SPORTS

Canada claims silver in women's hockey at Winter Universiade

02/12/2015 08:28 EST | Updated 04/14/2015 05:59 EDT
GRANADA, Spain - Canada's women's hockey team captured silver on Thursday after falling 3-0 to Russia in the championship game at the 27th Winter Universiade.

The Canadians were never able to solve Russian netminder Yulia Leskina, who stopped all 40 shots her way to snap Canada's gold-medal streak at the games at three.

Russia also becomes the first team other than Canada to win the Universiade tournament in its short history.

"I thought we generated a lot of stuff today, but we didn't get a lot of second chance opportunities," said Canadian coach Jon Rempel, from the University of Manitoba. "Of the 40 shots we had there were some quality ones, but just not enough to get through.

"The girls worked hard — there's no issue with the effort, they worked hard the whole tournament. We had a lot of challenges here, we faced them as they came our way, and we faced them as we could."

Canada will also face Russia for gold in women's curling as the two nations face off in the Universiade championship game Friday.

Canada advanced to the curling final thanks to an 8-3 win over Switzerland in the semifinal on Thursday.

The Canadians broke open the game with a steal of three in the sixth end as Swiss skip Michele Jaeggi sent her final stone through the house drawing against three Canadian rocks. From there, skip Breanne Meakin, of Winnipeg, and her Carleton University rink of third Lauren Horton (Almonte, Ont.), second Lynn Kreviazuk (Ottawa) and lead Jessica Armstrong (Ottawa) kept the pressure on Switzerland and put it away with another steal, this time of two points, in the ninth end.

Canada remains undefeated at 10-0 at the Universiade and will look to complete a perfect competition when they face Russia's Anna Sidorova, the reigning champion from 2013, for the gold medal.

"We like to keep it open in the first few ends, but then I had some unforced errors, which could have been some nerves, but the girls were playing great today and they kept me in it. I started making a lot of shots and it paid off in the second half of the game," said Meakin, whose team edged Russia 9-7 earlier this week in round-robin action.

Elsewhere, Canada just missed out on another podium finish in the women's 500-metre short track speedskating event as Joanie Gervais of Saguenay, Que., came up just 15 hundredths of a second short of a third-place finish in the final. It's Canada's third fourth-place finish in short track at the FISU Games.

"I wasn't aiming for a specific position, but I was telling myself that I was able to go for a spot in the A final, and it worked out," said Gervais. "I ended way behind the top three after the first lap, but I was able to catch up and try to overtake for third place at the finish line. I came close but unfortunately, it didn't work."

In the women's relay, the Canadian team qualified for the A final, set to take place Friday.

In Thursday's semifinal, Gervais, Montreal's Namasthee Harris-Gauthier, Jamie MacDonald (Fort St. James, B.C.) and Caroline Truchon came up with the second-best time at four minutes 19.564 seconds—behind only China at 4:17.798 and ahead of Ukraine's time of 4:26.769. The Canadian women will go up against China, South Korea and Japan in the final.

The Canadian men's relay finished third in their semifinal and will compete in the B Final on Friday.

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