USA Continues to Win in Hockey, Olympics News
Published on February 20 2014 11:17 am
Last Updated on February 20 2014 11:17 am
Written by Millie Lange
Blues Players in Sochi
(Sochi, Russia) -- David Backes scored a goal and provided an assist as USA defeated the Czech Republic 5-2. Kevin Shattenkirk also had an assist for the United States. Alexander Steen scored a goal for Sweden in its 5-0 victory over Slovakia. Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo combined for four shots in Canada's 2-1 victory over Latvia. USA will face Canada Friday and Sweden will battle Finland in semifinal matches.
Led by Jean Frederic Chapuis' gold medal, the French swept the men's ski cross podium on Thursday at the Sochi Olympics. A fall by Canada's Brady Leman on the final turn confirmed the French sweep, leaving just the order to be decided. Chapuis, the 2013 FIS World Champion, held firm for his first Olympic medal, followed by Arnaud Bovolenta for silver and Jonathan Midol for the bronze. Russia's Egor Korotkov won the small final to finish fifth. The lone American in the event, 30-year-old John Teller, also did not make it out of the 1/8 final, while 2010 silver medal-winner Andreas Matt of Austria was eliminated in the quarterfinals. Swiss Michael Schmid, who won the first ever gold medal in this event when it debuted four years ago in Vancouver, was unable to ski in the event after suffering a left knee injury while training on Saturday.
The women's halfpipe event will make its Olympic debut with four skiers set to go for the U.S. Maddie Bowman has won the past two golds in this event at the X Games, while Brita Sigourney has twice medaled. Angeli Vanlaanen and Annalisa Drew could also contend, as could Canadian Rosalind Groenewoud, a four-time medalist in this event at the X Games. That includes gold in 2012, which she followed with back-to-back silvers. American David Wise took gold for the men in the event's debut on Tuesday.
Fueled by Eric Frenzel's jump in the fourth group, Germany grabbed the lead on Thursday in the Nordic combined team event at the Sochi Olympics. Frenzel had a distance of 129.0 meters and scored at 122.0, notching Germany a total point score of 481.7. That gave the Germans a seven-second head start over Austria when the 4x5-kilometer began to decide the medals. Austria is the defending gold medalist in this event and posted a score of 476.3. Norway came in third with a score of 462.8. The U.S. was eighth after seeing three of its four jumpers score under 100 points.
Skip Eve Muirhead's perfect final stone gave Great Britain a 6-5 win over Switzerland and a bronze medal on Thursday at the Sochi Olympics. Tied going into the 10th and final end, Swiss skip Mirjam Ott placed her final stone in the white circle before Muirhead steadily dropped her stone into the button to secure Great Britain its first women's curling medal since taking gold in 2002. Switzerland finished fourth for a second straight Olympics and was again denied its third women's curling medal. Ott was also part of silver medal- winning teams in 2002 and '06.
The Canadian women will try to become just the second Olympic team to finish off a curling tournament undefeated on Thursday when it faces off against two- time defending champion Sweden in the gold medal game at the Ice Cube Curling Center. Canada, which has one gold, one silver and two bronze medals in four Olympic Games, improved to 10-0 over the fortnight with a win over Great Britain on Wednesday. The only previous Olympic team to go through the qualifying phase with a perfect record is the Canadian men's rink skipped by Kevin Martin in the Vancouver Games in 2010. The Swedes moved into the final game with a win over Switzerland.
Canada goes after a 20th straight win in the Olympics on Thursday and more importantly a fourth straight gold medal when it concludes the women's hockey tournament against the United States in a rematch of the 2010 Vancouver finale. While Canada has dominated on the Olympic stage, the U.S. has captured four of the last five world championships. Canada, which has won every Olympic game it has played since falling to the United States in the 1998 Nagano Games, defeated the United States in group play earlier in this tournament by a 3-2 score. Switzerland and Sweden will meet in the bronze medal game.
South Korea's Kim Yuna began her quest for a second straight Olympic gold medal by posting the top score on Wednesday in the women's short program at the Sochi Olympics. But Kim's advantage is slim. She scored a 74.92 as the 17th performer and her lead held solid until Italy's Carolina Kostner put together a routine that netted her a score of 74.12. Russia's Adelina Sotnikova then sent the home crowd into a frenzy with a routine that scored at 74.64, putting her a mere .28 behind Kim, known in her home country as Queen Yuna. Kim's score on Wednesday was good enough to put her first going into Thursday's free skate, with medals awarded following that event. Kim, a two- time world champion, is aiming to become the first repeat gold medalist in the ladies' singles since Katarina Witt in 1984 and '88. The U.S. saw its three skaters finish in the top seven, led by Gracie Gold's score of 68.63 that landed her in fourth.