Lakeland off to solid start to kick off Winter Games

Andrew Schopp
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Prince Albert native Andrew Creusot maneuvers down the hill in U14 male action on Monday at Wapiti Valley Ski Resort. Although the majority of the Saskatchewan Winter Games will be held in and around Prince Albert, the alpine skiing event was held at Wapiti, with the boys and girls starting their runs on Monday. Herald photo by Jodi Schellenberg

As male, female and Special “O” mixed bowling kicked off on Monday at the Minto Recreation Centre, emotions ran high as teams got used to playing in front of the high capacity crowd. 

“You can tell they are nervous, but they are improving as the games go on,” Kayla Bird, Lakeland bowling coach said following the team’s first match against South West. “It’s a lot of pressure for them, it’s really their first big tournament that a lot of them have ever bowled in so it’s a new experience for them but they are having fun.”

Teams in all three divisions played seven games on Monday to kick off round robin play which continues on at the Rec Centre on Tuesday before the playoffs on Wednesday. 

The Minto Rec Centre was packed to the brim with fans cheering on all districts.

“When we practise it’s usually just us on the lane so this is all brand new to them,” Bird said of the atmosphere at the Rec Centre on Monday. “Their nerves are high right now but they are starting to get used to it, all in all it will help them stay confident and keep their emotions and adrenalin going.”

The female bowlers ended Monday's play with a record of 2-2, while the males went 1-3.

Lakeland trudges on in team round robin play on Tuesday with the male and female squads starting at 9 a.m. and the special “o” mixed teams at 1:30 p.m. at the Minto Recreation Centre.

• • • 

Lakeland secures first win in grand fashion

After falling to Parkland Valley in their opening match on Sunday, the Lakeland Male hockey team bounced back to trounce Team North 18-1 on Monday at the Art Hauser Centre. 

Lakeland was dominant in the early going, registering nine shots on net until North finally put their first on goal eight minutes into the first period. 

“It gave the boys a lot of confidence,” Lakeland assistant coach Dennis Kubat said of the team’s decisive opening victory. “Every line was contributing, just being able to put up that many goals helps them but we know the next game will be a little tougher.”

Keldon Bird, of Ahtahkakoop First Nation netted the gaming-winning goal just over seven minutes into the first period with a slap shot from the point beating North goalie Wade Clarke.

With a mix of players from two different age groups, Kubat said the team is meshing well together through the tournament's opening two games.

“All the way from evaluation camp it just seemed like the boys knew each other,” he said. “They clicked early which is awesome to see and they are clicking more and more.”

Lakeland will finish off pool play on Tuesday with a tilt against Prairie Central at the Art Hauser Centre before playoffs get going on Wednesday. 

• • • 

Heavin finishes day one in second 

With the temperature rising above -10 on Monday, Lakeland could not have asked for a better day to kick off the alpine skiing event at Wapiti Valley Ski Resort.

Eighteen skiers represented Lakeland district in six events on Monday with Melfort’s Connor Heavin achieving the most favourable result, finishing the day in second place of the U12 male division with a time of 1:09.58. 

Although Wapiti is located about an hour and a half from the Game’s host city of Prince Albert, Lakeland male’s coach Robin Finlayson was impressed with the host venue.

“It is a wonderful host hill,” Finlayson said. “The team is doing really well, we had a few bobbles in the course but coming into tomorrow we hope to correct that." 

Of the 18 skiers representing Lakeland at the Games, 13 hail from Prince Albert, including Brittany Aasen, Hannah Thoms, Aiden Young, Isahiah Krip and Rhett Regnier, who competed in the eldest U16 division. 

“Our older kids skied very well,” Finlayson said. “The conditions were awesome, the weather is great so that made the experience so much better for the kids.”

Day two of the event takes place on Tuesday with the same format of each skier participating in a pair of runs in all divisions. Runs are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Tuesday. 

While action on the slopes concluded for the day, Finlayson and his skiers are looking forward to taking in the full Winter Games experience. 

“We are all looking forward to the village experience this evening,” Finlayson said. “It has been a lot of fun.”

The singles slalom event concludes on Tuesday before duel slalom kicks off on Wednesday followed by the medal ceremony.

With a file from Jodi Schellenberg

• • •

2014 Saskatchewan Winter Games schedule for Tuesday, Feb. 18

Air Pistol at Alfred Jenkins Field House

8:30 Men’s Singles – Section 1

10:30 Women’s Singles – Section 1

12:30 Men’s Singles – Section 2

14:30 Women’s Singles – Section 2

16:00 Men’s Singles Final

17:15 Women’s Singles Final

Alpine Skiing at Wapiti Valley

10:00 Female/Male Slalom - 1st Run

13:00 Female/Male Slalom - 2nd Run

15:30 Coaches Meeting

Bowling at Minto Recreational Centre

Men and women's Games at 8:00 9:00 10:00

Special O at 12:00 13:00 14:00

5:30 All Singles Final - Winner vs 1st

16:45 All Singles Final - 4th vs 3rd

17:00 All Singles Final - Winner vs 2nd

17:15 All Singles Final - Winner vs 1st 

Cross-Country Skiing at Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club

11:00 Race: Free Technique sprint qualifications

12:45 Race: Free Technique sprint heats

14:30 Awards at venue

Figure Skating at Dave G. Steuart Arena

11:30am Class 2 Ladies Freeskate (1-15)

1:20pm Class 2 Ladies Freeskate (16-27)

2:50pm Class 3 Ladies Freeskate (1-15)

4:45pm Class 3 Ladies Freeskate (16-27)

6:00pm Medal Ceremonies – Class 2 & 3 Ladies

Male Hockey at the Art Hauser Centre and Kinsmen Arena

9:00 Game #11 Southwest (3) vs Parkland Valley (4) Art Hauser Centre

11:30 Game #12 Prairie Central (5) vs Northern (9) Art Hauser Centre

17:00 Game # 13 Lakeland (8) vs Prairie Central (5) Art Hauser Centre

17:00 Game # 14 Rivers West (7) vs Southeast (1) Kinsmen Arena

19:30 Game # 15 Northern (9) vs Southwest (3) Art Hauser Centre

19:30 Game # 16 Regina (2) vs Saskatoon (6) Kinsmen Arena

Judo at Carlton Comprehensive High School 

9:30 Team Competition

13:30 Team Competition

15:00 Medal Round

16:00 Medal Presentations

Synchronized Swimming at Marion Aquatic Center

9:30 Solo Finals A and B Flight

10:45 Awards Ceremony – Figures, Solos

14:00 Team Preliminaries

15:30 Duet Finals A and B Flight


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