Olympic Roundup: Finns deny Americans hockey medal


HOCKEY

SOCHI, Russia — Teemu Selanne and Jussi Jokinen tallied in an 11-second span early in the second period and Tuukka Rask stopped 27 shots, as Finland claimed yet another bronze medal thanks to a 5-0 decision over the United States on Saturday.

Selanne scored twice— presumably ending his Olympic career with 24 total markers— for the Finns, who claimed bronze for the fourth time since 1994.

Jussi Jokinen, Olli Maatta and Juuso Hietanen added a goal each, with Lauri Korpikoski and Mikael Granlund adding two assists apiece.

Rask’s shutout, his first of the tournament, was aided by stopping a pair of Patrick Kane penalty shots.

Jonathan Quick was left in for all five goals on 29 shots for the Americans, who saw the promise of another shot at a gold medal dissipate thanks to back- to-back scoreless outings.

It was a similar finish as the surprising 1992 Team USA squad, which shocked the world by reaching the semifinals, only to finish fourth after consecutive losses to the Unified Team and Czechoslovakia.

Selanne put his country ahead with a backhander from the left side at 1:27 of the second period, then Jokinen flipped home a rebound from the high slot shortly into the following shift to provide Finland a commanding 2-0 edge.

ALPINE SKIING

Austria’s Mario Matt became the oldest Alpine champion in Olympic history on Saturday when he captured the gold medal in the men’s slalom at the Sochi Games.

Of course, 18-year-old American Mikaela Shiffrin became the youngest woman to win this event on Friday.

Matt, who will be 35 in April, led all skiers after the first run and was the last competitor with a medal chance to brave what proved to be a very difficult course at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center his second time through.

With his teammate and heavily favored Marcel Hirscher ahead of him, Matt flawlessly glided his way down to the finish with a total time of 1 minute, 41.84 seconds, .28 seconds ahead of his compatriot, who is the current World Cup leader and the 2013 world champion.

Before Matt, Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt had been the oldest Alpine skier to win gold. Aamodt was 34 years, 170 days when he captured the super-G at the 2006 Turin Games.

Norwegian teenager Henrik Kristoffersen claimed the bronze with a time of 1:42.67.

Although Matt is a two-time world champion, this was his first Olympic medal of any kind in what will likely be his final Winter Games.

American Ted Ligety, who gave the U.S. alpine skiing team its first gold in Sochi with his win in the giant slalom on Wednesday, was sixth after his first run, but stumbled his second time out and did not finish the run.

Fellow American Bode Miller was expected to compete against his countrymate in the slalom, but tweaked his surgically repaired left knee in Wednesday’s giant slalom, leaving the 36-year-old six-time Olympic medalist unable to ski.

30-K

Krasnaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Marit Bjoergen won gold to lead Norway to a sweep of the medals in the women’s 30-kilomter mass start event Saturday at the Sochi Olympics.

Bjoergen finished the race with a time of 1 hour, 11 minutes, 5.2 seconds, beating Therese Johaug by 2.6 seconds for gold in the final women’s cross- country skiing event at the Sochi Games.

Kristin Stoermer Steira crossed the finish line 23.6 seconds behind Bjoergen to complete the Norwegian podium sweep.

SNOWBOARDING

American-born snowboarder Vic Wild earned his second gold medal of the Sochi Games for Russia, winning the men’s parallel slalom Saturday at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

Austria’s Julia Dujmovits won gold in the women’s competition on Saturday at the Sochi Games, rallying to defeat Germany’s Anke Karstens

Wild, who won gold at the parallel giant slalom event on Wednesday, beat Slovenia’s Zan Kosir by a total .11 seconds after two runs in the big final. Kosir, bronze medalist in the PGS, was .12 seconds behind Wild after the first run.

The 27-year-old Wild was born in White Salmon, Wash., and married Russian snowboarder Alena Zavarzina in 2011. He was granted Russian citizenship two years ago. Zavarzina won bronze in the women’s PGS in Sochi, but she placed 13th in Saturday’s parallel slalom.

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SPEEDSKATING

Another race, another gold and another Olympic record for the women speedskaters from the Netherlands.

The trio of Marrit Leenstra, Jorien ter Mors and Ireen Wust were never threatened by Poland on Saturday, winning the women’s team pursuit going away at the Sochi Olympics.

The Netherlands set an Olympic record on Friday in the quarterfinals of this event, finishing in 2 minutes and 58.61 seconds. The Dutch women then bettered that mark on Saturday in the semifinals with a time of 2:58.43 to beat Japan and advance.

Still with plenty left in the tank, the Netherlands raced out to a 1.64-second lead over Poland in the first lap of the final and continued to stretch that advantage throughout. When all was said and done, the Dutch finished the 12th and final lap 7.50 seconds ahead of Poland for another record time of 2:58.05.

The victory by the women came shortly after the men defeated South Korea in the pursuit race, also setting an Olympic record.

BOBSLEDDING

Russia had the fastest four-man bobsled team on Saturday following the first two of four scheduled heats to determine medals at the Sochi Olympics.

The Russian-1 sled had the quickest time in the first heat at 54.82 seconds before finishing fourth in the second run with a time of 55.37. That gave the group a total time of 1 minute, 50.19 seconds.

That is just 0.04 seconds ahead of Latvia, which used the fastest second-heat time of 55.13 to jump into second place.

The first sleds by both Germany and the U.S. were 2-3, respectively, after the first heat, but were bumped down a slot by Latvia after the second run. Germany is 0.16 seconds behind Russia, with the U.S. another 0.01 ticks back.

The final two heats to determine medals will take place on Sunday.

 

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