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The 2022 Winter Olympics draw to a close with gold medal games in women's curling and men's hockey, plus Mikaela Shiffrin's final medal opportunity comes in the Alpine skiing mixed team. Meanwhile, medals are awarded in four-man bobsled and women's 30km cross-country skiing, and the top figure skaters return to the ice for the exhibition gala. Stay tuned for updates throughout the night...
Finland defeats ROC for first ever gold in men's hockey
It was a battle between two hockey power houses in ROC and Finland for the gold medal.
In the first period, ROC was awarded a power play after a high stick from Hannes Bjorninen. Mikhail Grigorenko found the back of the net, helped by a screen in front of ROC goalie Ivan Fedotov, just 18 seconds into the power play. ROC took the 1-0 lead.
Three minutes into the second period, Ville Pokka fired from near the blue line and uses the traffic in front of the net to his advantage. The puck’s redirected and finds net, tying the game at 1.
Just 31 seconds into the third period, Finland broke the tie. Marko Anttila fired from 12 feet out, and again traffic in front of the net benefited the Fins. Bjorninen redirected Anttila’s puck for the go-ahead goal.
After taking the lead, Finland went to work doing what they do best. They controlled everything between the two blue lines. Their play without the puck was tactical, wearing down the ROC. They held the Russians to only three shots in the third period.
Finland finished play at the 2022 Winter Games a perfect 6-0. It’s the first gold ever for Team Finland in the men’s tournament. ROC takes home the silver and Slovakia previously beat Sweden for Bronze.
Results: Men's hockey
-- Stephanie De Lancey
Jessie Diggins wins final U.S. medal of 2022 Olympics
Team USA's final medal of the 2022 Winter Olympics has been won by Jessie Diggins.
Diggins ended up by herself for much of the women's 30km freestyle race. Norway's Therese Johaug built a huge lead over Diggins, while Diggins opened up a significant lead of her own on the rest of the field. In the end Diggins finished one minute, 43 seconds behind Johaug and 50 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Kerttu Niskanen of Finland.
Niskanen was part of a group that chased down Sweden's Ebba Andersson, who spent almost the entire race in podium position, and ultimately passed her. American Rosie Brennan was part of that pack as well and looked like she might challenge for a fourth-place (or possibly even third-place) finish before dropping a few spots near the end. Brennan ultimately finished sixth, while Andersson fell back to eighth.
With Johaug's third gold medal, Norway now has 16 at these Winter Olympics — the most gold medals any nation has ever won at a single Games. Meanwhile Diggins, the most decorated American cross-country skier ever, now has a medal of every color after getting this silver.
Results: Women's 30km Freestyle
🥇 Therese Johaug (NOR)
🥈 Jessie Diggins (USA
🥉 Kerttu Niskanen (FIN)
— Shawn Smith
Germany's dominance continues in four-man bobsled
Germany’s Francesco Friedrich defended his gold in the four-man bobsled, beating fellow countryman Johannes Lochner by 0.37 seconds as the final two runs were completed.
Freidrich, who also defended his gold in the two-man event earlier in the Games, piloted his sled to a second straight double-gold performance.
Germany, which has dominated bobsled in recent Olympics, was just 0.06 seconds short of a podium sweep. Christoph Hafer’s sled finished just 0.06 seconds behind the bronze medalist, Canada’s Justin Kripps.
Germany won gold in nine of the 10 sliding events at the Winter Games.
Lochner had the lead after the first run, but Friedrich took control around run No. 2 and maintained it through the last two runs on Saturday.
The United States recorded a top 10 finish, with Hunter Church piloting his sled to 10th place, 2.76 seconds behind the leader.
Results: Four-Man Bobsled
🥇 Francesco Friedrich (GER)
🥈 Johannes Lochner (GER)
🥉 Justin Kripps (CAN)
Great Britain's late dominance secures women's curling gold
In her fourth Olympics, Great Britain skip Eve Muirhead is a gold medalist.
Great Britain defeated Japan 10-3 to win the women's curling gold medal on Sunday. It was a relatively close game through six ends, but Team GB blew it open with a four-point end in the seventh to take an 8-2 lead. Japan responded by scoring one in the eighth but was consequently forced to give the hammer back to Muirhead's squad. That's when Great Britain put two more on the board, and Japan conceded with one end still to play.
Muirhead made her Olympic debut in 2010 before guiding Great Britain to back-to-back semifinal appearances (and losses) in 2014 and 2018. She had just one medal — a 2014 bronze — entering these Winter Games.
In a game that took place yesterday, Sweden beat Switzerland 9-7 to secure the bronze medal.
Results: Women's Curling
🥇 Great Britain
— Shawn Smith
U.S. misses medal as Austria wins mixed team Alpine event
The U.S. made it to the semifinals of the Alpine skiing team event, which was postponed from its original time slot yesterday, but lost two matchups in a row and missed out on a medal.
The format for the team event is as follows: In each matchup, two nations each select four skiers (two men, two women) to race head-to-head on a parallel giant slalom course, and whichever country wins the most races moves on to the next round. In the event of a 2-2 tie, then the times of the fastest man and the fastest woman from each nation get added together to determine the winner. However, strategy was affected by the fact that one course, the blue course, was significantly faster than the other course, the red one, throughout the event.
The U.S. team — which consisted of Mikaela Shiffrin, Paula Moltzan, River Radamus and Tommy Ford — won its Round of 16 matchup with Slovakia and its quarterfinal matchup with Italy by stealing a win on the red course. The team's run ended in the semifinals though, as Germany took three of the four races to advance onward. The U.S. still had a chance for a bronze medal but lost to Norway in the small final.
Austria defeated Germany in the gold medal matchup with a team that included men's combined gold medalist Johannes Strolz and women's slalom silver medalist Katharina Liensberger.
Results: Alpine Skiing Mixed Team Event
— Shawn Smith