Bronze for Gray

Eric McCarthy
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Winning medal highlight so far for P.E.I. curler at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Austria

P.E.I.’s Emily Gray, right, and her Canadian mixed curling teammates celebrate after winning the bronze medal at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, on Wednesday. Other members of the team, from left, are skip Thomas Scoffin, third Corryn Brown and second Derek Oryniak.

It’s a week filled with one highlight after another for Maple Leaf Curling Club member Emily Gray. 

She’s the lead on Team Canada’s mixed curling team that won the bronze medal at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, on Wednesday.

“The highlight so far is most definitely winning that bronze-medal game,” the 17-year-old daughter of Shelley and Randy Gray of Milburn said via email before turning in Wednesday night. “Thursday night we get our medals in a medal ceremony, so I’m sure that will be another great highlight.”

Still to come in Innsbruck are the doubles curling competition. 

That starts today and runs until Sunday. 

Gray is paired with Estonian skip Robert-Kent Paell for that unique competition.

“I am going in with no real expectations other than to have fun,” Gray said. “Winning another medal would be nice, but the main goal is to have fun and meet new people.”

Wednesday was a big day for Team Canada’s curlers. 

They started it off with a 7-6 quarter-final win over the Czech Republic. Then came an 8-2 semifinal loss to Italy, which put them into the bronze-medal game against Sweden. 

They won that game 6-4 to earn the bronze medal.

Ironically, Canada had beaten the Italians and lost to the Swedes earlier in round-robin play.

“(Canadian skip) Thomas (Scoffin) made a pistol double and a freeze in the eighth end (against Sweden), which got us our win,” Gray said in relating the high point of her team’s week.

“That was an amazing game,” skip Scoffin said in an interview with The Canadian Press. “I give full credit to the Swedes, that was a battle till the end.

“My team played one of the best games I’ve ever seen them play. It feels really good to come through in the last end like that with two good shots. There was no stopping us, and we knew it. I couldn’t ask for three better teammates.”

“When we played Sweden the first time we lost in extra end,” said Gray, who normally throws second stone for Amanda MacLean’s team that represented P.E.I. in last year’s Canada Games.  “Today (Wednesday), we were just pumped and craved the medal a little bit more than they did.”

Gray said the competition has been close at the Games.

“In our pool there was most definitely that sense of, if you were having a slightly off-game the other team could come out on top,” she said. “The team to figure the ice out first had the advantage.

“The curling has been great; ice and rocks have been perfect. We are getting a lot of swing out of the ice, so it was great for making shots.

“Our opponents have all made us bring our A-Game. Everything has just been great.

“I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world,” the Grade 12 Westisle Composite High School student said.

(wbureau@journalpioneer.com)

*****

Walsh, Canadian team

in hunt for medal

Another Islander has a shot at bringing home a medal from the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Austria.

Reid Gardiner scored the winning goal in Canada’s shootout victory over Finland on Wednesday.

Sam Walsh of Elliotvale is a goaltender on the team but did not play in the game.

The two teams will play again in the semifinals on Friday.

The other semifinal game will see Russia take on the United States.

Russia defeated the U.S. 7-1 on Wednesday.

The bronze-medal game is on Saturday, with the gold-medal game on Sunday.

Canada finished the round robin with a 3-1 record.

www.innsbruck2012.com

Organizations: Team Canada, Maple Leaf Curling Club, Canadian Press Grade 12 Westisle Composite High School

Geographic location: Austria, Innsbruck, Sweden Canada Czech Republic Italy Russia United States Finland

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