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U SPORTS – ALMATY, Kazakhstan (U SPORTS) – Team Canada’s Kelsey Rocque earned a chance to play for the gold medal after defeating Sweden’s Isabella Wranaa, 7-4, in semifinal action at the 2017 Winter Universiade in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Monday.


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Rocque and her University of Alberta team, which includes vice-skip Danielle Schmiemann, second Taylor McDonald, lead Taylore Theroux and coach Garry Coderre, entered the playoffs after finishing the round robin in first place. They carried that momentum into the semifinal against fourth-place Sweden, taking the lead early and then running the Swedes out of rocks in the 10th to claim their spot in the championship final against Russia’s Victoria Moiseeva.

“It’s pretty crazy,” said Rocque after the game. “I can’t say enough about the girls. They’ve been playing amazing all week and it’s a huge part of the reason we’re in the Universiade final. We’re very excited to bring home a medal for Canada. Hopefully it’s gold, but regardless, we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished this week. We played pretty well today. We got the breaks when we needed to. It was a solid win against a really good team, and it gives us even more confidence heading into the final.”

The rest of the team clearly shared in Rocque’s excitement.
“We’ve have a long journey, a long road together as a team,” said lead Theroux. “To be in this position is a huge milestone in what we’ve done individually as curlers, and also as a team.”
“We’re definitely peaking at the right time,” added third Danielle Schmeimann. “We’re comfortable in this environment. We’re really getting along well. We’ve had a lot of fun this week and I think that’s helped a lot. We’re very excited for tomorrow.”

“It’s very exciting. We’re very proud of how we’ve played this week, and now we’re happy to play for the gold medal,” said second Taylor McDonald.
“The girls came out with a mission,” said coach Coderre about his team’s mindset heading into the all-important semifinal. “They knew they had to play very well because that young Swedish team is very talented. The girls stuck to their systems and strategies. It just proves that the system works.”

Rocque opened the game with a blank, and after taking a single in the second end, stole a point to go ahead 2-0. Leading 6-2 after seven ends, Canada had complete control and didn’t give Sweden a chance to get back in the game.

“I’m extremely proud of them,” added Coderre. “I’m trying not to show it on the outside, but I’m just beaming inside right now. We still have one important game to go but, either way, we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished at the Games. Tomorrow, we’ll just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing. We’re a team that doesn’t live in the past. We have to play in the now, and the girls will be ready to go.”

The women’s gold medal game will take place Tuesday morning (Monday 10 p.m. EST).

Wranaa will play Switzerland’s Briar Huerlimann for the bronze on Monday. Huerlimann lost to Moiseeva 8-7 in the other women’s semifinal.

On the men’s side, Aaron Squires and his Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks team of vice-skip Richard Krell, second Spencer Nuttall, lead Fraser Reid, alternate Russell Cuddie and coach Jim Waite finished the round robin in fifth place, tied with South Korea and the United States, and did not advance to the playoff round.

Canada has won numerous medals since Curling made its Universiade debut in 2003, but is searching for its first gold medal since Brittany Gregor captured the women’s gold in 2007 at Pinerolo, Italy. Most recently, Breanne Meakin, won women’s silver in 2015 at Granada, Spain.


2015 (Granada, Spain): Women silver
2013 (Trentino, Italy): Men bronze
2009 (Harbin, China): Women silver
2007 (Turin, Italy): Women gold
2003 (Tarvisio, Italy): Men gold / Women silver

About the Winter Universiade 


The Winter Universiade is a biennial international multi-sport event open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event. 


The Almaty Universiade will feature eight compulsory sports and four optional sports. Compulsory sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, ice hockey, curling, cross country skiing, short track speed skating, figure skating and snowboarding. Optional sports: ski jumping, nordic combined, freestyle skiing and long-track speed skating. 




U SPORTS is the national brand for University Sports in Canada. Every year, over 12,000 student-athletes and 500 coaches from 56 universities vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. U SPORTS also provides higher performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit or follow us on: 


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For More Information:

Al Cameron
Director, Communication & Media Relations
Curling Canada
Tel: 403-463-5500

Michel Bélanger
Communications Manager
Team Canada
2017 Winter Universiade
Tel: (+)7747 619 2403

Ken Saint-Eloy
Manager, Communications
Tel: 647-871-7595