The Canadian women had a great start to the World Cup sliding season with two gold and one silver medal from races at Lake Placid last week.
Sarah Reid and Mellisa Hollingsworth took the top two spots in the women’s skeleton race, with Reid taking the victory for her first career podium finish.
Meanwhile, Olympic champ Kaillie Humphries and rookie brakeman Chelsea Valois won the first women’s bobsleigh race of the season.
Reid was one-hundredth of a second quicker than Hollingsworth in each of the three race runs to take the victory by just .03 seconds.
“I am over the moon,” said Reid, whose previous best in a World Cup race came last season in Whistler, when she placed sixth. “There was so much excitement at the start line that I just fed off that.”
Humphries, who won the final three races last season, kept the streak going despite taking on a new partner for the 2012-13 season.
“This is a great way to start the season and I am happy to walk away with the win,” said Humphries in a release. “We had a few issues today so there is a lot of room for improvement, but Chelsea continues to show so much potential.”
Saskatchewan’s Valois, 25, only got into sliding this summer but is already having an immediate impact in the back seat of Humphries’s sled. Jenny Ciochetti and Kate O’Brien placed 11th in the Canada 2 sled.
In men’s competition, the Canada 1 crew of Lyndon Rush and Jesse Lumsden placed seventh at Lake Placid. Canadian pilots Chris Spring and Justin Kripps were 13th and 15th, respectively.
In skeleton, John Fairbairn had the top Canadian men’s finish by placing 11th. Olympic champ Jon Montgomery wound up 12th in his first World Cup race since the 2010-11 season, and reigning national champ Eric Neilson was 16th.
The World Cup schedule resumes this weekend in Park City, Utah, before making a stop at the Whistler Sliding Centre Nov. 23 and 24.
Avalanche teams on podium
The Whistler Avalanche U13 girls’ team won Sunday’s (Nov. 11) West Vancouver Soccer Club Remembrance Day Tournament after moving up to play at the Gold level for the event.
The Whistler squad played three scoreless draws in round-robin play and advanced to the final on a penalty-kick tiebreaker, beating West Vancouver 3-1. Paulina Salazar made two shootout saves for the Avalanche and Jacqueline Perolli scored the clinching goal.
Hailey McDonald had Whistler’s lone regulation-time goal in the final against the North Shore Eagles, and the gold medal was decided on penalty kicks as the teams were tied 1-1. Salazar once again came up with big saves and Perolli scored again to notch the victory.
The U13 girls were one of four teams travelling from Whistler for the tournament. The Whistler U11 team won bronze in its division.
Other Whistler teams in action on the holiday included the Avalanche boys’ U11 and U12 teams, who played at the Gold level of the Richmond Remembrance Day Tournament. The U12 squad won all three of its games and the U11 team did well against higher-level competition than it usually faces.
Strong finish for football squads
The Sea to Sky Titans Minor-aged team had a great finish to its North Shore Football League regular season, topping the Colts 25-19 to wrap up the campaign at 2-8.
The 12- and 13-year-old squad got three touchdowns from Nolan Welch in the win, while Hunter Verner scored another and caught a pass from Jack Forsyth for a convert. Forsyth came up with an interception that sealed the win as the Colts tried to make a fourth-quarter comeback.
The Peewee-aged Titans finished their season at 6-3-1 following a 19-0 triumph over the North Vancouver Vikings. Scott Friestadt scored on a 40-yard rush, Luke Haasen hauled in a long pass from quarterback Adam Klimchuk-Brown for another touchdown, while Aiden White also found the end zone for the Titans.
The Whistler Saints flag team waited out a bye week and will head into the playoffs with one of the division’s top two seeds.
Milan gets on the board
Whistler’s Garrett Milan netted his first goal of the season Saturday (Nov. 10) to help his St. Cloud State University Huskies past the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux, 5-2.
Milan’s goal was a third-period insurance marker, coming at even strength. The teams split their two-game weekend series, leaving the Huskies at 6-4 overall and 4-2 in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play, tied for third in the conference standings.