LAKE PLACID, NEW YORK – It only took until Day 2 of the Lake Placid 2023 World University Winter Games for Canada to get on the podium.
Shilo Rousseau earned Canada’s first medal of the Games, winning gold in the women’s 12.5km individual biathlon event, earning Canada’s first-ever medal in the sport at the University Games.
After a day of challenging weather, the Games hit their full stride, with student-athletes on the slopes for alpine, the rinks for hockey and curling, and the trails of the biathlon venues.
Rousseau headlines Canadian biathlon
Without a doubt, Shilo Rousseau’s top-of-the-podium finish in the opening women’s biathlon event was the biggest story of the day. Yet, there were positive performances from her Canadian teammates in the women’s 12km individual.
Anna Perry of Calgary was Canada’s second-highest finisher clocking in at 11th, while Danika Burke, also of Calgary, finished third highest in 28th. Rousseau’s teammate in Ottawa, Zoe Pekos, crossed the line in 31st, while Cara Pekos of McMaster found herself 39th, one slot below Isabelle Caza from Cégep de l’Outaouais.
Meanwhile, in the men’s 15km, William Moineau of Cégep de Lévis-Lauzon was the top Canadian, finishing 26thm, with Laval’s Simon Gauthier following in 28th. Calgary Lance Sekora, Cégep Garneau’s Zachary Demers, and Calgary’s Romeo Champagne rounded out the Canadian contingent in spots 29-31.
Carruthers cracks top-10 in alpine super-G
After a day’s delay due to inclement weather, the men’s and women’s super-Gs hit the snow at Whiteface Mountain, with the University of Alaska Anchorage skier Caeden Carruthers cracking the top 10 in the men’s event, finishing 10th with a time of 59.49, 1.14 seconds behind Czechia’s Jan Zabestran who took the gold medal.
Dawson Yates cut his start number in over half, rising from bib 42 to a 20th-place finish.
St Lawrence’s Aiden Marler finished 23rd, while Pierre-Elliot Poitras of the Montreal Carabins snuck into the top-30 in 29th. Calgary’s Colin Kress rounded out the Canadians in 31st
In the women’s event, Middlebury College skier Claire Timmerman claimed the 13th spot, with a time of 53.99, 1.81 seconds behind Germany’s gold medalist, Fabiana Dorigo. Meanwhile, Gabrielle Fafard finished the day in 27th.
Canada’s alpine skiers continue their quest for the podium on Sunday, running a second super-G as the first portion of the alpine combined before completing the event on Monday.
Canada breaks the ice in curling
After dropping their first games of the competition, Team Canada’s curling teams entered the win column on Saturday.
On the women’s side, Team Abby Marks of the University of Alberta opened the morning with a loss to the United States before picking up their first victory in a demanding 9-2 win over Japan.
Meanwhile, on the men’s side, Dalhousie University’s Team Owen Purcell got past Czechia’s Team David Jakl in an 8-1 win to vault them up into a playoff spot after two draws.
Canada is back at the Saranac Lake Civic Center for curling on Sunday, with Team Owen Purcell set to face Brazil, while Team Abby Marks looks to a single game day against Team Spain.
Women’s hockey continues to roll, defeating Czechia
Team Canada’s women’s hockey team continued their undefeated tournament, moving to 2-0-0 with a 5-1 win over Czechia, while 11 players put their names on the scoresheet.
Toronto Varsity Blue Céline Frappier and SMU Huskie Shae Demale scored for the second straight game as Canada outshot the Czechs 47-18.
Bishop’s Gaiters forward Marie-Camille Théorêt, a holdover from the silver medal-winning Kransoyarsk 2019 FISU Games team, got her first goal of the tournament to open the scoring for Canada before Demale, Frappier, Maria Dominico, and captain Emmy Fecteau found the back of the net.
Starting goaltender Saskatchewan’s Camryn Drever made five saves through the first period before uOttawa’s Aurelie Dubuc stopped 12 of 13 shots through the final 40 minutes.
“It is a little weird. You always want the first shot, and I had a lot of shots early in the second period, so I was happy,” Dubuc said. “The defence is all really good with the puck, and they helped me a lot.”
With the win, Canada sits in a tie with Japan for the top spot in the standings and faces that same Japanese team at 4:30 pm ET at Maxcy Hall on Sunday, looking to separate themselves from the pack.