Team Nova Scotia assistant captain Aimee O’Neill of Glace Bay and Landyn Pitts of Antigonish (#26) fight for the puck during the team’s first game on February 24. Photo by Communications Nova Scotia/Len Wagg

RED DEER, ALBERTA: Local athletes set down at Stanfield International Airport last Sunday following a trip to the 2019 Canada Winter Games which saw Team Nova Scotia do itself proud.

“All of Team Nova Scotia’s athletes should be proud of how they represented their province and the competitive spirit they showed at the 2019 games,” said Cathy Burton, Nova Scotia’s chef de mission. “The Canada Games provide our young athletes with an amazing opportunity to compete on a national level and come together as a single team and support one another.

“As our athletes head home, I’m struck by the successes Team Nova Scotia saw across many sports. Along with medals and top finishes, there were many personal bests achieved and individual accomplishments that mean so much to our athletes.”

The Nova Scotia’s women’s hockey squad started their portion of the Games on Sunday, February 24, with a 5-1 loss to Team Ontario.

On Monday, Team Alberta dropped Team Nova Scotia 4-2 in overtime.

Antigonish’s Kara MacLean had a goal in the early going of the first period, setting Nova Scotia at a one-goal advantage. Fellow Antigonisher Landyn Pitts had a helper on Nova Scotia’s second period goal, giving the Bluenosers a 2-1 lead. In the third period, both Pitts and Ella MacLean, the third Antigonish player with Team Nova Scotia, set up Tiffany Hill for the third goal of the game.

Also on Monday, Caden MacLeod of Baddeck placed 36th in cross county skiing’s 7.5 km Free (Interval Start) Female competition. Fifty three skiers were in the competition.

Badminton also got rolling on Monday of last week with Antigonish’s Courtney MacDonald losing to Wendy Zhang of British Columbia 2-0 in Female Singles. In Male Doubles, the team of Bryce Mason and Antigonish’s Eriq Proctor competed in the first round, losing to Saskatchewan 2-0.

The full badminton team competed last Thursday, including Antigonish stars MacDonald and Proctor. The squad had had a 1-0 win over Northwest Territories and a 5-0 win over Newfoundland and Labrador.

On Friday, the squad returned to action and lost 3-0 to Quebec but won 3-2 over Saskatchewan in the semifinals. That set-up Nova Scotia for a Saturday game against Manitobia to decide fifth place. The result was 3-1 in Manitobia’s favour.

Last Friday, Baddeck’s MacLeod competed with Team Nova Scotia’s Cross-Country team in the Female 10K Classic. She finished 29th in a field of 51.

On Tuesday of last week, the women’s hockey team lost 8-2 to British Columbia. The women rebounded on Wednesday to drop the Northwest Territories 9-0. Leading that game in terms of points was Pitts, who managed three helpers. Kara MacLean popped a goal.

In quarterfinals last Thursday, the Nova Scotian girls lost 5-1 to Quebec. In a Friday relegation game, Nova Scotia lost to Saskatchewan 3-1. Pitts had an assist that outing. That led to Nova Scotia playing New Brunswick in the game for seventh/eighth place, on Saturday. The final was 3-2 for New Brunswick.

“Congratulations to Team Nova Scotia for a great effort at the games and all the hard work that went into getting there,” said Premier Stephen McNeil.

“Nova Scotia is proud of your accomplishments and how well you represented our province at this national event.”