LAKE PLACID, NEW YORK – From wet snow to freezing rain and fluffy snowflakes, weather wreaked havoc on Day 1 of the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games, forcing bus route closures and other difficulties for athletes, delegates, staff, media and fans.
While the men’s and women’s alpine super-G’s fell victim to the weather and were postponed to Saturday, Canadian athletes still hit the ice in hockey and curling. At the same time, snowboard cross at Gore Mountain battled through difficult and slushy conditions.
49 Sports gets you caught up on Day 1 of FISU Lake Placid 2023. Tomorrow’s Team Canada schedule at bottom of page.
MacLean leads Canada to top eight in snowboard cross
Bridget MacLean of UBC-Okanagan set a goal for herself to finish top eight, and she qualified for the semifinals after making her way through the gruelling round-robin race format. While she stumbled in the semifinal, she finished third in the small final to claim Canada’s best single-event result of the Games so far.
Teammate Clara Chapman sustained an injury on the third-course element. Team Canada communications told 49 Sports that she is okay but was brought to the hospital and, as of Friday afternoon, was with Team Canada physios.
Maycock, Canada, come up short in mixed team classic sprint
It wasn’t the results Canada would have wanted in the mixed sprint relay to open the cross-country skiing competition, the first medal event of the Lake Placid Games.
Nipissing’s Alex Maycock was the first of Canada’s opening ceremony flag bearers to get into competition on Friday, pairing up with Carleton’s Katherine Mason as “Canada 2.” The duo finished with a time of 23:11.83, good for 15th, +2:56.02 behind the Finnish leaders.
Meanwhile, “Canada 1,” of Laruentian’s Sophie Tremblay and Lakehead’s Conor McGovern, crossed the line 14th in the second semifinal with a time of 22:36.25, with the leading Italians 1:35.23 ahead.
Japan took the gold medal, while USA’s Fina Sweet and Renae Anderson captured silver, the first hardware for the host nation. Norway, a predominant force in nordic sport, captured the bronze medal.
Canada crushes Sweden, moves to 2-0-0 in men’s hockey
Team Canada was no match for Sweden in their second game of the men’s hockey tournament, outshooting the Swedes 76-9, en route to a 10-2 victory.
Manitoba’s Brett Davis potted a hat-trick, and StFX’s Liam Hawel scored a pair, while Canada got single goals from Queen’s Jacob Paquette, Saskatchewan’s Jared Dmytriw, Concordia’s Tyler Hylland, UPEI’s TJ Shea, and SMU’s Andrew Coxhead.
Team Canada will look to improve to 3-0-0 when they take on Team Japan at Roos House at SUNY-Canton on Jan. 15 at 9:30 am ET.
Team Abby Marks falls to South Korea
It wasn’t quite the start that Canada’s Team Abby Marks looked for in the women’s curling tournament, falling to South Korea 6-5.
After holding South Korea to just a point in the first end, Canada’s Marks threw to the button to draw a pair for Canada, giving them a lead after two ends. Yet, a failed hit-and-stick attempt in the fourth end gave Korea a 4-2 lead that they didn’t relinquish.
Things didn’t get better from there, as Team Marks surrendered a steal in the fifth, and despite Catherine Clifford throwing a double to sit three in the seventh, Korea took the insurance point to seal their victory.
While they couldn’t force extra ends against South Korea, the Canadians look ahead to a busy Saturday, with a 9:00 am ET clash against USA’s Team Strouse and a 7:00 pm ET game against Team Japan.
Team Owen Purcell shutout in final three ends, lose to Switzerland
Canada’s Team Owen Purcell scored three points in the fourth end, but it wasn’t enough to establish any insurance over Switzerland, as they blanked the final three ends and dropped their opening game 7-2 at the Saranac Lake Civic Centre.
Canada trailed early in the game, but scored their first in the second end, bringing the deficit to 2-1, and it wasn’t until a close measurement call in the fourth end for the triple that Canada got the lead at 4-3 over the Swiss.
With Swtizerland earning a steal, and holding hammer, Team Purcell couldn’t post any more points, falling to the Swiss 7-4.
Team Owen Purcell will try to grab Canada’s first curling win of Lake Placid 2023 when they return to the pebbled ice on Saturday to take on Czechia at 2:00pm ET.