais, Saguenay, Que., 44.786, advances to semi-final.
2. Joanie Gervais, Saguenay, Que., 44.661, advances to A final; 3. Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que., 44.785, finishes 5th overall (B final cancelled).
1. Yu Tong Han, China, 43.573; 2. Hakyung Son, South Korea, 43.655; 3. Agne Sereikaite, Lithuania, 43.817; 4. Joanie Gervais, Saguenay, Que., 43.963.
Preliminary Heat 1
1. Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 42.595, advances to heats.
Preliminary Heat 2
2. William Preudhomme, Toronto, Ont., 42.410, advances to heats.
Preliminary Heat 4
2. Samuel Bélanger-Marceau, St. Bruno de Montarville, Que., 42.083, advances to heats.
William Preudhomme, Toronto, Ont., DNF, does not advance, finishes 25th overall.
2. Samuel Bélanger-Marceau, St. Bruno de Montarville, Que., 41.569, advances to quarterfinals.
4. Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 42.993, does not advance, finishes 19th overall.
4. Samuel Bélanger-Marceau, St. Bruno de Montarville, Que., 41.819, does not advance, finishes 14th overall.
Women’s 3000m Relay
2. Canada (Joanie Gervais, Saguenay, Que.; Namasthée Harris-Gauthier, Montreal, Que.; Jamie MacDonald, Fort St. James, B.C.; Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que.), 4 :19.564, advances to A final on Friday, February 13 at 11:22 a.m. EST (5:22 p.m. local time).
Men’s 5000m Relay
3. Canada (Samuel Bélanger-Marceau, St. Bruno de Montarville, Que.; Pascal Dion, Montreal, Que.; Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que.; William Preudhomme, Toronto, Ont.), 7:00.174, advances to B final on Friday, February 13 at 12:20 p.m. EST (6:20 p.m. local time).
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: