Day 1 - Saturday, Feb 16
Team NT's male hockey players lost 5-3 to Newfoundland & Labrador having taken a surprise 2-0 lead early in the second period. Logan Cunningham got two goals after Sam Schofield opened the scoring. However, the performance everyone is talking about is that of NT goalie Liam Tereposky – NT was outshot almost two to one and Tereposky at times single-handedly kept the territory in the game. Click for highlight video of Tereposky.
In the team event, NT's boys beat Yukon but lost to Nunavut; the girls, playing up a division alongside Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, lost to both.
Day 2 - Sunday, February 17
Lost 3-2 to PEI on Sunday morning, conceding in the final two minutes to finish on the wrong end of an extremely tight contest. The team bounced back to beat Yukon (who are 0-3 so far for the tournament) 4-2 on Sunday evening.
NT boys beat Yukon in the team event but won't reach the medal matches. NT girls did not face Nunavut in their team event as NU was disqualified. NT beat Yukon in both male and female doubles but the boys lost to Newfoundland. Sask and NL beat the NT in mixed doubles.
Team NT placed last in the women's team final but you should have seen it. "We are warriors," was the quote from Natalie Shafer (link to video here), who hyperextended her knees during a warm-up and was carried from the field of play before returning to cheer on her team-mates. The team deserves immense credit for pushing through a series of pretty punishing setbacks to finish the event with heads held high.
Wren Acorn is through to her 1500m semi-finals which is a very strong start for her. Braeden Picek could have joined her in the men's semis but for an unlucky fall having made it through to round two of qualifying.
It was an extremely cold first race for our three athletes on Sunday. In snowy, windy conditions (wind chill down to -30C) Spencer Littlefair finished 30th of 37 in the male 7.5 km sprint. In the women's 6 km sprint, sisters Calista Burke and Danika Burke finished 19th and 25th respectively in a 40-strong field.
Day 3 - Monday, February 18
Team NT beat Nunavut (who lost their goalie pre-game and used two others in net) 6-0. That means NT will play either Newfoundland or New Brunswick in a placement game on Wednesday at 12:30pm, followed by a sixth and final game on Thursday, to decide places 9-12.
Singles action all day Monday. David Dragon is still in the main draw for Team NT in the boys' event, other team members are in the placement rounds – continues Tuesday. Team NT agreed to replay matches forfeited by Nunavut when they didn't show up on Sunday (not Nunavut's fault, scheduling mix-up) – Nunavut beat the women's team 3-0 and there's another rescheduled game on Tuesday morning.
The boys' relay team set a new NWT relay record and will compete in the B final. Wren Acorn reached her first-ever national A final after a stunning semi-final in the 1,500m, and was a real contender in the final until she was unable to avoid a fallen skater and fell herself. She's very happy with her performance in finishing eighth. Click to watch Wren's race video.
No biathlon or gymnastics.
Day 4 - Tuesday, February 19
Calista Burke finished 16th in a 40-strong field in the women's 7.5 km pursuit, and could have been higher but for a 30-second penalty for inadvertently breaking the invisible timing line at the start earlier than she should have. Sister Danika Burke was 20th. In the men's 10 km pursuit Spencer Littlefair came in 30th, an exact repeat of his Sunday performance in the sprint.
David Dragon played second seed Alexander Bu in the main boys' singles draw – while he lost in three games (table tennis equivalent of straight sets) he did take six points off Bu in the final game, which is a very solid effort. Conner McKay-Ivanko did well in the placement games and had a couple of wins on Tuesday.
In the girls' singles, Gracie Brennan and Shannan Bonnetrouge both had one win and one defeat in their placement games.
Team NT entered three young gymnasts in the women's all-around final (which means everyone competes as an individual and performs on all four apparatus – beam, vault, bars, floor – to set an overall score). In a field of 36, Emma Leathem finished 31st, Lindsey Woodford 35th, and Jade Ko 36th.
Maggie Carson sat out the event as she has a foot injury. Natalie Shafer had an MRI scan today following a fall during her warm-up before the team final earlier in the week, which saw her hyperextend her knees. Natalie and the team are awaiting the scan's results.
Day 5 - Wednesday, February 20
Team NT lost 6-2 to PEI in their first of two placement games. The team's final game of the tournament is against Nunavut, starting at 8:30am on Thursday.
As previously noted, Team NT should have played either NL or NB, the organizers deviated from the published bracket to match up teams in the placement round according to ranking, hence NT ended up facing PEI.
Our athletes finished off their involvement in this sport with the final day of singles contests – which included Gracie Brennan beating Shannan Bonnetrouge 3-2 in an all-NT battle.
Wren Acorn reached the quarter-finals of the 500m contest before being knocked out, finishing 14th overall.
Day 6 - Thursday, February 21
Team NT won its final game of the Canada Games male hockey tournament, defeating Nunavut 4-2. That means NT finishes 11th in the standings, with Nunavut 12th.
Two interesting facts about this game:
- All six goals were scored by player number 15: NT's #15 Ethan Anstey got four, Nunavut's #15 Bradley Fraser scored twice.
- Nunavut, which has been having a severe goalie injury crisis, played this game with a goalie from Red Deer drawn from a dedicated pool of local backup goalies available to teams. Colby Knight from Red Deer (a very good young goalie) now has the honour of having once represented Nunavut at the Canada Games.
Wren Acorn reached the semi-finals of the 1,000m but couldn't progress, eventually placing seventh overall. Dalton McLeod was the best male finisher for NT over 1,000m, placing 21st.
NT's Danika Burke and Calista Burke finished 16th and 17th respectively in the female individual race on Thursday afternoon. Spencer Littlefair was 30th in the 37-athlete male individual race, completing a statistically unlikely sweep whereby he has finished 30th in all three of his races.
Day 8 - Saturday, February 23
74 athletes will travel to Red Deer while 47 athletes will head home from Red Deer.
Day 9 - Sunday, February 21
On Saturday, we successfully switched out our teams. Some 70 athletes returned home after taking part in week one, and our remaining athletes and coaches arrived for week two.
Team NT's female hockey team played its first game on Sunday afternoon, losing 4-0 to PEI.
NT's two singles entrants were knocked out with defeats. Stephen Messier lost to an opponent from PEI and India Edwards lost to a rival from Quebec. In the team competition, Nova Scotia's women beat NT 3-1 but the NT men's team held Nova Scotia to a creditable 2-2 tie.
NT's female team lost its opening-day encounters 7-3 (Sask) and 12-1 (Manitoba). The male rink lost its ties 7-2 (Sask) and 10-5 (Manitoba).
Day 10 - Monday, February 25
Team NT had a great game against NL, winning 4-1 with a really impressive display after suffering a loss a day earlier. Captain Abby Webster scored twice.
To our knowledge, this is the first time an NT women's hockey team has beaten a province at the Canada Games. (Certainly the first time according to records available online)
Paulatuk's Casey Tai, NT's only badminton player at the Games, performed admirably in the male singles on Monday – defeating opponents from Yukon and Nunavut before going down to a highly ranked Ontario rival in the third round.
Bitterly cold day (again) for the male 10k/female 7.5k free. Clair Littlefair was the best NT female, finishing 20th in a field of 52. Nicolas Bennett was 26th in the male field of 53.
NT interest in the singles has ended but the team competition rumbles on for a couple more days. On Monday, the NT's female and male teams lost 4-0 to a strong Alberta.
NT's lone figure skater, Victoria Hamm, placed 19th of 20 in the women's pre-novice short program on Monday evening, scoring 15.68.
The NT's female rink lost 13-4 to Alberta on Monday morning, then 11-3 to Nova Scotia on Monday afternoon (neither of which were the heaviest defeats of the day as BC went down 0-10 to Manitoba).
The male rink lost 6-2 to Alberta and was then unlucky to slip to a narrow 5-4 defeat by Nova Scotia.
Day 11 - Tuesday, February 26
Team NT beat Yukon 7-1 to finish the pool stage with two wins and a defeat.
Team NT's four archers had their first qualifying session on Tuesday. The team is brand new (there hasn't been an NWT entry in archery at the Canada Games before) and most of the athletes have a year's experience or less, so qualifying has been tough but enjoyable so far.
In the sprints, four NT athletes made it into the knockout stages. Clair Littlefair, Ella Kokelj, Nico Bennett, and Donny Boake were all eliminated in the quarter-finals.
In the team events, Team NT's boys tied with NL and were beaten by BC, while the girls were also beaten by BC.
Team NT's female rink was beaten 9-2 by QC and 10-2 by BC. The male rink lost 9-1 to QC and 13-3 to BC.
No action in badminton, figure skating or judo (a change to the last advisory – while judo began on Tuesday, the weight categories in which Team NT competes are held on Wednesday).
Day 12 - Wednesday, February 27
Wilson Elliot won bronze in the +81 kg category. In the female 70 kg category, Jenna Nystrom tied for fifth among sixth competitors.
Team NT was defeated 8-0 by Nova Scotia and has two placement games remaining. The team played on Wednesday with its backup goalie as the starter is injured.
All NWT archers concluded qualifying in last place, though note this is a new program and a first appearance in the event at Canada Games for the territory, with most competitors very new to the sport. The aim is for this team to be the spine of a team appearing at the next Canada Games in four years' time, and possibly even the one after that, as some athletes taking part here at the age of 11 or 12 would still be eligible in 2027.
Team NT's women had a great day, defeating PEI 3-1 then tying 2-2 with Manitoba. The male team lost 3-1 to New Brunswick.
The female rink had its best day of the tournament, defeating NL 6-4 before losing 8-5 to NB. The male rink lost 7-4 to NL and 6-4 to NB.
Victoria Hamm held off Yukon's Jamie Nickel to finish 19th in the 20-skater pre-novice women's field after Wednesday's free skate.
No action in badminton or skiing.
Day 13 - Thursday, February 28
NL's women beat Team NT 3-0.
In the compound prelims, Katie Genge lost 138-129 and Bailey Johnston lost 142-119. In the recurve prelims, Tayla Minute lost 6-0 (the scoring system is different for recurve) and Ferghus Rutherford-Simon lost 6-2. Those results meant all four did not progress.
NT's female rink lost 10-0 to PEI and 9-1 to Ontario. The male rink lost 7-1 to PEI and 7-2 to Ontario.
In the mass start, Clair Littlefair was the NWT's top female finisher in 22nd place. Top male finisher was Nico Bennett in 24th.
To his eternal credit, Casey Tai beat Newfoundland in singles to register a game win in the team event – in which he formed the entirety of the NWT's 'team'. Newfoundland won overall as the NWT, fielding a one-athlete team, had to concede the doubles events.
Saskatchewan beat NT's women, but NT's men beat Yukon 4-0.
No action in judo or figure skating.
Day 14 - Friday, March 1
Team NT secured 11th place with a 5-2 victory over Yukon.
Casey 'one-man-team' Tai won his singles leg of the team clash with Yukon but, since he has no team-mates, NT forfeited the doubles and female singles legs, losing overall.
The male team lost 3-1 to PEI in their final placement game, but the female team impressively beat NL 4-0.