We already knew Devin Madsen was quite the squash player – he’s proven it time and again by winning several tournaments at the Racquet Club. Turns out he’s also a decent badminton and pickleball player as well.

Nikkilesh Gohil gets down low to return a backhand during pickleball action as part of the youth division action in the Triple Threat tournament, held at the Racquet Club over the weekend.
Michael Hugall/NNSL photo

Madsen added yet another title to his resume Sunday afternoon after winning the Triple Threat event at the Racquet Club. Madsen defeated Stephen Messier in the final of the adult division of the single-knockout event, which combined squash, badminton and pickleball.

Madsen won last year’s title as well but he freely admitted he was happy the format had changed.

“We played mini-tennis instead of pickleball last year and Stephen’s a really good tennis player,” he said. “That had me worried last year but he’s also going to the Arctic Winter Games for badminton so I knew if I could keep the score low in badminton, I would have a good chance of beating him.”

Each of the three sports was played in a miniature version lasting just 10 minutes in duration for a total time of 30 minutes for each match. No sets were played as the goal was to rack up as many points as possible in each sport, which went toward the running total for each athlete. Whoever had the most points after 30 minutes was declared the winner and moved on.

The script was being followed somewhat in the final as Messier defeated Madsen in badminton but it was a reversal of fortunes as Madsen won the pickleball game and began to pull away in squash.

“My fitness started to pick up in the squash and Stephen really needed to pick things up,” said Madsen. “You just go out and tally up as much points as possible and I managed to do that down the stretch.”

Had the draw been different, there was a good chance Madsen would have ended up meeting Garrett Hinchey, his main squash rival, in the final but they were in the same half of the draw and it was Madsen who saw off Hinchey to advance to the final.

“I saw the other side of the bracket and if Stephen and Garrett had to face off, they would have had a great game,” said Madsen. “I expected to see Stephen in the final but Jeff (Hipfner) gave Stephen a good go (in the other semi-final).”

There was a youth division as well, which was a round-robin to determine the top two that would meet for the championship. From the six junior competitors, the two left standing after the round-robin were Colton Tumoth and Joe Depew – and it was Depew who would run out as the winner in the decider.

Madsen plans on going for the three-peat next year but he said it’s just nice to play something different than straight squash.

“It’s nice to do something like this and it’s really laid back,” he said. “It’s different and fun and Melina (Turk, head squash pro) puts in the extra time and did a great job getting this all together.”

James McCarthy

After being a nomad around North America following my semi-debauched post-secondary days, I put down my roots in Yellowknife in 2006. I’ve been keeping this sports seat warm with NNSL for the better...

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