Nunavut teams diversify ulu winners' list

Speedskaters, mushers, volleyball and hockey teams find success

From front to back, Arctic Bay's Dene games open men's silver medalist team of Tom Naqitarvik, Darryl Levi, Thomas Levi and Johnny James Kilabuk pole push against team Alaska March 9.

Nunavut diversified its medal count Friday with two silver and a bronze in speedskating relay, a bronze in team dog mushing, and big bronze ulu wins in girls' volleyball and boys' hockey.

As of Friday night, the official tally was five gold, 12 silver and 26 bronze uluit.

The junior boys and juvenile girls took silver in the 2000 metre and 3000 metre relays, respectively. The junior boys beat Alberta and Alaska, while NWT took the gold. The juvenile girls were guaranteed a medal as only two teams were competing. The junior girls took bronze in the 3000 metre relay, slipping past Alberta in the final. These were Nunavut's only medals in speedskating for the Games.
Alexia Galloway-Alainga, Mathew Cooper, and the juvenile boys 2000 metre relay team each missed chances to medal.
At Mount Lorne, Tristen Dias and Jeremy Maley took bronze in the four-dog 7.5 km junior mixed team dog mushing event with a time of 26:01.38. It was the only ulu for the Rankin Inlet mushing team.
After losing every game the rest of the tournament, the junior girls' volleyball team - in the bronze medal match by virtue of the fact only four teams were playing - upset the NWT in five sets, winning the final set 15-13. Nunavut had only won a single set in nine matches through the entire tournament before the 3-2 win.
Nunavut's midget boys - who tied for first in the round robin but fell to the NWT in the semifinal - took a third-period comeback win over last place Alaska in the bronze medal game early Friday. Matthew Gardner of Iqaluit, who tied for most goals in the tournament with seven, had a hat trick and was named game MVP in the win. Other goals came from Chesterfield Inlet's KJ Putulik and Rankin Inlet's Sam Adams, who scored the winning goal with 2:56 remaining. Alaska's Bradley Hudson had a hat trick in a losing cause.
After a several hour delay due to cracked poles, Arctic Bay's Dene games open men's team of Thomas Levi, 42, Darryl Levi, 27, Tom Naqitarvik, 25, and Johnny James Kilabuk, 24, took silver after a loss to Nunavik.


NWT's Sarah Nesbitt scored on Lukeisha Tatty late in the second half after a turnover to seal a 2-0 win over Nunavut's junior girls in their bronze medal match Friday night. Nunavut's Natasha Allakariallak, left, shows her disappointment.

The junior girls' soccer team, Nunavut's only soccer team in medal contention, won 5-4 against the NWT with some help from an own goal. Trailing 1-0 early in the second half of the bronze medal match, it was Nunavut's turn to make a mistake, turning over the ball and giving NWT's Sarah Nesbitt the chance to score the goal that sealed the game at 2-0, giving the NWT the bronze medal Friday night.
Nunavut's table tennis team was stopped from adding to its medal haul of three bronze team medals after all six singles players lost their quarter-final matches Friday morning.
Nunavut badminton players should expect a supportive crowd as they are the only Nunavummiut competing ahead of the closing ceremonies. They play in three gold medal matches Saturday after semifinal wins in mixed doubles for Louis Lebel-Wong and Brittany Masson, boys' doubles for Lebel-Wong and Jonah Oolayou, and single boys' for Lebel-Wong, who beat teammate Oolayou. Three teams will fight for bronze after losses Friday, including Oolayou and Jenny Mosesie in mixed doubles, girls' doubles for Mosesie and Masson, and Oolayou in single boys' play.

Adding to the ulu tally Friday were:

Dene Games Pole Push Open Male: Nunavut
Speed Skating 2000m Relay Juvenile Female: 2000m Relay Team: Nunavut
Speed Skating 3000m Relay Junior Male: 3000m Relay Team: Nunavut

Dene Games All Around Junior Male: Jordan Levi
Dog Mushing 4 Dogs - 7.5 km Race Team Junior Mix: Nunavut
Speed Skating 3000m Relay Junior Female 3000m Relay Team: Nunavut
Table Tennis Doubles Junior Female: Nunavut (won Wednesday, but previously unlisted)
Table Tennis Doubles Juvenile Female: Nunavut (won Wednesday, but previously unlisted)
Volleyball Junior Female: Nunavut