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Eberl, Derenisky on verge of Canada Games medal

Novice pairs skaters in third after short program, Handley ninth in Novice female; Ackerman in playoff spot as female curling round robin winds down

Moose Jaw’s Raine Eberl and partner Caidence Derenisky of Regina find themselves firmly in the hunt for a medal after the short program portion of their Novice pairs figure skating competition.

The Saskatchewan duo put down a score of 36.71 to sit in third place, 1.20 points back of Ontario’s Owen Brawley and Mackenzie Ripley and nearly seven points up on teammates Shallen Bear of Whitewood and Marty Haubrich of Dubuc.

The duo skate in the free program later this afternoon.

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A three-game winning streak suddenly has Moose Jaw’s Skylar Ackerman and Team Sask in the playoff hunt at the Canada Games in Red Deer.

After closing out play Tuesday with a 4-3 win over Newfoundland, Ackerman and her team of third Madison Johnson, second Chantal Hoag and lead Samantha McLaren picked up a pair of wins Wednesday, taking a 10-3 victory over Quebec in the morning draw to along with a 5-3 win over B.C. in the evening.

The two victories saw Ackerman improve to 4-3 in the tournament round robin, all alone in fifth place. The top six teams advance to the playoffs; Nova Scotia sits fourth at 5-3, while New Brunswick and Quebec both hold 3-4 records.

Against Quebec’s Amber Gargul, Ackerman scored three in the second end and roared out to a quick 5-0 lead, eventually leading 5-3 at the break. Another three-ender in the sixth followed by a steal of two in the second closed out the contest.

Ackerman put the big end to use again against B.C.’s Keelie Duncan (3-4), as trailing 2-0 through three, she picked up three in the fourth and stole another in the fifth to go ahead 4-2. Duncan managed to get one back in the sixth, but that would be as close as she’d get.

Ackerman is back in action this morning when she takes on New Brunswick, followed by Alberta (6-1) in the late draw. She closes out the round robin Friday morning against Manitoba (6-1).

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Moose Jaw’s Ryann Handley has a solid shot at a top-10 finish after her short program in the Novice female figure skating event.

Handley skated a 31.75 to sit in ninth place heading into tonight’s free program. She’s 0.13 points back of Nova Scotia’s Alyssa Cross and 1.18 points ahead of New Brunswick’s Aurelle Fortin.

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It was a good day for Saskatchewan’s medal count on Wednesday, as the province picked up three bronze medals to now sit sixth in the Canada Games medal standings with one gold, one silver and eight bronze.

Prince Albert’s Kryztle Shewchuk finished third in the 2.5 kilometre female para-nordic sitting cross-country competition, the mixed figure skating team of Shellbrook’s Ashlyn Schmidt and Wolseley’s Tristan Taylor won bronze in the Pre-Novice division and Prince Albert’s Nessa Keays claimed a medal after finishing third in the plus-70 kilogram female judo competition.

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