LAKE PLACID, NEW YORK – Could it be the start of a Canadian skating party?
Among the Olympic hopeful athletes that Team Canada sent to the Games were the long and short-track speed skaters, and on Sunday, it got off to a near-perfect start with Laval University’s David La Rue skating to the bronze medal in the men’s 1000m.
On the outdoor oval in Lake Placid, a rare experience for these athletes, he skated in the final pair to a time of 1:12.57, leading a Canadian team that landed all four skaters in the top 10.
“I was like, wow, this is an incredible opportunity to skate here,” he said.
Japan’s Kazuya Yamada took the gold medal in a time of 1:12.38, and Nonamura, his lap pattern, took silver. The Japanese skaters are among the best in the world in the distance, ranking in the top-30.
La Rue wasn’t the only positive Canadian performance in the event, with Thompson Rivers University’s Joshua Telizyn finishing eighth and Laval’s Hubert Marcotte ninth. At the same time, Calgary’s Frank Roth rounded off the men’s event in 10th place.
On the women’s side, Rose-Anne Grenier skated the women’s 1000m in a time of 1:24,97, leading the four-woman Canadian contingent with a 13th-place finish.
Meanwhile, Laura Hall of the University of Calgary finished in behind, crossing the line in 1:25.31, good for 15th place. At the same time, her Calgary teammate Anne Bourgeois finished in 18th, looking ahead to other races.
With a biathlon gold medal from Saturday and speed skating bronze on Sunday, 49 gets you caught up on the latest from Team Canada at Lake Placid 2023.
Hockey doubles up on Japan
Team Canada’s men’s hockey team kept their spot atop the Group A standings early Sunday morning, beating Team Japan by a convincing 8-2 scoreline.
Two goals from recently announced assistant captain Austen Keating led the way, while fellow UNB teammates Adam McCormick and Brady Gilmour bagged a goal a piece. OUA top scorers Kyle Bollers and Jonathan Yantsis joined the party with single tallies, while Manitoba’s Brett Davis and UQTR’s Zach Lavigne chipped in with goals.
Getting his first start of the tournament, SMU Huskies net-minder Matt Welsh made 18 saves to backstop Canada to the win.
With the victory, Canada nearly clinches a playoff spot and a chance to play for a medal in Lake Placid but will have to see out group play against Latvia and Czechia.
On the women’s side, Canada downed Japan 6-0 as Shae Demale scored for her third time in as many games, and Kendra Woodland played the whole game for the first time of the tournament, making 22 saves in the shutout.
“They’re a quick hockey team. We knew we were going to get their best tonight,” Woodland said. “It was hard to keep up with them at some points, but I think we managed well, and I am really happy we got the win.”
Canada is the only remaining undefeated team in the women’s hockey tournament and is just a point away from clinching a spot in the medal rounds at the Herb Brooks Arena. They have two group games remaining against Team GB and Team USA.
Cross-country skiing pursuits end in quarter-final
Canada’s opening ceremony flag bearer Alex Maycock was among the 10 Canadians, five men and five women who took on the sprint free races at Mount Van Hoevenberg.
Maycock reached the quarterfinal stages before being eliminated in quarterfinal five, while Connor McGovern saw his day end with elimination in the third quarterfinal. Meanwhile, Antoine Nicol, Joseph Hutton, and Aiden Kirkham failed to advance past the qualifying stage.
Finland’s Verneri Poikenen took the gold medal, with Spain’s Jaume Pueyo and France’s Tom Mancini rounding off the podium.
On the women’s side, Canada’s Katherine Mason finished sixth in the second quarterfinal, while Bronwyn Williams missed out on the semifinals, eliminated in the first quarterfinal. Emmanuelle Simard, Natalie Thain, and Sophie Tremblay missed out on the knockout stages, seeing their day end in the qualifying round.
While Estonian skier Mariel Merlii Pulles took the gold medal, there are still opportunities for Canadians in cross-country skiing in the upcoming 5km individual classic, 10km individual pursuit, the mass start and relays.
Vincett wins ski cross qualifier
Team Canada’s Kiersten Vincett topped the ski cross qualifying with a time of 50.02, leading the small field of six racers. Fellow University of Calgary athlete and Evolve Ski Cross team member Liz Filiatrault clocked in sixth yet will still start the knockout competitions on Monday.
On the men’s side, Canada’s Charlie Lang and Jack Morrow finished 8th and 9th, respectively, with Team GB’s Scott Johns winning the qualifying run.
The round-robin and knockout runs kick out of the start gates at Gore Mountain on Monday at 10:30 am ET
Curling sweeps the day
After a slow start, Sunday was the perfect day for Canada’s Team Owen Purcell on the men’s side and Team Abby Marks on the women’s side.
Team Purcell topped Brazil in the early morning draw with a 10-2 win over a Brazilian team that features Vitor De Melo, a Canadian-Brazilian student-athlete from Langara College in Vancouver. In the evening draw, a steal in the seventh saw Team Owen Purcell secure a 5-3 win over Japan.
With the two wins, Canada moved into a playoff spot, sitting second with a 2-1 record behind Team GB.
Meanwhile, on the women’s side, Team Abby Marks had just a single game on Sunday, defeating Spain’s Team Carmen Perez 12-2. They sit fifth with a 2-2 record, behind Team USA, South Korea, Team GB and China.
It’s only single games on Monday for both sides, as Team Abby Marks faces China and Team Owen Purcell takes on Sweden.