Olympic Roundup -- Feb. 13


Published on February 14 2014 6:26 am
Last Updated on February 14 2014 6:26 am
Written by Millie Lange

USA Humbles Slovakia In Sochi

(Sochi, Russia) -- Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane had two assists to help the U.S. men's hockey team in a 7-1 win over Slovakia yesterday in Sochi.  Marian Hossa had an assist and Michal Handzus also played for Slovakia in the loss. Team USA faces Russia Saturday.



Norway's Kjetil Jansrud led the men's super combined competition after posting the top time in the downhill section Friday, while reigning gold medalist Bode Miller  sat in  12th heading into the  slalom at the Sochi Olympics. Fresh off claiming  the bronze medal in Sunday's downhill competition, Jansrud navigated the  first portion of  the super combined in 1 minute, 53.24 seconds, just .14 seconds  faster than  Ondrej Bank  of the  Czech Republic.  Austria's Matthias Mayer,  who  grabbed the downhill  gold ahead of  Jansrud, crossed the line in 1:53.61  to  head into the  slalom portion in third,  while Miller ended up in 12th after posting a time of 1:54.67. The 36-year-old Miller, competing in his fifth  Winter  Games, stumbled to  an eighth-place finish in Sunday's downhill competition.  Fellow  American Ted  Ligety, the  reigning super combined world champion  and  2006 gold medalist in  this event, made his Sochi debut Friday, finishing the downhill portion in 18th place with a time of 1:55.17.



Swiss cross country  skier Dario  Cologna easily  won the  men's 15-kilometer classic  race  for his second gold  medal of the Sochi Olympics. Wearing short sleeves  on another  mild day  at  the Laura  Cross country  Ski and  Biathlon Center,  Cologna beat  Sweden's Johan  Olsson by  28.5 seconds  for his  third Olympic  gold. Sweden's Daniel Richardsson finished 10.3 seconds further back. Cologna won the 15-kilometer race in 2010, when it was run using the freestyle technique,  and captured his second Olympic gold in the 30-kilometer skiathlon on  Sunday. He  finished Friday's race in  the slushy snow in 38 minutes, 29.7 seconds.  Olsson won  his fifth Olympic medal and Richardsson his second. Noah Hoffman  was  the top American finisher  in 31st place. Canada's Devon Kershaw was 35th to lead his country.



Women's skeleton medals will be awarded Friday after the final two runs. Great Britain's  Elizabeth Yarnold  started the  day  with the  lead, but  Americans Noelle  Pikus-Pace and Katie Uhlaender are close behind. Pikus-Pace is second, just  .44 seconds  behind, while Uhlaender is fourth and trails Yarnold by .69 seconds. Elena Nikitina of Russia sits between the Americans in third.

Men's heats begin today and Latvia could have a medal presence by the eventual end  of  the Games thanks to  brothers Martins and Tomass Dukurs. Martins took silver  at the  2010 Vancouver  Games, while  Tomass finished  fourth. Martins Dukurs  will  eye gold  after winning  the World  Championships in 2011-12 and taking  silver  in 2013.  Martins  Dukurs  finished behind  Russian  Alexander Tretiakov,  who  won bronze in  Vancouver, at the 2013 championships. Canada's Jon  Montgomery took gold  four years ago, but did not make the team this time around. Canada instead turns to John Fairbairn and Eric Neilson, while Matthew Antoine, John Daly and Kyle Tress compete for the U.S.



Medals in the  women's  freestyle skiing  aerials will  be  handed out,  with Australia's  Lydia Lassila  looking to repeat the gold she captured four years ago in Vancouver. China's Li Nina also returns having won back-to-back Olympic silvers  and  could reach the  podium along  with countrywoman Xu Mengtao, who finished  sixth  in Vancouver but  won the  2013 FIS World Championships after having  twice  before finished  second. Americans in  the event include Ashley Caldwell and Emily Cook.



Japan's  Yuruzu  Hanyu has the  lead heading into  today's free skate in men's figure  skating. The 19-year-old put up a score of 101.45 in the short program Thursday.  Three-time  world champion  Patrick Chan  of Canada finished second Thursday and Spain's Javier Fernandez was fourth. The top 24 skaters qualified for  the  free skate  and Americans  Jason Brown and  Jeremy Abbott were among them.  Brown was sixth  Thursday with a mark of 86.00 that topped his previous personal  best  of 84.77, while Jeremy  Abbott recovered after a hard fall and finished 15th.



Women's biathlon features Darya Domracheva of Belarus trying for a second gold of  the 2014 Games.  She won the pursuit race on Tuesday and captured a bronze medal  at  this event four  years ago. Norway's Tora  Berger won silver in the pursuit and will try for a second straight gold in this event after winning it four years ago in Vancouver.



Qualifications for the  men's individual large hill begins today. It will mark the  beginning of Simon Ammann's quest for a fifth Winter Olympics gold medal. Two  of  those have come in  this event as he  captured gold four years ago in Vancouver and at the 2002 Games.



Group play in men's hockey continues. Canada is back in action against Austria after  opening defense  of its  Olympic gold  with a  steady 3-1  victory over Norway  on Thursday in  Group B. The Austrians were 8-4 losers to Finland. The Finns  will take on  Norway in Group B later on Friday. Action from Group C is also  on  the docket.  Sweden and Switzerland  will square off  in a battle of winners  from  Wednesday's opening day  of play. The  Swedes notched a 4-2 win over  the  Czech Republic,  which bounced back  with a 4-2  win over Latvia on Friday  behind  one goal  apiece from  Jaromir Jagr  and Marek Zidlicky. Jakub Voracek  and Martin Erat also for the Czech Republic and Ondrej Pavelec posted 18  saves. Janis  Sprukts  and  Herberts Vasiljevs  scored  for Latvia,  which received 35 saves from goaltender Edgars Masalskis.

In tough news for the Swedish men's team, captain Henrik Zetterberg will miss the  remainder of the Olympics due to a herniated disk in his back. Zetterberg scored  in  Sweden's 4-2 win over  the Czech Republic on Wednesday, but missed Thursday's practice and didn't join his team for Friday's pre-game skate prior to Sweden's matchup against Switzerland. Team doctor Bjorn Waldeback addressed the  media  and said Zetterberg has  a herniated disk, leaving him unavailable for the remainder of the Olympics. Sweden will not be able to nominate another player  to take Zetterberg's spot on the roster because replacements were only possible before the beginning of the tournament.



Curling action will  feature seven  men's matches  and four  by the  women on Friday. Great Britain and Sweden, both 4-1 to lead the men's standings, are in action. The Brits take on Denmark, while Sweden takes on China. The U.S. (1-3) has  matches against Germany and Russia, while 3-2 Canada takes on Norway. For the women, 5-0 Canada will not be in action, nor will the 4-1 Swedes. However, the  disappointing U.S. team will try to improve on its 1-4 record as it takes on winless Denmark.