Winter Olympics: U.S. Men’s Hockey Team Beats Slovenia and Russia; Clinches Group
The U.S. men’s hockey team remained undefeated with two weekend wins and The Netherlands claimed the overall medals lead at the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia.
Here’s a recap of this weekend’s action in Sochi.
U.S. Men’s Hockey Team Has Perfect Weekend
The American men’s hockey team clinched a spot in the quarterfinal round after going undefeated through three games in the Olympic tournament.
Phil Kessel (of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs) scored a hat trick as the U.S. beat Slovenia 5-1 in men’s hockey on Sunday.
Slovenia spoiled a shutout by goaltender Ryan Miller’s (an East Lansing native of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres) with 18 seconds left in the game when Marcel Rodman scored. Miller finished with 17 saves.
The victory came a day after T.J. Oshie scored on four of six attempts in the shootout round to fuel the Americans to a dramatic 3-2 win over the host Russians.
With the game tied 2-2 after regulation, U.S. Coach Dan Bylsma, a Grand Haven native who coaches the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, went to Oshie five straight times after the first three shootout shots, as is allowed by Olympic rules. Oshie, a center for the NHL’s St. Louis Blues, beat Russian goalie Sergei Bobrovski four times on six shootout attempts, including the decisive goal in the eighth round of the shootout.
Cam Fowler (of Farmington Hills and the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks) and Joe Pavelski (San Jose Sharks) each had power-play goals in regulation, and goaltender Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles Kings) made 34 saves during regulation, overtime and in the shootout.
Russia’s Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit Red Wings) scored twice.
The U.S., which won Group A, returns to action Wednesday in the quarterfinals.
The Canadian and Swedish men’s teams also remained undefeated, with Canada defeating Finland 2-1 in overtime behind two goals by Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings) and Sweden defeated Latvia 5-3 on Sunday.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White Take Ice Dancing Lead
American ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White, both University of Michigan students, captured the short program on Sunday and led the competition with 78.89 points heading into Monday’s finals.
Vancouver gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada were in second place, with Russians Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov in third.
Davis, of Canton Township, and White, of Bloomfield Hills, will attempt to become the first Americans to win an Olympic gold medal in ice dancing during the free skate on Monday.
Americans Andrew Weibrecht and Bode Miller Medal in Men’s Super-G
Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud won his nation’s fourth straight Olympic gold medal in the super-G ski event on Sunday with a time of 1 minute, 18.14 seconds. American Andrew Weibrecht finished second, and Bode Miller of the U.S. and Jan Hudec of Canada tied for third to fill out the medal podium.
Miller’s bronze was his sixth Olympic medal. The 36-year-old became the oldest Alpine medalist in Olympic history. Weibrecht added the silver to the bronze he won in the event in Vancouver in 2010.
Russian Skicross Racer Maria Komissarova Fractures Spine
Russian skicross racer Maria Komissarova fractured her spine during a practice run on Sochi’s jump-filled course on Saturday.
A Russian team official said the 23-year-old Komissarova broke the 12th dorsal vertebrae in her lower back. She underwent extensive surgery on Saturday night to address the injury, and she was transported in “grave but stable” condition to a German clinic for further treatment on Sunday.
The Netherlands continued its strong Olympic showing, including a sweep of the women’s 1,500-meter speedskating long-track event Sunday.
The Dutch lead the overall medals count with 17, with the United States tied with Russia for second place with 16.
5 gold; 5 silver; 7 bronze
4 gold; 7 silver; 5 bronze
United States (16)
4 gold; 4 silver; 8 bronze
5 gold; 3 silver; 6 bronze
4 gold; 6 silver; 4 bronze