Vathje slides to sil­ver in skeleton opener

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Canada’s Elis­a­beth Vathje won a sil­ver medal at the first World Cup women’s skeleton race of the Olympic sea­son Thurs­day in Lake Placid, N.Y. She fin­ished se­cond be­hind Aus­tria’s Ja­nine Flock with a two-run time of one minute 50.39 sec­onds. Flock (1:50.13), who broke her own Mount Van Ho­even­berg track record, won gold for the se­cond straight sea­son in Lake Placid, while reign­ing Olympic cham­pion Lizzy Yarnold of Bri­tain was third in 1:50.46.

Cel­e­bra­tion of life for Hal­la­day set next week

A cel­e­bra­tion of life for former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roy Hal­la­day will be held next week in Florida at the spring train­ing home of the Philadel­phia Phillies. Hal­la­day was killed Tues­day when the tiny sport plane he was fly­ing crashed in the Gulf of Mex­ico. The ser­vice, which will be open to the pub­lic, will be held Tues­day af­ter­noon at Spec­trum Field in Clear­wa­ter, the Hal­la­day fam­ily said in a state­ment re­leased by the Blue Jays and Ma­jor League Base­ball. Hal­la­day, 40, is sur­vived by his wife Brandy and sons Ryan and Braden.

Steals tip scales in Tip­pin’s favour

Julie Tip­pin recorded steals in three con­sec­u­tive ends of a 5-4 ex­tra-end win over Kelsey Rocque in Thurs­day’s early draw at the Road to the Roar Olympic curl­ing pre-tri­als in Summerside, P.E.I. Tip­pin, from Wood­stock, Ont., im­proved to 3-1, while Rocque fell to 2-2. Else­where, former Olympian Shan­non Kleib­rink of Oko­toks, Alta., evened her record at 2-2 with a 7-5 win over Tracy Fleury of Sud­bury, Ont. Fleury fell to 1-3. In early men’s ac­tion, Greg Bals­don downed Dayna Deru­elle 10-7 and Wil­liam Ly­burn edged Pat Sim­mons 8-7. Bals­don, from Kingston, Ont., im­proved to 2-1 and Win­nipeg’s Ly­burn evened his record at 2-2. Deru­elle, from Bramp­ton, Ont., fell to 1-3, while Sim­mons, a former Brier cham­pion curl­ing out of Win­nipeg, fell to 1-2. The event is the fi­nal qual­i­fier for teams to reach the Roar of the Rings Dec. 2-10 in Ot­tawa, where Canada’s curl­ing teams for the 2018 Win­ter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, will be de­cided.

Aca­dia wins foot­ball crown by de­fault

At­lantic Univer­sity Sport can­celled the Loney Bowl Thurs­day due to a player el­i­gi­bil­ity is­sue and awarded the foot­ball con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship to the Aca­dia Ax­e­men. Aca­dia was sched­uled to host the Saint Mary’s Huskies Satur­day at Ray­mond Field in Wolfville, N.S. How­ever, the AUS — the gov­ern­ing body for univer­sity ath­let­ics in At­lantic Canada — said the el­i­gi­bil­ity is­sue “has re­sulted in on­go­ing con­tro­versy and dis­cord in ref­er­ence to which team has earned its right­ful place as a par­tic­i­pant in the AUS foot­ball cham­pi­onship fi­nal game.”

Kizzire’s hot PGA start leads pack in Mex­ico

Pat­ton Kizzire car­ried some mo­men­tum from last week in Las Ve­gas by run­ning off six straight birdies in the mid­dle of his round Thurs­day for a ca­reer-low 9-un­der 62 and a two-shot lead in the OHL Clas­sic in Mex­ico. Rickie Fowler, play­ing for the first time since the Pres­i­dents Cup, showed lit­tle rust in open­ing with a 65.

Buhai leads Blue Bay LPGA by one stroke

Ash­leigh Buhai shot a 4-un­der 68 Thurs­day to take a one-stroke lead after the se­cond round of the Blue Bay LPGA tour­na­ment in China. The South African birdied four of the last seven holes, in­clud­ing a dif­fi­cult chipin on the par-four 12th, to fin­ish at 9-un­der 135 over­all, one shot ahead of Shan­shan Feng (67). Alena Sharp of Hamil­ton, Ont., was at 1 un­der after a 74.

PETER MOR­GAN/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Elis­a­beth Vathje of Canada rounds a curve dur­ing a World Cup skeleton event on Thurs­day in Lake Placid, N.Y. Vathje placed se­cond to Aus­tria’s Ja­nine Flock in the com­pe­ti­tion, which was the World Cup sea­son opener. Bri­tain’s Lizzy Yarnold was third.

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