Canada beat Czechs to win bronze at Universiade

University of Alberta Golden Bears & Canada captain Kruise Reddick, left. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

GRANADA, Spain — A bronze medal from the men’s hockey team brought Canada’s medal haul to five as the Winter Universiade wrapped up on Saturday.

Chris Collins (Calgary) and Kevin King (Calgary), both of the University of Calgary Dinos, scored two goals each as Canada downed the Czech Republic 6-2 to earn its 14th men’s hockey medal in the 15 FISU competitions.

Canada regrouped from a heartbreaking 3-2 shootout loss to Russia in the semifinal less than 24 hours earlier to reach the podium.

"After the tough loss last night, we didn’t want to leave empty handed," said Canadian captain Kruise Reddick (Manor, Sask.), who also captains the Alberta Golden Bears. "I’m so proud of the guys and how they battled all tournament. It’s not the medal we came here to get, but it’s still pretty special to go home with one and I’m glad we got it."

In alipine sking, Simon-Claude Toutant, a Laval University student from Montreal, was the only Canadian to get through the course twice, finishing 22nd.

All five of Canada’s medals in Granada came in the final three days of competition, beginning with a silver medal by the women’s hockey team. The women’s curling rink, led by skip Breanne Meakin (Winnipeg) of the University of Manitoba, also brought home silver.

Eve Routhier, a Laval student from Sherbrooke, Que., won Canada’s first alpine medal in 24 years with her bronze in Friday’s slalom, while the women’s 3,000-metre relay team in short track speed skating team of Joanie Gervais (Saguenay, Que.), Namasthee Harris-Gauthier (Montreal), Keri Morrison (Burlington, Ont.) and Caroline Truchon (Saguenay, Que.) also picked up a bronze medal.

Canada did not top the medal standings at the FISU Winter Games for the first since 2001 in Zakopane, Poland.

The Canadian delegation of 76 student-athletes competed in alpine skiing, curling, hockey, short track speed skating and snowboarding over the course of the 11-day event which featured more than 1,200 athletes from 41 countries. An additional six Canadian athletes competed in the biathlon and cross country competitions at the biennial event, which were held earlier in Strbske Pleso and Osrblie, Slovakia.

"I’m proud of how our student-athletes, coaches, and officials represented Canada," said chef de mission Darren Cates from the Royal Military College. "They competed hard against some of the best athletes in the world, and at all times displayed tremendous sportsmanship."

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