Canadians cut it close and capture big wins on Day 5 of Lake Placid 2023

LAKE PLACID, NEW YORK  –  After a flurry of medals at the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games on Monday, Tuesday’s story could to told through close calls and split-second decisions.

With some of the top-ranked speed skaters on the day, Canada failed to reach the podium in the 1500m, the strongest distance for many of the top athletes at the Games.

Laval’s Rose-Anne Grenier, who captured bronze in the 3000m, finished fourth in the 1500m with a time of 2:07.30, just .67 off of claiming her second medal in as many days. Meanwhile, Laval’s David La Rue, who skated to bronze in the 1000m, finished the 1500m in a time of 1:51.22, not enough to break up the Japanese sweep on the podium. 

Meanwhile, 3000m gold medalist and Calgary Dinos Laura Hall finished 11th on the women’s side, with Laval’s Laurie Cayer in 27th. For the men, however, TRU’s Josh Telizyn finished ninth to join La Rue among the top 10, while Laval’s Hubert Marcotte finished the day in 12th. 

It might have been a dry spell in what has become the Canadian speed skating party. Still, there’s hope for hardware on Wednesday with the men’s and women’s team pursuit, with Canada posting the best times as a team, only behind Japan through the first few days of competition. 

Men’s hockey downs Latvia 9-0, look ahead to Czechia

Team Canada’s men’s hockey team has continuously grown as a group and in the way they play, and they’ve needed to with some of their major games still to come. On Tuesday, they downed Latvia 9-0, setting the Latvians back in hopes of advancing to the semifinals. 

StFX forward Matt Struthers scored a pair, while UPEI’s TJ Shea and Matt Brassard added single tallies alongside Simon Lafrance, Brady Gilmour, Jonathan Yantsis, and team captain Jared Dmytriw. 

Brassard’s goal, a point shot that fluttered into the goal caught Latvia’s Mariuss Bajaruns-Galejs by surprise, who only noticed the puck had gone in when Brassard celebrated on the blue line. 

“This was the chippiest game we played so far. They are the biggest team we have played,” said Paquette, a Queen’s Gaels defender. “We expected that, and when the score got higher, they got a little chippy. Personally, I love that kind of hockey. It fits my game well.”

With the win, Team Canada clinched a spot in the medal rounds and a chance to play at Lake Placid’s Herb Brooks Arena. Yet, they have to look to Wednesday and a clash with group #2 Czechia to see whether they’ll finish the preliminary round on top of Group A. That game is set for SUNY-Canton on Wednesday at 4:30 pm ET.

Women’s hockey clinches first place with 14-0 win over Team GB

Led by four-point nights from Nipissing’s Maria Dominico and Waterloo’s Leah Herrfort, Team Canada clinched the top seed in the medal rounds on Tuesday with a dominant 14-0 win over Team Great Britain. 

Yet, Team GB held their own between the pipes as Ella Howard, who plays her university hockey in U SPORTS with the Calgary Dinos, stopped 53 of 63 shots before making way for Oxford’s Natasha Durie, who faced Canada’s final 20 shots. 

Canada outshot Team GB 85-5 en route to the 14-0 win. 

We stuck to our habits. That was what was important today, just sticking to our gameplan and not letting individual efforts take over team habits,” said Saskatchewan’s Isabella Pozzi. “We were supporting each other, finding each other, and using everyone on the ice.”

While the win doesn’t change much for Canada, it secured them the top spot in the preliminary round and has presented them with a chance to play spoiler in their final group game against Team USA. 

Sitting fifth, Team USA needs to beat Canada to have any hope of advancing to play for a medal. Yet, as the great Herb Brooks once said about American hockey in Northern New York — “do you believe in miracles?”

The greatest rivalry in women’s hockey takes the stage on Wednesday at 8:00 pm ET at Maxcy Hall, with Team Candaa looking to stay undefeated against an American team fighting for the tournament lives. 

Beauchamp leads Canadian GS team as Germany dominates again

Canada’s tech alpine skiers began their quest for the podium on Wednesday in the women’s giant slalom, putting the days of weather delays, super-Gs and alpine combined behind them. 

Her nation’s opening ceremony flag bearer Caroline Beachamp of the Montreal Carabins skied to a 24th-place finish over two runs after finishing 20th on the opening run. In contrast, Mika-Anne Reha of Middlebury College finished the day in 31st. 

Rounding out the Canadian results were slots 39-41, with CEGEP athlete Laurence Alain and Laval Rouge et Or skiers Gabrielle Fafard and Ashley Bourrett. Meanwhile, Utah’s Claire Timmerman, who skied to a Team Canada-best 13th in the alpine combined, skied out of the course and didn’t finish. 

Germany’s Leoni Floetgen took the gold medal after winning the alpine combined bronze. At the same time, countrymate Fabiana Dorigo captured her third podium of the Games, adding GS to her medals from the super-G and combined.

Sweden’s Emma Hammergard also stood on the podium with the bronze medal. 

While they missed the podium in the tech opener, Canada’s women return to the snow in the mixed team parallel slalom on Thursday before taking on the slalom on Friday to cap off their Lake Placid 2023 competition. 

Men’s curling tied at top; women’s on the brink

(Stephane Jobin/U SPORTS)

Canada’s Team Owen Purcell picked up another pair of wins in curling action at the Saranac Lake Civic Centre on Tuesday, defeating South Korea 9-4 in the morning before downing Norway 5-2. 

It took a brilliant sixth-end shot for Team Purcel, led by skip Owen, vice-skip Jeffrey Meagher, second Adam McEachren, and lead David McCurdy ​​l to crack Norway. It took a slight knock and a little chip off the side of Norway’s rock to eliminate both on one throw, giving Canada an advantage they wouldn’t look back on. 

“In the sixth end, we are firm believers that scoring is a crucial thing to do,” Purcell told Curling Canada.  “We also believe that being tied with hammer playing seven is not a fun position to be in. We were thinking if we’re forced, we might as well try something difficult to maybe get our two, and we made a nice shot there.”

Purcell’s Dalhousie rink snuck into the top spot after Japan downed Team GB in the morning before Team GB beat the USA to separate themselves and Canada from the rest of the standings. 

On the women’s side, Team Abby Marks kept their playoff hopes alive with a 10-1 win against Australia but will have to win out and get some help from teams ahead of them if they are to advance to the medal-round playoffs. 

“I think we just need to continue to go out there and put good pairs (of shots) together. That will be the key in moving forward,” vice-skip Catherine Clifford said. “We can’t think about what could have been because this is the situation we’re in. That’s what we need to focus on going forward.”

Team Abby Marks caps their group stage, hoping for luck on their side with games against Great Britain and Switzerland on Wednesday, while Team Owen Purcell looks to secure the top spot against Team USA. 

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It was a bit of a slower day for Canada’s athletes in terms of bringing in medals, but 49 Sports is still projecting 14-16 medals for the red and white at the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games, starting with Canada being medal favourites in the men’s and women’s team pursuit speed skating on Wednesday. 

Check out the schedule for Wednesday below, which features a nightcap women’s hockey matchup of Team USA vs Team Canada.

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