U.S. Face Canada In Hockey Semifinal, Olympic News


Published on February 21 2014 6:22 am
Last Updated on February 21 2014 6:22 am
Written by Millie Lange

U.S. Faces Canada In Semifinal

(Sochi, Russia) -- The U.S. men's hockey team faces Canada today in the semifinals of the Olympic tournament. Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane takes the ice for Team USA while Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith play for Canada. Puck drop is set for 11 a.m.


A rematch of the 2010 Olympic gold medal men's hockey has come one round earlier at the Sochi Games, with the United States and Canada facing off in the semifinals. Canada won the gold medal four years ago in Vancouver when Sidney Crosby scored in overtime. It was Canada's second gold medal since the
NHL began Olympic participation and both came at the expense of the United States. The Canadians also won gold at the Salt Lake City Games over the Americans. While both North American squads won their respective groups in round-robin play, the United States has been the more dominant team in Sochi. Sweden is playing shorthanded Finland in today's first semifinal. Starting Finland goaltender Tuukka Rask is out with an illness.



Marielle Thompson captured the women's Olympic skicross event Friday over teammate Kelsey Serwa to keep the gold medal in Canadian hands. Thompson held off Serwa in the four-rider big final as the Canadians easily finished first and second. Their medal path was made easier after 37-year-old Ophelie David of France -- bidding to become the oldest woman to win a solo event at the Winter Olympics -- fell. Sweden's Anna Holmlund earned the bronze and her 17- year-old teammate Sandra Naeslund won the small final to take fifth place ahead of Austria's Katrin Ofner, Australia's Katya Crema and Smith. Thompson followed in the tracks of Ashleigh McIvor, who won gold for Canada on home soil at the Vancouver Olympics but has since retired.



American alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin, just 18 years old, will go for gold in the women's slalom event today. A native of Vail, Colo., Shiffrin won gold at the 2013 world championships and also claimed the most recent World Cup season title in the event. If she reaches the podium, Shiffrin would become the first
American woman to medal in Olympic slalom since Barbara Cochran won gold at the 1972 Sapporo Games. Shiffrin made her Olympic debut in the giant slalom earlier this week and finished fifth. The young American expects to face competition for gold from Slovenia's Tina Maze as well as Marlies Schild of
Austria and Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch.



The final women's biathlon event of the is set for today with the running of the 4x6-kilometer relay. Host Russia will try to claim its third straight gold in the event, but it will have to fend off a Belarussian team that will be anchored by Sochi star Darya Domracheva. Domracheva is the first female biathlete to pick up three gold medals at a single Winter Olympics, taking the individual, pursuit and mass start events at these Games. Germany, France and Norway also expect to be in contention for a medal in the relay. The Germans have reached the podium in this event all six times since medals were first awarded at the 1992 Albertville Games.



Canada will go after a third consecutive gold medal in men's curling when it plays Great Britain in the finale at the Ice Cube Curling Center. Canada is playing in its fifth straight gold medal game while Great Britain is trying to win an Olympic medal in men's curling for the first time since the sport was reintroduced to the Winter Games. The British won curling gold at the inaugural 1924 Chamonix Games, but have failed to reach the podium since curling returned to the Olympics in 1998. In the bronze medal match, Sweden tied China on a measurement in the 10th end, then earned two points in an extra end for a 6-4 win. It was the first Olympic medal for the men's team since a silver at the 1924 Chamonix Games. China's men's team remained without a medal in Olympic play. It missed winning bronze by mere millimeters on a close measurement in the 10th end -- its stone rested beside Sweden's just outside the button.



J.R. Celski, winner of two bronze medals four years ago in Vancouver, moved on to Friday's quarterfinals in the 500 meters by finishing second to Canada's Oliver Jean in his heat earlier in the week. All three medalists from the 1,000-meter race also advanced, including gold medalist Viktor Ahn of Russia. Ahn has two medals in Sochi, placing third in the 1,500 in addition to winning the 1,000. The U.S. also advanced to the finals in the 5,000-meter relay despite a fall from Eduardo Alvarez in the qualifying heats on Feb. 13. Russia, China, the Netherlands and Kazakhstan also made the final, which will take place today. In other short track speedskating action today, Emily Scott and Jessica Smith of the United States will be eyeing medals in the women's 1,000 meters.



The only medals remaining in speedskating are the men's and women's team pursuit competitions. No medals will be awarded today, as the pursuit events will hold heats -- the quarterfinals and semifinals for the men and the quarters for the women. The women will then race in the semifinals and finals on Saturday, when the men will compete for gold as well.



The German Olympic committee says one of its athletes has failed a doping test at the Sochi Olympics. The committee said it was informed Thursday night that the A sample of one of its athletes gave an "adverse" result. The athlete's B sample was to be tested Friday and there will be a hearing with the IOC Disciplinary Commission, the German committee said in a statement posted on its website. No other information was given about the athlete.