Eileen Gu went for her third medal of these Winter Olympics, John Shuster and the U.S. men's curling team tangled with Canada in the bronze medal game, and pairs figure skating got underway with the short program.
Elsewhere, Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor returned to the track for the two-woman bobsled event, and French biathlete Quentin Fillon Maillet had a chance to make Olympic history by winning his sixth medal of these Winter Games.
U.S. falls to Canada in men's curling bronze medal game
Canada denied the U.S. a medal in men's curling, winning a back-and-forth bronze medal game by a score of 8-5.
It was a gripping affair, with neither team able to pull away for most of the game. After Canada took an early lead, the U.S. battled back to take a 5-4 advantage after the sixth end. Canada blanked the seventh, then scored two in the eighth to pull back ahead 6-5.
The ninth end was where things went from bad to worse for the U.S., as Team Shuster was unable to capitalize on having the hammer, instead allowing the Canadians to steal two points. Canada took an 8-5 lead into the final end, which proved too much for the U.S. to overcome.
Since men's curling joined the Olympic program in 1998, Canada has only missed out on a medal one time — four years ago in PyeongChang. The U.S. and Canada met in the semifinals that year, with Team USA winning the game en route to its surprise gold medal.
As for this year's gold medal, that will be decided Saturday when Great Britain plays Sweden (1 a.m. ET).
— Shawn Smith
China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong lead after figure skating pairs short program
ROC’s, Evgeniya Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov sit in second after earning a score of 84.25. Compatriots Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Gallyamov, 2021 world champions, are in third with a score of 82.76.
Americans Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier executed all their elements without issue and currently sit in 6th place with a score of 74.23. U.S. champions from 2022, Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc, made their Olympic debut and scored 74.13 and sit in seventh place.
Team USA's monobob gold medalist Kaillie Humphries dropped to fifth at the midpoint with two slightly-flawed runs, and will have to fight her way to the podium alongside (or in front of) partner Kaysha Love.
-- Nicholas Mendola
Eileen Gu wins halfpipe gold, third Olympic medal
Gu's first two runs featured her signature amplitude and were packed full of technical tricks. The highest-scoring run, her second one, included back-to-back cork 900s up top and back-to-back alley-oop flatspin 540s at the bottom. With the win already locked up, she was able to use her final run to cruise through the pipe for a victory lap.
The win solidified Gu's status as one of the stars of these Games. Competing for the host nation, she's earned two golds (big air, halfpipe) and a silver (slopestyle) and at 18, promises to be an all-around force for years to come.
A pair of Canadians, 2018 gold medalist Cassie Sharpe and Rachael Karker, took the other spots on the medal stand behind Gu, while Estonian Kelly SIldaru, the slopestyle bronze medalist, finished fourth and narrowly missed the podium.
Hanna Faulhaber was the top U.S. finisher in sixth place. Brita Sigourney, the 2018 bronze medalist, finished 10th, and Carly Margulies, who is competing this week for the first time since 2019, finished 11th.
Results: Women's Freeski Halfpipe
🥇 Eileen Gu (CHN)
🥈 Cassie Sharpe (CAN)
🥉 Rachel Karker (CAN)
— Shawn Smith
Johannes Thingnes Boe wins historic gold for Norway
Johannes Thinges Boe crossed the finish line first in the men’s 15km mass start, a historic feat for Norway. He missed a total of four shots, but finished with a time of 38:14.4, 40.3 seconds ahead of second place. It was the 15th Olympic gold medal for Norway at the 2022 Winter Games, breaking the record for most gold medals won by a country at a single Winter Games.
It was the fourth gold medal of the Games for Boe, making him just the fourth athlete from any sport to win four or more gold medals at a single Winter Olympics. He also became the third biathlete to win five medals in a single Olympic Games. All three of the biathletes to do so, have done in at these Games (Quentin Fillon Maillet and Marte Olsbu Roeiseland).
Martin Ponsiluoma wins his first Olympic medal by crossing the finish line in second. It’s Sweden’s first medal in biathlon at the 2022 Winter Games. Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen also won his first individual biathlon medal, claiming bronze.
Fillon Maillet just narrowly missed making history. He finished 13.1 seconds out of medal position. If he had reached the podium, he would have become the first Olympian in any sport to win six medals at a single Games.
Results: Men's 15km Mass Start
🥇 Johannes Thinges Boes (NOR)
🥈 Martin Ponsiluoma (SWE)
🥉 Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen (NOR)
— Stephanie De Lancey
ROC defeats Sweden 2-1 in shootout to advance to gold medal game
The semifinal showdown between ROC and Sweden proved to be one of, if not the best game of the men’s hockey tournament so far. Extra hockey was needed to determine the gold medal game matchup. Ultimately, ROC emerged victorious, winning 2-1 in the shootout.
The entire game had a hard-hitting and fast-paced intensity to it. ROC had the upper hand in terms of chances and pressure in the first period, but it was scoreless at the first break.
ROC wasted no time in the second. Just 18 seconds in, Anton Slepyshev trucked down the ice and found the back of the net. The ROC dominated most of the second frame, but the Swedish defense and Lars Johansson would hold the score at 1-0.
It’d remain tied through the rest of the period and overtime, sending the game to a shootout. Lucas Wallmark broke through first, but Nikita Gusev immediately answered for the Russians. Each side added a tally to make it 2-2 in the shootout. Then both goalies seemed like a brick wall in between the net with each round building in anticipation.
In the eighth round of the shootout, Arseny Gritsyuk finally broke the stalemate sending ROC to the gold medal game against Finland. Sweden loses a heart breaker and will face Slovakia in the bronze medal game.
-- Stephanie De Lancey
Finland defeats Slovakia, heads to men's hockey gold medal game
Finland's women's hockey team is taking home a bronze medal, and the Finnish men are set to earn a medal of their own.
The Finns took down Slovakia in the men's hockey semifinals early Friday morning by a score of 2-0, earning them the chance to play in the gold medal game Saturday night. Finland has never won an Olympic hockey title, but has appeared in the gold medal game twice. The Finns lost both times, though, falling to the Soviet Union in 1988 and to Sweden in 2006.
"Going to an Olympic final is like a dream," said Finland forward Sakari Manninen, who opened the scoring against Slovakia. "You dream of those kind of moments, but at the same time (I try to) focus on the right things, not think about it too much and prepare for the next game."
— Ryan Quigley
Thomas Krol wins gold in men’s 1000m
It’s Krol’s second medal, and first gold, of the 2022 Winter Games. The gold medal is the third consecutive one the Netherlands has won in this event. Dubreuil dramatically improved his 25th-place finish in 2018 for his first Olympic medal. Finally, Lorentzen won his second consecutive medal (silver in 2018) in this event and his third career Olympic medal.
Results: Men's 1000m
🥇 Thomas Krol (NED)
🥈 Laurent Dubreuil (CAN)
🥉 Haavard Lorentzen (NOR)
— Stephanie De Lancey
Justine Braisaz-Bouchet wins women’s 12.5km mass start
Justine Braisaz-Bouchet shot 80% in windy conditions to help her win her first individual Olympic medal in the women’s 12.5km mass start with a time of 40:18.0. She is the first French woman to win a medal in this event.
Tiril Eckhoff finished just 15.3 seconds behind Braisaz-Bouchet. Eckhoff’s silver medal is her eighth Olympic medal, making her the second-most decorated female biathlete all-time behind Uschi Disi of Germany. The second-place finish also improves on her bronze medal finishes from 2014 and 2018.
Norway’s Marte Olsbu Roeiseland crossed the finish line third to claim bronze. It was her fifth medal of the 2022 Winter Games. She ties the record for most medals won at a single Winter Olympics.
Deedra Irwin was the only American to qualify for the event and finished 23rd.
Results: Women's 12.5km Mass Start
🥇 Justine Braisaz-Bouchet (FRA)
🥈 Triil Eckhoff (NOR)
🥉 Marte Olsbu Roeiseland (NOR)
--Stephanie De Lancey
Switzerland takes gold, silver in men's ski cross
Switzerland took the top two spots on the men's ski cross podium after strong performances in the big final from Ryan Regez and Alex Fiva.
Regez and Fiva worked their way through the elimination rounds to secure spots in the four-rider big final. The two skiers stayed out front for much of that final, with Regez in the lead and Fiva behind him in second place as they came down the track and crossed the finish line.
Fiva, 36, is now the oldest freestyle skier to ever win an Olympic medal. He competed at the last two Winter Games but had yet to advance beyond the quarterfinals.
Sergey Ridzik of the ROC finished third in the big final, earning himself a bronze medal for the second consecutive Olympics. Canada's Brady Leman, the defending gold medalist, was eliminated in the semifinals.
Results: Men's Ski Cross
🥇 Ryan Regez (SUI)
🥈 Alex Fiva (SUI)
🥉 Sergey Ridzik (ROC)
— Shawn Smith