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The epic women's hockey rivalry between the United States and Canada wrote its latest chapter when the two teams met in the gold medal game on Day 13 of the Winter Olympics. Elsewhere, the U.S. men's curling team advanced to the semifinals with a win over Denmark and met up with Great Britain, Mikaela Shiffrin aimed to be a medal contender in the women's combined, and women's figure skating concluded with the free skate. Stay tuned for updates throughout the night...
U.S. falls 3-2, Canada wins women's hockey gold
In a battle of juggernauts, Canada emerged victorious in the gold medal match, defeating the U.S. 3-2. Sarah Nurse, who has had a strong tournament, got Canada on the board first at the 7:50 mark of the first period. Off an offensive zone faceoff, Nurse redirected the puck past Alex Cavallini.
Shortly after, Canada’s captain Marie-Philip Poulin capitalized off a U.S. turnover to find the back of the net. She has now scored in every gold medal game she has played in at the Olympics (2010, 2014, 2018, 2022). She’s the only player, man or woman, to score in four gold medal games.
Just one minute into the second period, Poulin tallied another goal. The puck bounced off Cavallini’s skate to give Canada a 3-0 lead. Right before the end of the period, Hilary Knight finally got the U.S. on the board with a short-handed goal.
In the final two minutes, the U.S. was on the power play and pulled Cavallini. They were relentless battering Canada’s Ann-Renee Desbiens. Amanda Kessel finally connected with 12.5 seconds remaining to bring the U.S. within one. It was too little too late, Canada held on to defeat the U.S. 3-2, reclaiming the top spot in this storied Olympic rivalry.
Results: Women's Hockey
🥈 United States
— Stephanie De Lancey
Liu, Bell shine in free skate while stunning finish leaves Shcherbakova with gold
The women’s singles competition was always likely to come down to the three ROC teenagers and Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto. However, there was plenty on the line for the three Americans skating.
First, Karen Chen hit the ice. It wasn’t the performance she hoped for, as she fell on her final jump. However, Chen’s grace and beauty when performing was on full display. She finished 16th overall.
25-year-old Mariah Bell was next for the Americans. Bell’s routine was to Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and a beautiful tribute to the skater’s artistry. She performed a clean routine and left it out all on the ice. It’d earn her a top-10 finish.
The final American to take the ice was American teenager Alysa Liu. Her strong performance earned her a 208.95, seventh place overall. She wasn’t perfect, but Liu smiled ear-to-ear almost the entire performance, which speaks to her Olympic experience.
ROC’s Aleksandra Trusova made history performing four quads in her free skate routine. It landed her an extremely high technical score of 106.16 and overall free skate score of 177.13. She finished third in the competition.
Japan’s Sakamoto’s speed and clean skating was on full display in her free skate. She entered the day third after her short program. She finished with a 153.29 free skate score and 233.13 overall, good for fourth place.
Anna Shcherbakova entered the 2022 Games as the reigning world champion. She needed a personal best by three points to take the lead. She’s known for having more artistry to her performance, when compared with Trusova’s powerful jumps. She delivered, earning a score of 175.75 in the free skate and moving into first place with a total score of 255.95.
Only one skater had an opportunity to dethrone Scherbakova and that was teammate Kamila Valieva, who had a disastrous start to her routine. She didn’t land any of her quads cleanly. The 15-year-old made the most mistakes she’s made in a routine since advancing to the senior level. She was left in tears after the performance. She needed a 150.98 to place in the top three and fell short with a score of 141.93, ending her day in fourth.
With Valieva outside the top three, medals were rewarded.
Results: Women’s Figure Skating
🥇 Anna Shcherbakova (ROC)
🥈 Aleksandra Trusova (ROC)
🥉 Kaori Sakamoto (JPN)
-- Stephanie De Lancey
Brittany Bowe captures bronze in women’s 1000m, Takagi wins gold
Japan’s Miho Takagi won the women’s 1000m with an Olympic record of 1:13.19. It’s Takagi’s fourth medal of the Games, adding to her collection from the women’s 500m, 1500m and team pursuit. It’s her seventh medal overall after winning three in PyeongChang.
Dutch skater Jutta Leerdam came in second, winning her first Olympic medal. It’s her first Games.
American Brittany Bowe won the bronze after skating in the final heat. The 1000m is her strongest event. It’s her first individual Olympic medal and second in her career (2018 team pursuit). This is the first Olympic medal in the women's 1000m for the U.S. since 2002. Compatriot Kimi Goetz placed seventh in her first Olympic 1000m.
Ireen Wuest, the most decorated Olympic speed skater of all time, placed sixth. She had previously announced this would be her last Olympic race of her career. The 2022 Winter Games were her fifth Olympics.
Results: Women's 1000m
🥇 Miho Takagai (JPN)
🥈 Jutta Leerdam (NED)
🥉 Brittany Bowe (USA)
-- Stephanie De Lancey
Four Americans into men's ski halfpipe final
All four members of the U.S. men's freeski halfpipe team advanced to the final with strong showings in the qualifying round. The group was led by Aaron Blunck, who was the top qualifier overall with a score of 92.00, but his compatriots Birk Irving, David Wise and Alex Ferreira all placed inside the top seven.
The Americans' biggest challenge in the final will come from two-time reigning X Games champion Nico Porteous of New Zealand, who has back-to-back 1620s in his bag of tricks and qualified in second place behind Blunck. His brother, Miguel Porteous, qualified ninth.
Other notable skiers advancing into the final include the Canadian contingent of Brendan Mackay, Noah Bowman and Simon d'Artois. Gus Kenworthy, who won a slopestyle silver medal for the U.S. in 2014 but is competing for Great Britain this year, also made the cut.
— Shawn Smith
Team Shuster falls in semifinal, to meet rival Canada in bronze medal match
Team USA will not repeat its gold medal collection from 2018 after a loss to Great Britain's men's curling semifinal on Thursday.
The lead changed times four times before halftime, but the Americans ran out of time and rocks in a 8-4 loss. That sets up a huge-stakes bronze medal match between the Americans and Canada due to the Canadians' loss to Sweden.
The U.S. men's curling team went to the semifinal after defeating Denmark 7-5 in its last game of the preliminary round.
The key moment of the game came in the fourth end, when Denmark had the hammer but missed its final throw and allowed the Americans to steal three points and take a 5-2 lead. From there, the U.S. maintained its lead and claimed the win. It was essentially a must-win game for the U.S., which controlled its own destiny as far as making the playoffs.
— Shawn Smith and Nick Mendola
Eileen Gu tops halfpipe qualifying
In women's freeski halfpipe qualifying, Eileen Gu topped the standings with a pair of huge runs. Her combination of amplitude and technicality was unmatched, which was reflected in the fact that both her runs were the only ones during the whole contest to score into the 90s.
Gu, who competes for China but was born in the U.S., is vying to earn three medals at these Winter Olympics. So far she has collected gold in big air and silver in slopestyle, and she'll be favored for gold in halfpipe, her best event.
The final will also include Canadian Rachael Karker, Estonian Kelly Sildaru, who is celebrating her 20th birthday today, and a trio of Americans: Brita Sigourney, Hanna Faulhaber and Carly Margulies. Margulies is competing in her first event since December 2019 due to a series of injuries.
— Shawn Smith
Gisin defends Olympic title, wins gold in women's combined
Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin defended her Olympic title, winning back-to-back golds in the women’s combined. She won with a time of 2:25.67, 1.05 ahead of countrywoman Wendy Holdener. Italy’s Federica Brignone finished with the bronze medal.
After the downhill portion, American Mikaela Shiffrin was heavily favorited to win gold. She was in fifth entering the slalom portion. This time around, she made it past the fifth gate, but ran into trouble further down on the course. losing control and skiing out. This race was her final opportunity to win an individual medal at the 2022 Winter Games.
Results: Women's Combined
🥇 Michelle Gisin (SUI)
🥈 Wendy Holdener (SUI)
🥉 Federica Brignone (ITA)
— Stephanie De Lancey
Naeslund captures gold in women’s ski cross
Sandra Naeslund entered the 2022 Winter Games as the gold medal favorite and delivered. She led from top to bottom. It’s the first time Canada hasn’t won gold in the event.
Switzerland’s Fanny Smith was in second for most of the race. It looked like it was going to be an obvious 1-2 finish with Naeslund and Smith. However, 2014 gold medalist, Marielle Thompson closed the gap. She’d edge out Smith at the finish line for silver.
In a semi-surprising move, the judges reviewed the race after some contact, which is normal in ski cross. Smith was disqualified, Germany’s Daniela Maier was the beneficiary and moved from fourth to bronze in her first Olympics.
Results: Women's Ski Cross
🥇 Sandra Naeslund (SWE)
🥈 Marielle Thompson (CAN)
🥉 Daniela Maier (GER)
— Stephanie De Lancey
Norway continues Nordic combined dominance
Norway began the cross-country leg with an 8-second gap to close after the jumping portion of the event. It proved to be no problem, as Norway won the Nordic combined with a time of 50:45.1, 54.9 seconds ahead of Germany.
The win marks Norway’s 14th medal of the Games. It ties the record for most gold medals any nation has won in a single Winter Olympics. It also marks the first time a country has won three gold medals in the Nordic combined team event at the Olympics. Norway’s Jorgen Graabak earned his fourth gold medal in Nordic combined, which is more than any other athlete.
Germany’s Eric Frenzel spent most of the 2022 Winter Games in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19. This was his first event. His silver medal ties him with Felix Gottwald as the most decorated Nordic combined athlete ever with seven medals each.
Japan rounded out the podium, winning its first medal in the men’s team event since 1994.
Results: Men’s Team Event
🥇 Jorgen Graabak, Jens Luraas Oftebro, Espen Bjornstad, Espen Andersen (NOR)
🥈 Manuel Faisst, Eric Frenzel, Vinzenz Geiger, Julian Schmid (GER)
🥉 Akito Watabe, Yoshito Watabe, Hideaki Nagai, Ryota Yamamoto (JPN)
-- Stephanie De Lancey