Team Yukon kicked off the Arctic Winter Games (AWG) on Jan. 29 with competition in three events – futsal, hockey and curling.
The junior male futsal team gave the territory its first win with a 6-1 final score over Alaska in front of a crowd of cheering fans. The junior female futsal team was also pitted against Alaska. Team Yukon officials said they gave it their all, but came up short at the final whistle with a score of 7-0.
The junior male team will work on cementing their win when they face the Northwest Territories team Jan. 30, while the female team will also square up against their N.W.T. counterparts the same day.
Meanwhile, both the Yukon’s juvenile male and female teams will face their counterparts from Nunavut on Jan. 30.
Team Yukon’s female hockey team was on the ice Jan. 29 against Northern Alberta. The Yukoners trailed by two, but Cassie Cebuliak got one back early in the third period. Although they mounted pressure on the Alberta North goalie with several shots, they couldn’t find an equalizer and ended the game with a 5-1 loss.
The female team will aim for their first win of the competition when they face their counterparts from Nunavut on Jan. 30. The same day, the Yukon bantam team will face the Northwest Territories while the midget team will be up against Alberta North.
The men’s and women’s curling teams had their first draw of the games against Alaska. The girls’ team kept it close through the opening ends, but couldn’t get the go-ahead rock, with the final score at 11-3 for Alaska. The boys’ team found success in the later ends, but couldn’t bring the game to even, finishing with a 10-2 score in Alaska’s favour.
Both the female and male curling teams feature a set of siblings who are coached by their fathers. Chloe and Hadley Searson are coached by their dad, Troy, while Charles and Roman Snider are managed by their dad, Michael.
The Yukon male and female curling team will play against their counterparts from the N.W.T. on Jan. 30 and hope to claim their first points in the competition.
This year’s AWG in Wood Buffalo, Alta., is the first since the last edition in 2018 held at Hay River/Fort Smith in the Northwest Territories. The 2020 games in Whitehorse were cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic with the 2022 games for Wood Buffalo postponed until now. More than 2,000 participants are attending from the N.W.T., Yukon, Nunavut, Alaska, Greenland, Nunavik in Northern Quebec, and northern Alberta, as well as Sámi athletes from Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Team Russia, which has participated in previous AWG, was suspended from attending this year’s competition following the invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
Contact Patrick Egwu at firstname.lastname@example.org