Paralympic wake-up call: Canada grabs 5 medals, secures another in Para ice hockey
Here's what you may have missed on Day 7 of the Beijing Paralympic Games
Four Canadian athletes and Canada's wheelchair curling team added more hardware to the country's Beijing Paralympics medal haul between Thursday night and Friday morning.
Mollie Jepsen, Mark Arendz, Brittany Hudak, Tyler Turner and the Mark Ideson-led curling rink pushed Team Canada's medal count to 21 ahead of the final weekend.
And another prize is already secured, as the Canadian men's Para ice hockey team breezed past South Korea 11-0 to qualify for the tournament's final.
The West Vancouver, B.C., native posted the third best time in the first run, moving into the top position after finishing her second attempt with only two other skiers to go.
When Sweden's Ebba Aarsjoe crashed out on her second run, Jepsen's worst-case-scenario improved from bronze to silver. And that's what ended up happening after Zhang Mengqiu of China posted the best time in the second run — just as she did in her first go — to strike gold.
It was Jepsen who captured Canada's first Beijing Paralympics gold medal last Friday, in the women's standing downhill event.
WATCH l Canada's Jepsen captures 2nd medal at Beijing 2022:
Hartsville, P.E.I., native Arendz added to his medal collection with a men's standing 12.5-kilometre biathlon silver.
The 32-year-old's time of 40:13 was enough for him to add an 11th career medal over four Paralympic Games.
Arendz went six for six in medals at PyeongChang 2018, setting a Canadian record for most medals in a single Winter Paralympics.
He now has a medal of each colour in Beijing after capturing the men's 6km standing biathlon sprint bronze last Friday and winning the men's standing 10km biathlon event on Tuesday.
WATCH l Canada's Arendz completes Beijing Paralympics set with a silver medal:
Read more about Jepsen's and Arendz's silver medals.
The Canadian wheelchair team successfully defended its bronze from PyeongChang 2018 with a 8-3 win against Slovakia on Friday.
Jon Thurston's final stone in the final end of the bronze medal match was able to sneak past the guard for the takeout to score four and secure the victory for Canada.
Here's more of what you missed on Thursday night and Friday morning in the Beijing Paralympics:
More familiar faces
Hudak was another Canadian to find her way back to a podium in Beijing.
In the women's 12.5km standing biathlon event, the 28-year-old posted a time of 1:41.4 to defend her PyeongChang 2018 bronze.
On Monday, the Prince Albert, Sask., native also finished third in the 15km cross-country event.
WATCH l Hudak collects 3rd bronze of Paralympic career:
Campbell River, B.C, native Turner handed Canada its first-ever Para snowboarding gold medal on Sunday, cruising to victory in his favourite event, the snowboard cross, in the SB-LL1 category.
In the men's banked slalom SB-LL1 event on Friday, it was all about having fun — but he also ended up on the podium, as his time of 1:14.00 was good enough for bronze.
"I kept saying, I'll just do my best and wherever that lands me [is fine]," said the 33-year-old. "I never in a million years thought it'd land me here in third. I'm a little speechless."
WATCH l Canada's Turner boards to banked slalom bronze:
Read more about Hudak's and Turner's bronze medals.
Para ice hockey to play for gold against rival U.S.
Canada's men's Para ice hockey team earned a chance to play for its first gold medal in 16 years on Saturday at 10:50 p.m ET.
To get there, the Canadians routed South Korea 11-0 in a semifinal match on Friday, propelled by captain Tyler McGregor's four goals and a Billy Bridges hat trick.
Canada will meet the U.S. in the gold-medal game in an anticipated rematch. The Americans, who have captured all three Paralympic titles since Canada last claimed it in Turin 2006, defeated China 11-0 in the other semifinal.
The group's fourth team would have been the Russian Paralympic Committee, banned from competing in Beijing one day before the opening ceremony.
At PyeongChang 2018, Canada was leading 1-0 until the Americans tied it up with only 38 seconds remaining in regulation. An overtime goal by the U.S. meant the Canadians would have to wait four more years for their chance to be on top of the podium.
Read more about Canada's men's Para ice hockey team's semifinal win.
WATCH l Captain McGregor scores 4 goals to lead Canada to gold-medal game:
Canada's wheelchair curling team defends bronze
The Canadian wheelchair curling team captured its second consecutive Paralympic bronze medal with a 8-3 victory over Slovakia on Friday.
Canada has never missed the podium in wheelchair curling since it was added to the Paralympic program, having won gold at Turin 2006, Vancouver 2010, and Sochi 2014 before taking bronze at PyeongChang 2018.
Thurston's final stone in the eighth end was able to get past the guard for the takeout and scored for Canada to keep the consecutive medal streak alive.
WATCH | Canada defends wheelchair curling bronze:
The Canadian squad, led by skip Ideson, fourth Thurston, third Ina Forrest, second Dennis Thiessen and alternate Collinda Joseph finished round robin play as the fourth seed with a 7-3 record.
Canada met the first-seeded Chinese team in the semifinal and suffered a 9-5 defeat to the defending Paralympic champions earlier on Friday.
Sweden, who defeated Slovakia 6-4 in the other semifinal, will play China for gold on Saturday at 1:30 a.m. ET.
WATCH | Canada falls to reigning champions China in wheelchair curling semifinal:
Here's a quick look at other Day 7 events in Beijing: