Sport Shorts: Tales From Hockey, Figure Skating, Diving, Athletics & Cycling

Zurich: Here in Switzerland, the Canadian women’s hockey team won silver at the 2011 World Hockey Championships. It was another tense game between the United States and Canada, and the southern neighbours prevailed 3-2 in overtime. It is Canada’s fourth silver medal at this event (2005, 2008, 2009 and 2011). Canada’s nine gold medals still rank ahead of all other nations (1990, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2007). Canada has played in every gold medal game since the inaugural tournament in 1990 in Ottawa.

Moscow: The world’s best figure skaters are descending on Moscow this week for the World Championships. Among the strong Canadian contingent are Toronto’s Patrick Chan, who is steadfast in his pursuit of a world title, and the defending world champion pair of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. The latter will be making their first appearance of the season, following Virtue’s leg surgery six months ago.

Guanajuato, MEX: Even without triple Olympic medallist Alexandre Despatie (Laval, Que.) and his synchro partner Reuben Ross (Regina), Canadian divers outshone last year’s results on the World Series circuit. In the final event on Saturday, Laval’s Jennifer Abel won silver in 3-metre after winning three straight bronze medals in that dive. Veteran Emilie Heymans was fifth. Montreal duo Roseline Filion and Meaghan Benfeito captured bronze in the 10-metre synchro event, their third such result this season. On Friday, Abel and Heymans won silver in the 3-metre synchro event. Filion had her best result of the year on the 10-metre platform, good for fifth spot.

In total, Canadian divers won 10 medals on the 2011 series, compared to seven last year. The World Series is exclusive for the top-eight ranked divers in the world in each event

Lawrence, Kansas: Canada’s best shot putter, Dylan Armstrong (Kamloops, B.C.), topped the field at the first event of the season here. At the Kansas Relays, Armstrong heaved a throw of 21.52 metres – the second-best of his career – to defeat an elite group. Armstrong will seek a medal at the 2012 Olympic Games after barely missing bronze in 2008.

Pietermaritzburg, South Africa: At the first UCI Mountain Biking World Cup over the weekend, Catharine Pendrel (Kamloops, B.C.) finished in fourth spot. The defending women’s World Cup champion said she was pleased with her form. Teammate Marie-Helene Premont (Chateau Richer, Que.) was next in ninth spot. Victoria’s Geoff Kabush was the top Canadian on the men’s side, finishing ninth.