Kennedy, Pfeifer and Mikkelson off to Olympics


Three St. Albert athletes off to 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang

Three St. Albert athletes are off to South Korea to compete for Canada in the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang .

Marc Kennedy and and Scott Pfeifer will play on the Kevin Koe rink in men’s curling. Meaghan Mikkelson will play on the women’s hockey team. Here are some details about the the three athletes:

Marc Kennedy

Age: 36
Sport: men’s curling
Position: third (vice-skip) on Team Canada: skip Kevin Koe, second Brent Laing, lead Ben Hebert, alternate Scott Pfeifer, coach John Dunn.
Olympic experience
Kennedy and Hebert won gold at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games with the Kevin Martin rink. Team Canada, with John Morris at third, Kennedy at second and Hebert at lead, finished 11-0.
International background
Gold medallist at worlds in 2008 with Team Martin and 2016 with Team Koe.
Silver medallist at worlds in 2009 with Team Martin.
Gold medallist at 2003 World University Winter Games as alternate with Team Canada skipped by Mike McEwen.
Recent accomplishment
Olympic Trials winner with Team Koe in December. The Roar of the Rings was the fourth for Kennedy: third place with Team Morris in 2005 and first place in 2009 and third place in 2013 with Team Martin.
Team Koe was the first rink to qualify for the 2017 Roar of the Rings as the Canada Cup winner in 2015.
Curling bio
Brier winner with Team Martin in 2008 and 2009 and with Team Koe in 2016. Silver medallist in 2017 with Team Koe.
The 2017 Brier was the eighth for Kennedy and third in a row with Team Koe.
Brier first team all-star at second in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011, second team all-star second in 2013 and second team all-star third in 2015.
World Curling Tour 2008 MVP.
Alberta men’s champion 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013 with Team Martin and 2015 and 2016 with Team Koe.
Alberta U20 junior champion as the second for the Carter Rycroft rink in 1998 and the third for the Jeff Erickson rink in 1999 and 2001.
Canadian junior silver medallist with Rycroft in 1998.
Gold medallist at the 1999 Canada Winter Games as the Team Alberta skip.
Won the 2001 Edmonton and Area Tournament of Champions on a junior rink.
St. Albert connection
Threw first rock at age six and started competitive curling at age 12.
Inducted into the St. Albert Curling Club wall of fame in 2011.
Hosts the Marc Kennedy Junior Classic and the third annual bonspiel is March 23 to 25 at the St. Albert and Jasper Place curling clubs.
Did you know
Kennedy, a southpaw, quarterbacked the St. Albert Storm to the 1997 Football Alberta Tier I provincial final as the metro Edmonton league Carr conference and northern Alberta champions as a Grade 11 Paul Kane High School student.
Real estate agent for Sarasota Homes & Realty.
Quote: I consider myself extremely fortunate to have this opportunity again and to do it with some of my best friends. It’s going to be amazing,” Kennedy said. “It’s going to be tough. The world level has improved so much over the last 10 years so it’s going to be a heck of a battle.”
At the Olympics: The first game for Team Canada is Feb. 14 against Italy. Gold medal game is Feb. 24.

Scott Pfeifer

Age: 41
Sport: men’s curling
Position: alternate
Olympic experience
Pfeifer, second Brent Laing, skip Kevin Koe and coach John Dunn are making their Olympic debuts for Team Canada with third (vice-skip) Marc Kennedy and lead Ben Hebert.
International background
Gold medallist at worlds as the second for the Ferbey Four in 2002, 2003 and 2005 and as the alternate for Team Koe in 2016.
Gold medallist at the 1994 world U20 junior championship as the second for the Colin Davison rink and bronze medallist in 1997 as the third for the Ryan Keane rink.
Recent accomplishment
PyeongChang Winter Games qualifier as the alternate for Team Koe at the 2017 Canadian Trials Roar of the Rings.
Curling bio
Five-time Alberta champion, Brier champion in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005 and three-time world gold medallist as the southpaw second thrower with the Ferbey Four, the Alberta Curling Federation’s Team of the Century.
First curler to earn all-star honours at five Briers: first team all-star second in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 and second team all-star second in 2001.
After the Ferbey Four era ended in 2010, Pfeifer returned to competitive curling with the Jamie King rink at the 2013 provincials.
Recruited by Team Koe for the 2016 Brier and worlds and remained as the alternate for the 2017 Brier and Roar of the Rings.
St. Albert connection
Started competitive curling in St. Albert at age 11.
St. Albert Curling Club wall of fame inductee in 2011.
Valuable spare for Hootie and Old Fish, winners of multiple President’s Cups in the St. Albert men’s league playoffs and the city finals in the Edmonton and area Tournament of Champions.
Did you know
The Bellerose Composite High School alumnus was pictured on a 48-cent postal stamp sweeping a rock. The date of issue was Jan. 25, 2002 to coincide with 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
Pfeifer and Marcel Rocque, the Ferbey Four front end, were nicknamed Puffin’ and Huffin’ by TSN commentators Linda Moore and Ray Turnbull after a strenuous sweeping effort that left both gasping for air when the shot finally came to rest where it was supposed to.
The curling exploits of the Ferbey Four, including skip Randy Ferbey and last-rock thrower Dave Nedohin, were chronicled in The Ferby Four: The Kings of Canadian Curling by Edmonton sports columnist Terry Jones and the 240-page hardcover book was published in 2006.
Business owner with Ventures North Financial Group.
Quote: “I would say it’s the cherry on top of the cake,” Pfeifer said. “I had a great run with Team Ferbey and ultimately we wanted to make it to the Olympics as that team but being able to join these guys over the last two years has been a phenomenal experience and I’m glad I get to continue in PyeongChang in 2018.”
At the Olympics: The Canadian men’s curling team is the Olympic gold medallist at the last three Winter Games.
The 2018 PyeongChang men’s and women’s curling tournaments will take place at the Gangneung Curling Centre.
Rasmus Stjerne (Denmark), Kyle Smith (Great Britain), Joel Retornaz (Italy), Yusuke Morozumi (Japan), Thomas Ulsrud (Norway), Kim Chang-min (South Korea), Niklas Edin (Sweden), Peter de Cruz (Switzerland) and John Shuster (United States) are also competing at the Olympics.

Meaghan Mikkelson

Age: 33
Sport: women’s hockey
Position: defenceman
Olympic experience
Gold medallist with Team Canada at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games.
At the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Mikkelson broke a bone in her right hand in practice the day before the semifinal against Switzerland and in the 3-2 overtime thriller against the United States in the gold-medal game assisted on the goal that cut the Americans’ 2-0 lead in half with 3:26 left in regulation time.
International background
Gold medallist in 2012 and silver medallist in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2017 at IIHF world championships.
Gold medallist at 4 Nations Cup in 2009 and 2010 and silver medallist in 2008 and 2017
Silver medallist at 2009 Hockey Canada Cup
Gold medallist with U22 Team Canada at the Air Canada Cup in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and played all three forward positions depending on line combinations.
Recent accomplishment
Played in 13 of Team Canada’s 18 games against Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League teams, including the 2-1 win against the St. Albert Tire Warehouse Raiders on Dec. 19 at Go Auto Arena. Canada finished the Journey to Gold series at 10-4-4 and the results counted in the AMHL standings.
Hockey bio
Top defenceman and all-star team selection at 2011 worlds.
Canadian Women’s Hockey League’s top defenceman in 2017 with Calgary Inferno.
Clarkson Cup playoff winner in the CWHL with the 2016 Inferno.
NCAA national champion with Wisconsin Badgers in 2006 and 2007.
Top-10 finalist for the 2007 Patty Kazmaier Award, presented to the NCAA’s top women’s hockey player.
NCAA first team all-star, Western Collegiate Hockey Association defensive player of the year and NCAA All-Tournament Team selection as a senior with Wisconsin in the 2006/07 season.
Moved from forward to defenceman prior to the 2005/06 season with Wisconsin and was named to the WCHA second all-star team.
As a freshman at Wisconsin filled in for an injured teammate on the blueline.
Team Alberta player at 2003 Canada Winter Games.
St. Albert connection
First female to play on a rep boys’ hockey team in St. Albert with the 1997 atom AA provincial champion St. Albert TD Lightning and also played for the bantam AAA St. Albert Gregg Distributors Sabres.
Born in Regina, moved to St. Albert at age eight, attended the Father Jan and Ecole Secondaire Sainte Marguerite d’Youville schools, in high school was a Grade 10 and 11 student at Paul Kane and in Grade 12 attended Bishop Carroll of Calgary while playing for the Oval X-Treme before returning home to graduate from St. Albert Catholic High School.
One of the inaugural 24 inductees to the City of St. Albert’s Skating Wall of Fame at Go Auto Arena in 2011 for achieving national or professional accomplishments.
Did you know
Mikkelson is the oldest player on the Team Canada women’s hockey roster for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.
Runner-up with Team Canada teammate Natalie Spooner on the Amazing Race Canada – Season 2 and they were winners of free fuel for a year.
Mikkelson’s brother, Brendan, is also a defenceman who played 131 NHL games with the Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay Lightning and won a Memorial Cup with the Vancouver Giants in 2007.
Mikkelson’s son, Calder, got his name through a Twitter contest that invited ideas from across the country. The name resonated because of a hockey connection and family tie with the name Calder: her dad, Bill, was a Calder Cup winner in 1971 and Jim McFadden, a great-uncle, won the 1948 Calder Trophy with the Detroit Red Wings.
Bill Mikkelson played four NHL seasons as a defenceman with the Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders and Washington Capitals between 1971 and 1977 and holds the record for the worst plus/minus in NHL history at minus-82 for the expansion 1974/75 Capitals.
Calder was born on Sept. 27, 2015 and three months later Mikkelson was cleared for full competition and at the end of January attended the national team selection camp for the 2016 worlds.
Quote: “Overall I’m the strongest that I’ve been in my career. I’ve always said as long as I feel good, as long as I still love playing, as long as I still want to get better and keep getting better then I’m going to continue to keep playing,” Mikkelson said. “I feel like having my son has given me more perspective. It’s taught me a lot about just enjoying the journey and staying present in the moment.”
At the Olympics: Canada’s first game in group A is Feb. 11 against Olympic Athletes from Russia. Gold medal game is Feb. 21.


About Author

Jeff Hansen

Jeff Hansen joined the St. Albert Gazette in 1991. He writes about sports, athletes and teams from St. Albert and area.