Road To The Olympic Games

Canadian Trail: How Canada did today at the Olympics

Canada could not be held off the Olympic podium for a second consecutive day, thanks to the Olympic emergence of Sam Girard and another medal for Kim Boutin. Girard raced to speed skating gold in the men’s 1,000 metres and Boutin secured a bronze medal in the women's 1,500.

Short track speed skaters Girard, Boutin bump team's medal total to 15 midway through Games

Short track speed skaters Sam Girard, left, and Kim Boutin, right, raised Canada's medal count to 15 on Saturday at the Winter Olympics in South Korea. Girard won gold in the men's 1,000 metres and Boutin was a silver medallist in the women's 1,500. (Getty Images/Associated Press/CBC Sports)

By Doug Harrison, CBC Sports

Canada could not be held off the Olympic podium for a second consecutive day, thanks to the emergence of Sam Girard and another bronze medal from Kim Boutin.

The youth movement within its short track team continued Saturday in South Korea as Girard, 21, raced to speed skating gold in the men's 1,000 metres for the first medal of his Olympic debut, while 23-year-old Boutin, already a bronze medallist in the 500 at these Winter Games, finished third in the women's 1,500.

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The Canadian Olympic Committee's stated goal of contending for top spot in the medal count remains within reach as Canada sits third with 15, behind Norway (21) and Germany (16), at the halfway mark of the Games.

Here's how other Canadians fared on Saturday:

Speed skating

Three-time Olympic champion Charles Hamelin and Marianne St-Gelais, who are wrapping up their Olympic careers in Pyeongchang, didn't figure into Saturday's medal races at Gangneung Ice Arena.

Hamelin's disqualification in the 1,000 semifinal actually pushed Girard into the final. A four-time Winter Games medallist, Hamelin set an Olympic record in 1,000 qualifying.

St-Gelais, 28, who describes herself as a "mother figure" to Boutin, was eliminated in her 1,500 semifinal after incurring a penalty in a second straight race. The native of Roberval, Que., has won three silver medals at the Olympics. Valérie Maltais also failed to advance.

Figure skating

Toronto's Patrick Chan ended his Olympic career in shaky fashion, tripling his second of five planned quad jumps to place ninth in the men's free skate with 173.42 points, well back of two-time world champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan who earned 206.17 points in the free skate and 317.85 overall.

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A 10-time Canadian champion, Chan was sixth in Friday's short program after falling on his triple Axel, and ends his career with a silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Games and team gold in Pyeongchang.

Keegan Messing of Sherwood Park, Alta., was 12th in the free skate and finished with a total score of 255.43.

Skeleton

Elisabeth Vathje, who earned her first Crystal Globe this season with a third-place finish in the overall World Cup standings, posted a four-run time of three minutes, 28.65 seconds to finish ninth on Saturday at the Alpensia Sliding Centre.

Fellow Canadians Jane Channell (3:29.07) and Mirela Rahneva (3:29.52) finished 10th and 12th, respectively. All three were making their Olympic debut.

Lizzy Yarnold successfully defended her Olympic Winter Games title — the first from Great Britain to do so — by clocking a total time of 3:27.28 that included a 51.46-second track record on her fourth run. She is also the first woman to medal in back-to-back Olympics in skeleton.

Men's curling

Swedish skip Niklas Edin was nearly perfect, curling 99 per cent in his rink's 5-2 victory over Canada's Kevin Koe in what could be a preview of the gold-medal match. The Swedes stole three points and improved their record to 5-0 in South Korea.

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​Koe, 43, is throwing 84 per cent in the tournament and is pleased with the 4-1 performance of his Calgary-based team, which will try to rebound against Switzerland on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Men's hockey

Canada (1-0-1-0) fell in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Czech Republic in preliminary-round play at the Gangneung Hockey Centre.

Jan Kovar scored the winning goal and Pavel Francouz made 31 saves through overtime and four more in the shootout nearly 20 years after the Czechs' memorable shootout win over Canada at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

The Canadians face the host South Koreans in their final preliminary game on Sunday at 7:10 a.m ET.

Women's curling

Ottawa skip Rachel Homan finally tasted Olympic victory in her fourth match in South Korea, an 11-3 rout of Nina Roth and the United States.

In desperate need of a win, Homan and company stole three points in the first end and never looked back at the Gangneung Curling Centre. Canada (1-3) will next play Switzerland's Silvana Tirinzoni, also 1-3, on Sunday.

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Freestyle skiing

Reigning Olympic champion Dara Howell of Huntsville, Ont., placed 21st in women's slopestyle and missed the final. The 23-year-old later revealed she tore a knee ligament in November.

Yuki Tsubota of Whistler, B.C., was the lone Canadian to make the final, finishing sixth with a score of 74.40 points. Kim Lamarre, the bronze medallist four years ago in Sochi, Russia, was 22nd.

Men's aerials

Olivier Rochon of Gatineau, Que., grabbed the sixth and final qualifying spot for Sunday's final at 6 a.m. ET with 124.34 points. Teammate Lewis Irving was 21st and failed to qualify in his two runs. American Jonathon Lillis is the leader with 127.44 points.

Alpine skiing

Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic was a surprise winner in a women's super-G field that included American star Lindsey Vonn.

The 22-year-old Ledecka, who is also a snowboarder, stopped the clock in one minute 21.11 seconds to upend defending champion Anna Veith of Austria, who finished second.

A trio of Canadians failed to crack the top 20. Valerie Grenier of Mont-Tremblant, Que., led the way in 23rd at 1:22.77, with Candace Crawford and Roni Remme placing 29th and 37th, respectively.

Ski jumping

Calgary's Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes finished 26th of 30 in Men's Normal Hill Individual at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre.

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