Skylar Ackerman and her Team Saskatchewan foursome might have picked up a single win in female curling at the Canada Winter Games on Thursday, but it was a big one – not only did it come against one of the teams at the top the table in Alberta, it also put them through to the playoffs.
Ackerman and her rink of third Madison Johnson, second Chantel Hoag and lead Samantha McLaren split their two games on Thursday, falling 7-3 to New Brunswick (5-4) before rallying to take a 4-3 win over Alberta (6-3) in the evening draw.
As a result, Ackerman improved to 5-4 and now sits in a three-way tie for fourth place in the Games standings. The top six teams advance to the quarter-finals, and with one game remaining, Saskatchewan can finish the round robin no worse than sixth.
Ackerman found herself in trouble early against New Brunswick’s Rachel Brewer, giving up a steal of four in the second end and another two in the third to fall behind 6-0. Single points in three of the next four ends brought Team Sask back within four, but that would be as close as they’d get.
Against Alberta’s Julia Bakos, a deuce in the fourth end saw Ackerman leading 2-1 at the break before a steal of one in the sixth put her ahead 3-1. Alberta got two back in the seventh to make things interesting coming home, but Saskatchewan used the hammer to close things out in the final end.
Ackerman closes out the round robin against Manitoba (8-1) this morning before playing the quarter-final this afternoon.
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Moose Jaw’s Ryann Handley skated a score of 51.35 in her free program on Thursday evening to finish in ninth place overall.
Skating in the Novice ladies division, Handley recorded a 31.75 in her short program on Tuesday, giving her an 83.10 total.
Alberta’s Kaiya Ruiter skated a 125.91 total to claim gold.
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The silver medal win for Raine Eberl and Caidence Derenisky wasn’t the only medal for Saskatchewan on Thursday.
Estevan’s Hunter Chipley won gold in the male recurve archery competition and the gymnastics synchro female trampoline team won took first place in their event.
Winning bronze was Regina’s Jacob Bourassa in individual male compound bow archery while Prince Albert’s Kryztle Sewchuk took third place in the cross country skiing para-nordic sitting five-kilometre female event.
Saskatchewan now has 15 medals in the Games, including three goals and two bronze. Quebec leads the way with 61 gold, 37 silver and 39 bronze.