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U SPORTS – ALMATY, Kazakhstan (U SPORTS) – Both Canadian hockey teams skated to dominating wins on Wednesday to remain undefeated at the 28th Winter Universiade.

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In other Canadian action on the fifth day of competition in Almaty, women’s curling split its doubleheader, men’s curling dropped its lone contest, Austin White of Oyama, B.C., qualified for the round of 32 in snowboard cross, while Justin Beauregard of Victoriaville, Que., had the delegation’s best result in alpine skiing with a 22nd place in the men’s combined.

In women’s hockey, Alexandra Labelle of Salaberry-de Valleyfield, Que., scored a hat trick and added one assist while University of Montreal teammate Catherine Dubois of Charlesbourg, Que., also racked up four points (1-3-4) as the U SPORTS all-stars secured first place in Group A thanks to an 11-0 shutout against host Kazakhstan in front of a packed house at Baluan Sholak Arena.

Next up for Canada (3-0) is a semifinal on Saturday against Russia, the United States or Japan.

Despite the support of a boisterous home crowd of over 5,000, the Kazakhs couldn’t slow down a more experienced and skilled side which dominated 72-16 in shots on goal. The Canadians were up 6-0 after two periods before exploding for five goals in the third, including four in the final eight minutes. 

Also contributing offensively with three points apiece were team captain Katelyn Gosling (1-2-3), forward Kelty Apperson (2-1-3), as well as rearguards Brianna Iazzolino (1-2-3) and Katherine Bailey (0-3-3).

“Playing the host team, the atmosphere was amazing. The crowd was really behind them,” said University of Alberta forward Alex Poznikoff of Edmonton. “It didn’t feel like an 11-0 game. They were really intense and physical the whole way. We got a few at the end to make the score what it was.”

“The atmosphere was great,” added assistant coach Kelly Paton from Western University. “We wanted to play a full 60 minutes to be ready for the medal round. We want to keep building and get better every day. Our last two periods were more where we want to be.”

In men’s hockey, Guillaume Asselin of Quebec City had two goals and a pair of assists and Michael McNamee of Perth, Ont., also tallied four points (1-3-4) in a 14-0 rout of Great Britain.

Ten different players scored for Canada, which led 6-0 after the opening period and 9-0 after 40 minutes. Shots on goal were 74-9, including a 29-3 advantage in the first frame, 14-4 in the second and 31-2 in the third.

The result sets up a battle for first place Friday at 12:30 p.m. local (1:30 a.m. EST) when the Ontario University Athletics all-stars face undefeated Slovakia (2-0) in their final game of the preliminary round in Group B. The contest will be streamed live on  

The Canadian power play was lethal, converting four of six opportunities, while the British went 0-for-7 with the man advantage.

“To be honest it’s the hardest game I’ve ever coached, and I’ve been doing this a long time. You never want to disrespect the other team but at the same time you have to understand the rules of the tournament, and the reality is goals scored and goal differential are important,” said head coach Brett Gibbons from Queen’s University. “When it gets to that score, no one is proud of it, but that’s the way the tournament is set up.”

“It’s really hard to prepare for a game like this. It’s hard to keep the intensity up for 60 minutes and look to score on every shift,” added Asselin, a University du Quebec at Trois-Rivières sniper who scored his two goals early to help Canada build a 4-0 lead in the first eight minutes of action. “We knew we had to score as many goals as possible. Under the circumstances, we’re pleased we the way we played.”

Team Canada now turns its attention to Slovakia and expects a much stiffer opposition on Friday.

“We’re looking forward to it,” said Gibson. “The Slovaks are a big, big team that plays heavy. We’re gonna have to be at our best to beat them but my guys get better every game. They’ll be ready.”

In women’s curling, skip Kelsey Rocque and her foursome from the University of Alberta led from start to finish in the morning session en route to a 7-4 win over Russia, before dropping a 9-5 decision to Great Britain in the evening in a battle for first place.

With four matches remaining in the preliminary round, Canada (3-2) is tied with South Korea, Russia and Sweden, behind Great Britain (4-1) and Switzerland (4-1). The Canadians face the Swiss Thursday at 2 p.m. local (3 a.m. EST).

In the evening session, Rocque and her counterpart Gina Aitken were neck and neck until the fifth end, when the British scored two to open a 4-2 lead. Aitken added another deuce in the seventh for a 6-3 advantage, and never looked back.

“I thought we actually played pretty well, to be honest,” Rocque said. “We just missed a few opportunities, missed our spots here and there. Up until the ninth end, we were playing well and were right in it.

“The Brits are a good team. We’ve seen them a whole bunch of times in juniors. They’re no pushovers. In a game like that, you just wait for somebody to make an error, and tonight nobody really made an error, they were all making good shots. Hats off to them,” said Canadian coach Garry Coderre. “The objective when you come to a tournament like this is to make the playoffs, and the top four teams do. That’s what you shoot for. You do your best to be in the top four and move forward.”

In men’s curling, Aaron Squires and his squad from Wilfrid Laurier University dropped to 2-2 after a 6-4 loss to the United States.

Canada trailed 5-4 after eighth and blanked the ninth, hoping to score their deuce in the tenth. But that plan backfired when the Americans stole a single for the win.

“We just did not play well today, from start to finish. We kept it simple but it was just one of those days where it seems nothing is working,” said coach Jim Waite. “It wasn’t one person, we just didn’t play well as a group.”

In men’s snowboard cross, White had a best qualification run of 1:08.06, good for 16th place and a spot in the round of 32. The UBC Okanagan student was 13th after the first run.

In alpine skiing, Beauregard was the only Canadian to see the finish line in the men’s combined, in a cumulative time of 2:08.76. His teammates Vincent Lajoie of Montreal, William Schuessler Bédard of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., and Gabriel Mains of Montreal did not finish.

On the women’s combined, Hannah Schmidt of Dunrobin, Ont., did not finish the Super G portion of the event, after placing 13th in Tuesday’s slalom.



Women’s Combined
1. Anastasiia Silanteva, Russia, 2:08.24; 2. Maria Shkanova, Belarus, 2:10.02; Barbara Kantorova, Slovakia, 2:10.35; DNF Hannah Schmidt, Dunrobin, Ont.

Men’s Combined
1. Kristaps Zvejnieks, Latvia, 2:02.20; 2. Maarten Meiners, Netherlands, 2:03.08; 3. Matej Falat, Slovakia, 2:03.21; 22. Justin Beaurivage, Victoriaville, Que., 2:08.76; DNF Vincent Lajoie, Montreal, Que.; DNF William Schuessler Bédard, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.; DNF Gabriel Mains, Montreal, Que.


Women’s Preliminary Round (9 matches)
Game 4
CAN    0 2 0 1 0 2 0 2 0 x – 7
RUS     0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 x – 4

Game 5
GBR     1 0 1 0 2 0 2 0 3 x – 9
CAN    0 1 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 x – 5

Canada (3-2) faces Switzerland (4-1) on Thursday.

Men’s Preliminary Round (9 matches)
Game 4
USA     0 0 1 0 0 2 0 2 0 1 – 6
CAN    0 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 – 4

Canada (2-2) faces Japan (2-2) and Sweden (2-2) on Thursday.


Canada (3-0) wins 11-0 vs. Kazakhstan (1-2); finishes first in Group A, advances to the semifinals on Saturday, February 4 (opponent and time TBD).


Canada (2-0) wins 14-0 vs. Great Britain (0-2), will face Slovakia (2-0) on Friday, February 3 at 1:30 a.m. EST (12:30 p.m. local) in final Group B match.


Men’s Snowboard Cross

Qualifications (two runs)
16. Austin White, Oyama, B.C., 1:08.06, advances to round of 32 on Thursday.

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:

Michel Bélanger
Communications Manager
Team Canada
Cell in Almaty: (+) 774 7619 2403

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