How do you top a record-setting four medals in one day?
You win five the next day!
That’s the medal haul for Yukon Ski Team members on the second day of competition at the Canadian National Cross Country Ski Championships, being held in Quebec City this week.
For the second day in a row, Bryn Knight and Emily Nishikawa took the top two podium positions in the Junior Girls category. Only six seconds separated the duo over the 5-kilometre classic race.
David Greer continued his hot streak.
He topped his silver medal performance from yesterday by winning a gold medal in the Junior Boys 7.5-kilometre race.
National ski team member Graham Nishikawa also had an impressive day, finishing second in the extremely competitive Open Men’s category.
Finishing only five seconds out of first place, Nishikawa, who had disappointing results earlier in the year due to illness, served notice to the skiing community that he is once again a force to be reckoned with as he moves towards the 2010 Olympics.
Janelle Greer also picked up a second medal for the meet, bringing home a bronze in the Juvenile Girls 5-kilometre race.
Head coach Alain Masson was thrilled with the team’s performance.
“The whole team is pumped up and every single skier is turning in superb results. They are getting pretty tired, but they’re fit and excited to be doing so well.”
The races continue today with the classic sprint.
Grizzlies maul the
competition in Alberta
Yukon’s U-16 Grizzlies soccer team attended the Alberta Indoor Provincials Championships on March 17-18 in Sherwood Park with a short bench of 11 athletes.
Competing against 12 of the best teams in the province, Yukon was seeded 12th in the tier two division.
First up on Saturday were the Calgary NCU Rangers. Yukon jumped out to a 4-1 lead in very aggressive match.
Harrison Ewing received a yellow card for a collision with another player. Yukon served a four-minute penalty and Rangers capitalized.
Ewing continued to dominate the offensive play and ended up in another collision, receiving a second yellow card.
Two yellows in a game becomes a red card and Ewing was ejected with an additional one game suspension.
The game continued to be very fast and aggressive with the Yukon holding on to a 4-3 win — much to the surprise our opponents and the local officials.
Goalkeeper Shaun Porter and the team’s defensive play were exceptional considering the amount of time we played short handed.
“We earned a great deal of respect from our competitors by the time this game was over,” said coach Rick Reaume via e-mail.
The team faced the Edmonton Strikers next. Ewing was sidelined with the suspension, shortening our already small bench.
Yukon played very strongly on offensive, with goals back and forth, and it was one of the most exiting games at the tournament.
The final was 6-5 in favour of the Strikers. Yukon had the most goals-for after two games and moved on to the medal round.
Sunday morning the team squared off against Sherwood Park Rangers, the top seeded Edmonton team.
Yukon took an early 2-1 lead. During an offensive flurry from Sherwood Park, defenceman Zach Young ended up on the ground in the crease with the ball rolling to the net.
Young, a former goaltender, grabbed the ball and threw it out of the crease. This resulted in a red card, game suspension and penalty shot.
“Shaun Porter made an incredible save on the penalty but we were then faced with a five minute major penalty, when they did score to tie the game,” said Reaume.
A second penalty was awarded due to a foul in the crease several minutes later and the shooter put the second attempt behind Porter to move ahead 3-2.
The game continued to be very fast and our low player numbers began to show against a bench of 18 players.
The Rangers double-teamed the Yukon boys every time the ball was received, which made offensive movement very difficult.
Tyler Pumphrey and Robin Lin were injured during the game and were only able to continue on a very limited basis.
“We finished the game in a 7-2 loss but felt we put forth a very strong effort against one of Alberta’s best U-16 teams,” said Reaume.
The loss moved the Grizzlies into the bronze-medal game, against the Calgary Blizzard.
Despite missing Zach Young due to suspension, and suffering two injuries, Yukon came out strong, scoring first and setting Calgary back on their heels.
“We could not hold on with a continued offensive push due to the mismatched player numbers,” said Reaume.
Calgary had a bench of 17 players and ran hard to a 7-4 victory for the bronze.
Yukon finished fourth, the second best showing by a Yukon team. A bronze medal was won in U-16 three years ago.
The boys were applauded at the medal ceremonies for their tremendous effort and skilled play.
Yukon’s goal scorers were Harrison Ewing, who led with seven goals, Tyler Pumphrey with four, Stephen Dynes scored three and Michael Irish scored as well.
The team is looking ahead to the Western Canada Summer Games in August. Tryouts for the team run March 31at the Canada Games Centre.
The age category is for those born in 1991 and later, and eligible players are encouraged to try out. For more information on Westerns please contact YSA at 633-4625.
Firth Rangers 3
Kilrich slipped past the Rangers with two goals each from Russ Knutson and Wade Harrison.
Gord Campbell scored a pair for the Rangers, and Joel Witten added a goal.
Klondyke Dental Molars 7
Edgewater Hotel 4
Terry Jackson led the Molars with four goals, and a pair of assists. Mark Pinter scored a pair and Woody Bennett added one.
Dave Ecker, Andy McLeod, Rick Smith and Brent Stokes scored for the Edgewater.
Yukon Basketball Championships
Check out the best young hoopsters in the territory as high schools compete for basketball glory this weekend and all next week.
The Grade 8 finals are set for this Saturday: girls at 3 p.m. and boys at 4:30 p.m. at FH Collins.
The Grade 9/10 finals go Saturday evening, girls at 6 p.m. and boys at 8.
The senior finals run next weekend, March 31: girls 5:30 p.m. and boys at 7:30, also at FH Collins.
Preliminary games go Monday to Wednesday at Porter Creek Secondary, starting at 5 p.m., and the semi-finals are set for Friday at Porter Creek, starting at 6 p.m.