Painter opens Canada Games with two wins

Judo standout, one of four Campbell River athletes competing for Team BC, remains in medal contention

After waiting through most of the two-week Canada Winter Games in Prince George, Campbell River Judo Club teammates Kelsey Painter and Daniel Harvey finally hit the mat for their first bouts Thursday.

Kelsey Painter rolled to a 10-0 win over Brianna Caitlin Eddy Truble of Ontario in their opening match in the 78kg-over women’s judo competition, then blanked Toni Beaufield of Newfoundland and Labrador in the second round to place herself in medal contention with two matches remaining later Thursday.

Harvey saw his individual medal hopes dashed in back-to-back losses of 10-0 to Ontario’s Ryan Walker and Alberta’s Chris Bailey in the first two rounds of the male 74-81kg classification.

The two will have another chance to compete for Team BC in the team judo competition Saturday, on the final full day of competition in the 2015 games.

Painter and Henry are among four Campbell River athletes to take on some of the nation’s best in the Canada Winter Games continue this week in Prince George.

Unlike the judo competitors, Olivia Camryn Knowles got into action on the first day of the games and wrapped up play with Team BC’s women’s hockey squad Sunday, earning a sixth-place finish.

Her cousin, Brett Stapley, qualified with Team BC’s men’s hockey squad, which began playoff competition Thursday night after wrapping up pool play with a 1-2 record.

Knowles and Team BC opened the women’s hockey tourney with a 7-0 loss to Quebec and followed with a 7-1 loss to Ontario. The squad rallied with a 5-1 pool-play victory over Prince Edward Island as Knowles registered three assists, and topped New Brunswick 4-1 in a crossover quarterfinal to earn a spot in the fifth-place final.

In that game, Team BC fell 4-0 to Manitoba to finish sixth.

Stapley, 16, had one assist as the men’s hockey team placed third in Pool A. After posting a 5-3 win over New Brunswick Sunday, Team BC fell 5-2 to Manitoba Monday and dropped a 6-4 decision to Ontario Tuesday in prime time.

Team BC faces Quebec, the Pool B runner-up, in a playoff semifinal Thursday night.

The Canada Winter Games are scheduled to wrap up Sunday, Mar. 1, with the men’s hockey final followed by the closing ceremony.