The final matchups have been determined as the Canada Games nears its end and we prepare to hand out medals in the Squash Team Competition at the Northern Sport Centre.
Spectators have been treated to exciting squash and close matchups all week, and tonight's semi finals were no exception.
Action started early this morning as the 5 through 8 and 9 through 12 draws played their semi finals, preparing for final placing matchups. The Women's session again opened the day, and most of the higher seeds prevailed with wins. Yukon, the 9th seed, needed a tiebreak of games won to get past Newfoundland and compete for 9th place, as they tied the encounter at two matches a piece. Yukon will face New Brunswick tomorrow morning, and Newfoundland gets Northwest Territories for 11th.
Still on the Women's side, Nova Scotia, seeded 8th, was able to slightly upset Quebec, overtaking the 7th seed 3-1 in matches to set up their battle with PEI tomorrow morning for 5th place. Quebec will play Saskatchewan for 7th.
The noon session gave us a few of the same matchups, with Saskatchewan and PEI also facing off in the Men's 5 through 8 draw, along with Nova Scotia and Manitoba. PEI was successful again, taking Saskatchewan 4-0 and moving themselves into the 5th place playoff. They will face Manitoba, who defeated Nova Scotia 3-1.
Yukon faced another tie break on the Men's side after coming to a draw in their tie against Northwest Territories. This time they came out on the lower end, having won fewer games in the encounter than NWT, putting them against New Brunswick for 11th tomorrow. NWT and Newfoundland will play out 9th and 10th place.
On to the evening matches, the ladies Gold Medal matchup was to be determined through the two semi-finals on our side by side show courts. Top seed Ontario took on the third seed from Alberta, and made it through with ease going 4-0 and not dropping a game.
British Columbia, the second seed and top finisher in Pool B, faced off against Manitoba for their chance to return to the Final and defend their 2011 Canada Games Gold. Manitoba took the early lead with Anika Alexander taking the first match over Grace Thomas 3-1. Team Toba didn't give up from there, making it tough on the host province in each match, but coudn't quite muster enough to overcome them. British Columbia won the encounter 3-1, guaranteeing them their fifth straight medal.
BC's Men's team didn't fare as well in their semi final match, held in the late session against Ontario. Like Ontario's Women's Team, their Men made it past BC in all four matches, including a redemption win by Carter Robitaille over Matthew Toth, who ousted Robitaille in the individual quarter finals on Monday. Ontario will be looking to claim their third straight Canada Games gold tomorrow.
Another key match of the night featured a rematch of the Men's Individual Final, as Gold Medalist Michael Mehl's Team Alberta was taking on David Baillargeon's Team Quebec. Baillargeon was looking to rebound from his Wednesday night loss to Mehl, and hoping to put another win into his final junior tournament. Flashes of Wednesday's five game match were seen, but Baillargeon was able to get past Mehl in four (11-7, 11-1, 10-12, 11-8). That wasn't enough to propel Quebec into the Gold Final however, as the other three matches went to Alberta.
It's been a great week in Prince George and it will be sad to see it come to a close. These athletes have played a lot of squash and have a lot to be proud of. Tomorrow will be sure to provide a fighting finale to our spectacular squash event.