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Freeman skips rink to fifth at Canada Winter Games

Virden’s Jace Freeman led his rink to a fifth-place showing at the Canada Winter Games.

Jace Freeman, son of Roxanne and Graham Freeman guided Team Manitoba to a 3-1 record and second place in Pool A curling action. In the quarterfinals, the rink fell 5-2 to B.C. at the prestigious multisport event in Prince Edward Island.

“I really enjoyed the interacting with other athletes at the Village,” said Jace Freeman, whose rink was coached by his father Graham. “Pin trading was huge down there so that was a fun activity to do with other provinces and it was a good way to make new friends.”

Coach Freeman said the rink played well in general. It started the event with a 4-3 victory over Quebec. The rink then beat Newfoundland, 5-2, and Saskatchewan, 7-1 Graham Freeman said the team was “starting to hit our stride through games two and three of the competition.” Team Manitoba fell 6-1 in its final pool game to Nova Scotia before losing BC, 5-2, in the quarterfinals. In the gold medal game, Nova Scotia beat BC, 7-3.

“We were in our two losses,” Graham Freeman said. “It was just one shot missed or a matter of a half inch or so that made the difference between winning and losing. Both of our defeats came at the hands of the two teams that played in the final.

“Our team was a little disappointed as I think they all knew they had the ability to get into the medal round. But they recovered from the loss well and enjoyed their experience in Charlottetown and touring a bit of PEI. They really seemed to enjoy being part of the closing ceremonies as it was quite a spectacle.”  

Jace Freeman agreed – saying, “The closing ceremonies was pretty amazing. They had great live music, and the atmosphere was fantastic. Seeing the arena full of fans cheering us on was just such an exhilarating experience.”

The Canada Winter Games ran Feb. 18-March 5, with men’s curling taking place in the second week. The Games featured 175 events in 21 sports. The Freemans said the multisport event was a unique experience.

“Playing in any national competition is special,” Graham Freeman said. “This one stands out because we were always able to be around so many different athletes from all of the provinces and territories across the country. At the Village, the boys met many other athletes whom they got to know better as the week went on. They enjoyed watching other sports when our schedule allowed and also traded lots of pins and apparel all week long to ensure they will have a few souvenirs to take home and make this event so memorable for them.”

Jace Freeman’s teammates at the Games were third Elias Huminicki of Winnipeg Beach, second Jack Steski of Winnipeg, and lead Rylan Graham of Winnipeg Beach.  The quartet placed sixth at the Canadian U-18 Curling Championship in Timmins, Ont. a coupe of weeks earlier. Jace Freeman will be skipping a rink at the Canadian Junior Championships from March 25-April 2 in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec.





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