Photos and content courtesy of Team Alberta:
(Red Deer, AB - February 19, 2019) The medal haul continued throughout Wednesday evening, with two boxers and two speed skaters adding to the day’s tally for Alberta for a total of 11 earned medals on the day.
For more information on all the events happening at the 2019 Canada Winter Games, you can click here to check out their website.
SURPRISE GOLD MEDAL IN SHORT TRACK SPEED SKATING
On the ice at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, Hon Won Son of Calgary took the gold medal in the 500m short track speed skating, facing two Quebec skaters and Claudia Heeney of Ontario in the ultimate race.
“I feel amazing right now. It’s definitely not a result that I expected. The final was pretty tough. All three of us were on the World Junior Team last January, so I knew the competition would be tough. I knew any one of them could come out with the gold,” said Son, all smiles, after the race. “The crowd was definitely the biggest factor. The most fun thing to do was racing with that crowd, cheering you on.”
Inspired by the spirit of Canadians after watching the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, Son started speed skating. Since she lives in a city that hosted the 1988 Olympics, she joined a Learn To Skate program at the Olympic Oval after the 2010 Olympic Game and fell in love with the sport.
In the men’s 500m final, Brendan Yamada of Calgary, AB faced off against three Quebec competitors at the start line and managed to squeeze in a third place for Alberta’s third short track speed skating medal of these Canada Games.
“I’m super grateful to be representing Alberta and earn this medal on behalf of Alberta. Tonight was one of the best starts that I ever had. Will just stepped out deep and blocked me. I was just chasing from that point on. Felix fell, and I just hung on from there. I’ll never forget the experience at the Canada Games. It’s just amazing just spending time with my teammates, seeing all the other events, being in this atmosphere.”
MCDOUGALL, MULLER CONTINUE FAIRY TALE AT CANADA GAMES
In the 1000m long track speed skating race at Great Chief Park, Brooklyn McDougall of Calgary, AB earned the fifth medal of these Canada Games, earning a silver medal by posting a time of 1:23.37. McDougall won medals in each race in which she entered: two gold medals, two silver medals, and one bronze medal.
With the five medals around her neck, Brooklyn McDougall is the most decorated athlete of these 2019 Canada Winter Games.
In the men’s 1000m race, Kaleb Muller of Cranford, AB took the silver medal in the men’s race by posting a time of 1:14.56. This silver medal performance represents the fourth medal for him at these Canada Games: two gold medals and two silver medals.
GOLDEN PERFORMANCE FROM TEAM ALBERTA DUET IN THE POOL
At the pool in Calgary, the duet of Jaime Czarkowski (15) and Teah Hoffmann (16) of Calgary earned the gold medal with a stellar routine. The ladies qualified for the main finals with the second-best score.
Entering the main finals atop the standings with a score of 76.3731 points, the girls delivered a flawless performance swimming to the Celtic-themed music for a score of 147.0731 for the gold medal.
“It’s honestly unreal. The whole feeling of being part of Team Alberta and getting the gold medal for Team Alberta is the coolest part. We wanted to come out today with more energy and have more fun to engage the audience and the judges – and I think we achieved that,” said Czarkowski.
Hoffmann added: “Our goal is always to do our best and try to win. We look at our video last night and saw what we needed to improve on today. We used the practice session to really work on what we had identified.”
“It’s such a sense of pride to compete in your own province, your own city, your own pool [at the Repsol Centre]. We feel like everyone has our back,” concluded Hoffmann.
Both Czarkowski and Hoffmann are members of the National Junior Team and represented Canada at the 2018 World Junior Championships.
The gold medal for the duet is the first gold medal for Alberta since 1995 and represents only the fourth duet gold medal for Alberta since the sport was introduced to the Canada Games sports program.
BOXERS CLAIM TWO SILVER MEDALS FOR ALBERTA IN WILD NIGHT
In Boxing, Cole Brander of Edmonton, AB fought for the gold medal against Avery Martin-Duval of Quebec, a three-time National Champion. He conceded the victory to his opponent after three rounds, and earned the silver medal, by points.
“I think it was par; I think I could have done a lot of things better. I'm happy with some aspects of my performance. I am happy I stuck it out. He's a strong fighter, he's fast, but I'm strong, I'm fast, and he was better than me today, but there's always next time. We're going to work hard, and we're going to fight for it,” said Brander.
The following match featured Kyle Oliver in the bronze medal fight of the 60kg category, facing Lucas Craston of Ontario. Unfortunately for Oliver, he lost the match by points, ending the tournament in fourth place.
Later in the evening in the 75kg weight category, Janick Lacroix was up fighting for the gold medal against Mohamed Zawadi of Ontario.
The tightly contested fight went in favor of the Ontario boxer in judges decisions, giving Lacroix the silver medal.
“It was definitely a battle. We slugged it out for three rounds, and it was a really good competition. I thought I won it, but it’s the judges' decision, and I’ll let it up to them,” said Lacroix.
“Silver is a big deal. I was coming here for the gold medal for sure, but I’ll take what I can get and come back stronger next year at Nationals.”
“I’ve been through a lot and worked through it. I worked really hard for it, and I am proud of it. Today I definitely fought for my old coach Mike [Kucik]. I always fought for him. Everything I do is for him now,” commented Lacroix on the passing in 2016 of his former coach Mike Kucik.
“When I hear sounds from the corner from Kerry [Fahlham] I hear Mike words in the other corner. He’s always there with me, and I’ll appreciate that.”
ALBERTA TO PLAY FOR GOLD IN WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL
Team Alberta easily advanced to the Gold medal game in Wheelchair Basketball, thanks to a 56-37 win against New Brunswick in semi-final action.
Tournament top scorer in the round robin, Bradon Doll once again delivered an exceptional performance with 26 points in the victory.
On Thursday, Team Alberta will face Ontario for the gold medal at 7:00 pm at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.
MEN’S HOCKEY TEAM ADVANCES TO SEMI-FINALS WITH WIN AGAINST NEW BRUNSWICK
In men’s hockey, Team Alberta faced off against New Brunswick in the quarterfinals and went on to win 8-3 to advance to the next round.
Team Alberta scored first in the fourth minute of the game, answered quickly by New Brunswick. On the powerplay a few minutes later, Alberta regains the one-goal. But the New Brunswick answered less than 30 seconds later to bring back the game at even score. Alberta went on to score three additional goals to take a 2-goal lead. In the last minute of play in the opening period, New Brunswick found the back of the net to bring the game at 4-3 heading into the locker room
The second period was an Alberta affair with Alberta scoring four answered goals and take a comfortable 5-goal lead heading into the last period of play.
In the third period, Alberta cruised on and protected their lead, with no one scoring.
Matt Savoie and Tyson Laverture each netted a pair of goals for Alberta. Alberta outshot their opponent 51-19 in the one-way game.
With the victory, Alberta will now face Ontario in semi-final action, tomorrow at 7:30 pm at the Centrium.
HEARTBREAKING LOSS FOR ALBERTA IN RINGETTE QUARTERFINALS
Team Alberta played their third game in 24 hours against Ontario in quarterfinal action. Ontario remained undefeated in the round-robin tournament with a 4-0 record before the match.
The Alberta ladies went on to lose 8-6 their matchup and will now play in the placement games, kept out of medal contention. Both Torrie Shennan and Ann Sauve netted a pair of goals for the Alberta women.
Alberta will next face New Brunswick in the relegation round.
ABOUT THE ALBERTA SPORT CONNECTION
Alberta Sport Connection (ASC) coordinates Team Alberta’s involvement in the Games. It is a provincial crown corporation dedicated to the development of sport in Alberta.
ASC’s vision is for Alberta to be the premier sport delivery system in Canada.
It helps Alberta’s high-performance athletes train and pursue excellence.
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