Pairs figure skating bronze medallists Canada’s Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford wave from the podium during victory ceremonies at the Pyeonchang Winter Olympics Thursday, February 15, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Canada takes bronze in figure skating

Canada kicks off Day 6 at Pyeongchang with bronze in figure skating

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford ended a dry spell for Canada in pairs figure skating, capping their final Olympics with a bronze medal on Day 6 of competition at the Pyeongchang Games.

Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Radford of Balmertown, Ont., finished third Thursday to give Canada its first Olympic pairs medal since Jamie Sale and David Pelletier captured gold in 2002 in Salt Lake City.

Duhamel and Radford, two-time world champions competing in their final season, scored 153.33 points for their program to Adele’s “Hometown Glory,” and 230.15 total points.

Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot won gold with 235.90 while reigning world champions Sui Wenging and Han Cong of China took silver with 235.47.

“It’s the sweetest (ending) it could possibly be right now,” Radford said. “I don’t think that there’s any better way.”

“I don’t think there’ve been happier bronze medallists than we are,” added Duhamel.

It’s the second medal of the Games for Duhamel and Radford, who helped lead Canada to gold in the team event earlier in the week.

The winning continued Thursday as Canada’s women’s hockey team clinched top spot in pool play by beating the arch-rival Americans 2-1.

Related: Speedskater Bloemen wins 10,000-metre gold in Olympic-record time

Meghan Agosta of Ruthven, Ont., and Hamilton’s Sarah Nurse scored in the second period for the Canadians, who are aiming for a fifth straight Olympic title.

Genevieve Lacasse of Kingston, Ont., stopped 44 shots.

“It starts with defence first and I think our team was committed to that tonight,” said Canadian coach Laura Schuler. “Today, it was about sticking with the process and I think our girls did a good job with that.”

With her 16th goal in her fourth Olympics, Agosta moved into second all-time behind Canada’s Hayley Wickenheiser (18).

Both the U.S. and Canada had already booked berths in Monday’s semifinals, having won their first two games in Pool A.

Related: Canadian women’s hockey team beats U.S. 2-1 at PyeongChang Olympics

Canada started the day on a sour note with Ottawa’s Rachel Homan shouldering an 8-6 loss to South Korea in her first game of the women’s curling tournament.

Down 5-4 in the ninth end, Homan attempted an aggressive shot, but the move backfired with South Korea stealing a big three points for an 8-4 lead.

“We’re trying to learn the ice and see the tendencies, and we just had a few too many misses,” said Canada second Joanne Courtney. “Team Korea played fantastic, and they made us pay for our errors.”

Homan, a three-time Canadian champion and the defending world champion, is playing in her first Olympic Games. Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones skipped Canada to a gold medal in the Sochi Olympics four years ago.

Canada played Sweden later in the day.

Alpine skier Manuel Osborne-Paradis of Invermere, B.C., was the top Canadian in the men’s downhill, finishing 14th in one minute 41.89 seconds. Aksel Lund Svindal won the race, making the 35-year-old Norwegian the oldest Olympic gold medallist in alpine skiing.

Ben Thomsen, also from Invermere, B.C., was 28th in 1:43.19, Dustin Cook of Lac-Sainte-Marie, Que., was 32nd in 1:43.80 and Broderick Thompson of Whistler, B.C., was 35th in 1:44.37.

The Canadian Press

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