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Piper Gilles

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Piper Gilles

Gilles earns citizenship, now wants shot at Sochi

TORONTO -- At the world figure skating championships last spring, Piper Gilles wore a bejewelled Canadian flag that she'd crafted herself on the right shoulder of her bodysuit.

She wasn't a Canadian yet, but had fingers crossed her citizenship would come through in time to compete at the Sochi Olympics with ice dance partner Paul Poirier.

Her dream was realized Tuesday at a citizenship ceremony in Toronto.

"I have felt like a Canadian citizen for some time and I am extremely excited that it is now official," Gilles said in a release. "I've dreamed about competing in the Olympics my whole life and hope to be in Sochi next year. There is no bigger stage than the Olympics and it would be an honour to represent Canada in front of the entire world."

Gilles, whose mom Bonnie is a dual citizen of Canada and the U.S., was born in Illinois and moved to Canada in 2011 to train with Poirier, a native of Unionville, Ont. They were second at the Canadian championships last winter in a field missing Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, who were fourth at the 2012 world championships.

Gilles and Poirier will try to earn one of Canada's three ice dance spots for the Sochi Olympics at the Canadian figure skating championships Jan. 9-15 in Ottawa. Barring any major mishaps, Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and Weaver and Poje will be locks to secure the first two berths.

"This sets up an exciting battle in ice dance at the upcoming 2014 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships," Skate Canada's CEO Dan Thompson said in a release. "This adds one more team into the very strong ice dance field competing for those spots."

Weaver also moved north for her figure skating career.

 

Morgan Klimchuk

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Morgan Klimchuk

Flames sign Klimchuk

CALGARY -- Morgan Klimchuk signed an entry-level contract with the Calgary Flames on Tuesday, meaning the 2013 first-round draft pick will be with the team for at least three years.

A Calgary native, Klimchuk is currently in his fourth season with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League.

He has 12 goals and 17 assists for 29 points in 26 games and has a plus-9 rating.

The 18-year-old left winger was the 28th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

The three-year deal is worth US$832,500 with a signing bonus of $92,500 each year and an American Hockey League salary of $70,000 per year.

The contract has an average annual value of $925,000

 

MJHL honours Baudry

After a robust six points in three games, Steinbach Pistons defenceman Justin Baudry earned the title of MJHL Recycle Everywhere Player of the Week.

The La Broquerie product, just 17, notched a goal and six assists to help keep the Pistons on top of the Addison Division, with 25 wins in 33 games. He currently leads all Pistons defenders in scoring with five goals and 23 points on the season.

Runners-up for the player of the week award were Selkirk Steelers goalie Braeden Ostepchuk, 20, and 18-year-old Winnipeg Blues forward Kamerin Nault.

 

Big week for Ellingston

IN Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League action, Parkland Rangers forward Cody Ellingson fired in three goals and picked up five assists in three wins last week, en route to being named the league's Chicken Chef Player of the Week. Ellingson, a Swan River product, helped push the team to outscore their opponents 20-13 in that stretch.

Meanwhile, first-year Brandon Wheat Kings goalie Reid Stallard was named the Dekalb Rookie of the Week, after he backstopped his 11th straight victory.

Stallard, 17, sits fifth in league save percentage with .921.

Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League Player and Rookie of the Week:

 

Oswald on a roll

A seven-goal explosion propelled Central Plains Capitals forward Sheridan Oswald to the Manitoba Female Midget Hockey League's Selkirk Keystone Source for Sports-Reebok Player of the Week award.

The Grade 10 student from McGregor kicked off the week by scoring four goals and adding an assist in a 5-2 win over the Eastman Selects. Oswald now sits fourth in MFMHL scoring, and was the youngest player on Hockey Manitoba's under-18 program of excellence team that attended a national competition in Calgary last month.

 

-- staff / news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 18, 2013 C7

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