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.