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Team Yukon defeats P.E.I. in Canada Games hockey action

Territory moves on to qualification round
Team Yukon defeats the Northwest Territories 9-2 in a game at the 2023 Canada Winter Games in Charlottetown, P.E.I. (Courtesy/Sarah Lewis Photography)

In what Team Yukon officials described as a “beautiful day,” the hockey team pulled off a surprise 5-3 win at the Canada Winter Games over Prince Edward Island on Feb. 21.

Gavin McKenna recorded a hat trick while Chayce Tuton and Nash Holmes added singles to propel the team to the win and a berth in the qualification round. In the late game with first place in Pool C on the line, the team lost 8-2 to Newfoundland.

Lily Witten, Layla Hombert, Jenna Henderson, Olivia Vangel and Taylor Kennedy of the gymnastic team began their competition in the team event. Team Yukon officials said the athletes performed their beam, floor, bars, and vault routines and scored a collective 103.662 points.

At the biathlon range, Cheyenne Tirschmman and Cole Germain placed in the top 10 for the second consecutive day with both placing eighth while Isla Hupé placed 11th in the day’s pursuit event.

In the freestyle skiing event, Isaac Maddocks was the highest placing Yukoner scoring 64 points for his two runs in the slopestyle.

The speed skaters were back on the rink for the culmination of the 1500-metre event. Lisa Freeman was 35th overall and Lucas Taggart-Cox was the 28th quickest skater.

The team event continued in table tennis. Melody Qiu and Kalie Bennett, and Krish Sharma and Victor Li played doubles and singles with their results adding to their respective team’s score.

Team Yukon began the Canada Winter Games on Feb. 18, as part of more than 3,000 athletes from across the country. Whitney Kasook, Dannika Mikkelsen, Neizha Snider and Taylor Legge of the female curling team had two draws on the first day of competition, but lost both their matches 10-4 and 9-2 against New Brunswick and Alberta respectively.

The table tennis mixed doubles teams of Victor Li and Melody Qiu, and Krish Sharma and Kalie Bennett also had matches on Feb. 19.

The duo of Sharma and Bennett picked up a win against Nunavut 3-1. In subsequent games, Sharma and Li played in the male doubles match against their Northwest Territories opponents, but lost 3-2. In the female doubles match, Qiu and Bennett were also up against the N.W.T., but lost 3-2.

The squash team of Keely Kovac and Kyla Kurzynski had their opening matches against their counterparts from Saskatchewan and Ontario but eventually lost 3-0 despite early stage efforts. Still on the first day of the competition, Team Yukon’s boys’ individual squash athletes Rannon Johnson and Charles Gagne also each lost 3-0 to their opponents from Nova Scotia and the N.W.T. respectively.

Charlie Fidler was the only Yukon athlete in the freestyle aerials session. In the qualifying round, Fidler scored 70.91 combined over three jumps to finish 15 out of 20 skiers.

Team Yukon was also in action on the second day of the competition with the men’s hockey team starting their games at the competition with an 11-6 win over Nunavut. Team Yukon flag bearer Gavin McKenna scored six goals, Jase Johnstone netted two, while Nash Holmes, Kaelan Basnett, and Chayce Tuton got a goal each. The team also defeated the N.W.T. 9-2 with three goals from Tuton, two goals each from McKenna and Johnstone, and one each from AJ Boyd and Treytin Frizzell.

The biathlon team competed in the sprint races despite heavy rain on the second day of the competition. Cheyenne Tirschmann came sixth while Cole Germain found seventh place.

In the speedskating preliminary races Lisa Freeman and Lucas Taggart-Cox competed in the 500 metre and 1500 metre. In the 500-metre event, Freeman placed third and then fourth in her two other races while Taggart-Cox came third in both of his races. In the 1500 metre, Freeman placed fifth in her heat and Taggart-Cox came third, followed by sixth.

The female curling team lost 10-3 against Team Nova Scotia on the second day of the competition.

In the men’s and women’s table tennis doubles, Krish Sharma and Victor Li placed 12th and Melody Qiu and Kalie Bennett dropped their lone doubles game of the day to New Brunswick 3-0. In the preliminary table tennis team event, Team Yukon won 3-2 against the N.W.T.

Contact Patrick Egwu at

Patrick Egwu

About the Author: Patrick Egwu

I’m one of the newest additions at Yukon News where I have been writing about a range of issues — politics, sports, health, environment and other developments in the territory.
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