28th Winter Universiade Sees Canada Compete
ALMATY, Kazakhstan (U SPORTS) – Canada enjoyed success on the ice on Monday on the first full day of competition at the 28th Winter Universiade, winning four out of five contests in hockey and curling.
Twenty-one Canadian athletes were also in action in alpine skiing, cross country skiing and snowboarding. Biathlon, the only other sport Canada is participating in in Almaty, gets under way Tuesday.
In men’s hockey, Brent Pedersen of Arthur, Ont., Brett Welychka of London, Ont., and defencemen Spencer Abraham of Campbellville Ont., each scored twice and Kevin Bailie from Belleville, Ont., recorded a 17-save shutout as the Canadian squad made up of OUA all-stars opened the FISU tournament with an impressive 6-0 win over the United States.
A capacity crowd of over 3,000 was on hand for the much-anticipated game between the traditional rivals and Pederson, a forward from Laurentian University, sent Canadian fans into a frenzy only 30 seconds in when he came from behind the net to beat American goalie Jordan Gluck.
The score remained unchanged until the midway point of the game, when the Canucks broke open the affair with three goals in nine minutes.
“It was a great start to the tournament. Overall I thought the guys came out real strong, they were ready to go right off the bat,” said head coach Brett Gibson from Queen’s University, whose troops get back on the ice Wednesday against Great Britain. “Our power play looked great tonight, we moved the puck around real well. I think the one thing we need to clean up is we turned the puck over way too much. Against the top teams, if we turn the puck over at our blue line we’re gonna get scored on.”
“We were a little nervous coming in, playing the USA in front of a packed house, it doesn’t get any better than that. But I think our coaches prepared us better than any team in this tournament. We just executed tonight and we just have to get better every day.”
In women’s hockey, two days after opening the competition with a 9-1 defeat of China, the U SPORTS all-stars managed to be even more dominant as they blanked Great Britain 14-0 and outshot their inexperienced opponents 77-0.
Rearguard Katherine Bailey of Lucan, Ont., scored 3:54 into the contest and the rout was on as the red and white added seven more goals during a 37-shot first period.
Maude Laramée (2-3-5) of Gatineau, Qué, and Alexandra Labelle (2-2-4) of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Que., collected five and four points, respectively, while Mélodie Bouchard of Sept-Îles, Que., had a hat-trick to follow-up on her two-goal, two-assist performance against China.
“We’re definitely happy with the result, obviously. It’s always nice to get a win. It’s good for the confidence, we get to know each other more in the offensive end,” said defenceman Alexis Larson from Weyburn, Sask., who chipped in from the back end with a goal and two helpers. “Regardless of the score, it’s an honour any time you get to put on the Canadian jersey.”
“In a game like this, you try to work on your systems. We have to keep in mind we have a new group together at these Games,” said bench boss Rachel Flanagan from the University of Guelph, whose team will wrap up pool play on Wednesday night against host Kazakhstan. “It was an opportunity to work on our own game. It’s about sticking to our game plan and execute well on special teams.”
In curling, the Canadian women and opening ceremonies flag bearer Kelsey Rocque of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., didn’t get off to the start they had hoped for, dropping their tournament opener 9-8 in extra end to China in the morning session. The Canadians rebounded nicely in the evening however with a solid 6-2 victory over Germany in nine ends.
Against the Chinese, Canada found itself in a 5-1 hole after four ends but recovered nicely with seven points in the next five frames to take an 8-6 lead into the tenth. Their rivals managed to score two to force extra time and then stole a point in the 11th for the win.
The University of Alberta foursome was much sharper in its second outing and broke open a tight match with a 5-1 domination after the fifth end.
“We came out a little shaky. We were fortunate to get back in the game but couldn’t quite finish at the end,” said Rocque after the opener. “It’s just one game, and hopefully it’ll be the only one that ends like this. We’ll just have to play a lot better.”
“We’ve been sitting around for about a week, so there was definitely some rust there,” added coach Garry Coderre. “Although we lost the game, I’m pleased with what I saw overall. This is a bit of a character builder. You never go through these competitions without a loss, and sometimes having it early just puts you in the right frame of mind to carry forward. Obviously you always want to win, but I think from a team point of view, the outcome was positive.”
The Canadian men had an easier time in their lone duel of Day 1 as they were facing the host team of Kazakhstan, which is not known as a curling powerhouse. Skip Aaron Squires of St. Thomas, Ont., and his Wilfrid Laurier University teammates scored three in the first and two more in the second en route to a 7-1 win in six ends.
“We knew today would not be our biggest challenge as the host country of Kazakhstan is new to curling. But we used this match as additional preparation for the rest of the competition,” said coach Jim Waite. “We’ve talked about the importance of not breezing through these kinds of matches, and the importance of working on all aspects of our game. We’ll need to be at our best tomorrow against Great Britain and Russia, two very good teams.”
In snowboarding, Jennifer Hawkrigg of Toronto and Mackenzie Hamilton of Carlisle, Ont., both advanced to the round of 16 in the women’s parallel giant slalom but they were eliminated by Vera Kolegova of Russia and Weronika Biela of Poland, respectively. Hawkrigg, a University of Ryerson student, ended up 11th overall in a field of 32 competitors, while Hamilton, who attends McGill University, placed 14th.
Abby Van Groningen of Cambridge, Ont., missed advancing past the qualification runs by two spots and finished 18th, while her sister Emma was disqualified in her second run and earned the 31st position.
In the men’s parallel giant slalom, Andrew Hildebrand from Toronto was the lone Canuck to take the start. The Western University student earned the final berth for the round of 16 by 13 hundredths of a second but then fell to eventual gold medal winner Bogdan Bogdanov of Russia. Hildebrand, who trailed the new FISU champion by 33 hundredths after the first playoff run, was disqualified in the second head-to-head race and took 16th place overall.
In alpine skiing, William Schuessler Bédard of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., had the best Canadian result in the men’s Super G with a 17th-place finish in 1:05.68. Justin Beaurivage of Victoriaville, Que., was 34th (1:07.05), while Montrealers Vincent Lajoie and Gabriel Mains did not finish.
Only one Canadian took part in the women’s event and Hannah Schmidt of Dunrobin, Ont., placed 18th with a time of 1:09.51.
In cross country skiing, Christel Pichard-Jolicoeur of Saint- Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que., finished 24th in the women’s five-kilometre individual classic thanks to a time of 16:11.1. Emma Camicioli of Edmonton placed 40th (17:11.2), Shelby Dickey of Collingwood, Ont., was 43rd (17:20.9), Kyla Vanderzwet of Port Elgin, Ont., ended up 47th (17:50.1), while Andrée-Anne Théberge of Lévis, Que., did not finish.
In the men’s 10 km individual classic, Jordan Cascagnette of Pentetanguishene, Ont., was the top Canuck in 49th position (28:24.3). Conor Thompson of Montreal was 53rd (28:33.2), Carrington Pomeroy of Chelsea, Que. (28:36.9), William Dumas of Gatineau, Que., (28:41.3) and Gavin Shields of Thunder Bay, Ont. (28:42.1) finished 57th, 58th and 59th, while Alexis Morin of Victoriaville, Que., was 77th (29:59.5).
On Tuesday, Canada competes in alpine skiing, biathlon, cross country skiing, curling and snowboarding.
RESULTS FROM MONDAY, JANUARY 30
Women’s Super G
1. Elena Yakovishina, Russia, 1:06.25; 2. Nea Luukko, Finland, 1:06.98; 3. Asa Ando, Japan, 1:07.17; 18. Hannah Schmidt, Dunrobin, Ont., 1:09.51.
Men’s Super G
1. Michelangelo Tentori, Italy, 1:03.03; 2. Evgenij Pyasik, Russia, 1:03.06; 3. Simon Efimov, Russia, 1:03.77; 17. William Schuessler Bédard, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., 1:05.68; 34. Justin Beaurivage, Victoriaville, Que., 1:07.05; DNF Vincent Lajoie, Montreal, Que.; DNF Gabriel Mains, Montreal, Que.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING
Women’s 5 km Individual Classic
1. Lilia Vasilieva, Russia, 14:08.6; 2. Anna Nechaevskaya, Russia, 14:21.9; 3. Anna Shevchenko, Kazakhstan, 14:23.8; 24. Christel Pichard-Jolicoeur, Saint- Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que., 16:11.1; 40. Emma Camicioli, Edmonton, Alta., 17:11.2; 43. Shelby Dickey, Collingwood, Ont., 17:20.9; 47. Kyla Vanderzwet, Port Elgin, Ont., 17:50.1; DNF Anne-Andrée Théberge, Lévis, Que.
Men’s 10 km Individual Classic
1. Valeriy Gontar, Russia, 25:12.0; 2. Dmitriy Rostovtsev, Russia, 25:20.9; 3. Alexandre Pouye, France, 25:33.8; 49. Jordan Cascagnette, Pentetanguishene, Ont., 28 :24.3; 53. Conor Thompson, Montreal, Que., 28:33.2; 57. Carrington Pomeroy, Chelsea, Que., 28:36.9; 58. William Dumas, Gatineau, Que., 28:41.3; 59. Gavin Shields, Thunder Bay, Ont., 28:42.1; 77. Alexis Morin, Victoriaville, Que., 29:59.5.
Women’s Preliminary Round (9 matches)
Game 1 (extra end)
CHN 2 0 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 1 – 9
CAN 0 1 0 0 2 0 3 1 1 0 0 – 8
CAN 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 2 1 – 6
GER 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 – 2
Men’s Preliminary Round (9 matches)
CAN 3 2 0 1 0 1 – 7
KAZ 0 0 0 0 1 0 – 1
Canada (2-0) wins 14-0 vs. Great Britain (0-2), will face Kazakhstan (2-0) on Wednesday, February 1 at 9 a.m. EST (8 p.m. local) in final Group A match.
Canada (1-0) wins 6-0 vs. USA (0-1), will face Great Britain (0-1) on Wednesday, February 1 at 5 a.m. EST (4 p.m. local) in second of three Group B match.
Women’s Parallel Giant Slalom
Qualifications (two runs)
11. Jennifer Hawkrigg, Toronto, Ont., 59.32, advances to round of 16; 14. Mackenzie Hamilton, Carlisle, Ont., 1:00.78, advances to round of 16; 18. Abby Van Groningen, Cambridge, Ont., 1:02.89, does not advance; 31. Emma Van Groningen, Cambridge, Ont., DSQ, does not advance.
Round of 16 (two runs)
Jennifer Hawkrigg, Toronto, Ont., +3.50, does not advance, finishes 11th overall.
Round of 16 (two runs)
Mackenzie Hamilton, Carlisle, Ont., +3.00, does not advance, finishes 14th overall.
Men’s Parallel Giant Slalom
Qualifications (two runs)
16. Andrew Hildebrand, Toronto, Ont., 56:00, advances to round of 16.
Round of 16 (two runs)
Andrew Hildebrand, Toronto, Ont., DSQ, finishes 16th overall.
Team Canada website: http://en.usports.ca/universiade/winter/2017/
Almaty 2017 website: https://almaty2017.com
Live streaming: www.livefisu.tv/
Results, Statistics & Standings: http://www.fisu.net/results/winter-universiade/winter-universiade-2017-main-results
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 Almaty Universiade will feature eight compulsory sports and four optional sports. Compulsory sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, ice hockey, curling, cross country skiing, short track speed skating, figure skating and snowboarding. Optional sports: ski jumping, nordic combined, freestyle skiing and long-track speed skating.