Published January 08, 2015
Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - The United States went to T.J. Oshie six times in a thrilling shootout Saturday and he scored four times, including the winner in a 3-2 victory over Russia at the Sochi Olympics.
Jonathan Quick made five saves for the U.S. in the eight-round shootout, which the Americans won 4-3.
Quick turned away Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk, but couldn't stop Ilya Kovalchuk's bid in the third round as the former NHLer extended the tiebreaker.
International rules allow a player to go multiple times in the shootout and American head coach Dan Bylsma went back to and stuck with Oshie, who opened the shootout by beating Sergei Bobrovsky.
Russia, meanwhile, stayed with the Datsyuk-Kovalchuk tandem.
Oshie, who is tied for the NHL lead with seven shootout goals this season, twice kept the Americans alive by countering Russian tallies and, after Quick lunged to his left to deny Kovalchuk in the eighth round, Oshie, on his fifth consecutive attempt, put the puck behind Bobrovsky as Team USA won both of its first two games in Group A play.
Quick finished with 29 saves through regulation and overtime.
The Americans had a prime opportunity to win the game in the five-minute extra session, but Bobrovsky closed his pads to stop Patrick Kane on a breakaway, one of 31 saves for the Russian netminder.
The host Russians appeared to have broken a 2-2 tie on a Fedor Tyutin point shot with 4:40 remaining in regulation. However, the goal was disallowed because the net was dislodged.
Team USA grabbed a 2-1 lead when Kane set up Joe Pavelski for a power-play goal at 9:27 of the third period.
Datsyuk's second goal, this one on a power play, tied the game with 7:16 remaining in the third. He fired a shot from the right circle through heavy traffic and past a screened Quick.
After a scoreless first period, the Russians took a 1-0 lead at 9:15 of the middle frame. Datsyuk gathered a pass from Andrei Markov, split U.S. defensemen John Carlson and Brooks Orpik and snapped a shot off the right post and behind Quick.
The Americans pulled even at 16:34 of the second period on a power-play goal that went in off the skate of Cam Fowler, who pinched down from his point position.
Russia has split its first two games.
SWEDEN BEATS LATVIA, GOES 3-0 IN GROUP PLAY
Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Daniel Alfredsson, Alexander Edler and Erik Karlsson each had a goal and an assist on Saturday and Sweden went undefeated in group play at the Olympics with a 5-3 win over Latvia.
Patrik Berglund and Jimmie Ericsson also scored for Sweden, which wrapped up a 3-0 record in Group C after also beating Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
Henrik Lundqvist gave up three goals on 23 shots but was good enough to get the win in net.
Lauris Darzins, Janis Sprukts and Zemgus Girgensons scored for Latvia, which fell to 0-3. Kristers Gudlevskis allowed all five goals on 30 shots.
Sweden's first four goals all came on the power play, including all three in the second period to come back from a 2-1 deficit.
Karlsson's blast from inside the blue line tied the game 1:23 after Sprukts had given Latvia the lead with a redirection on the power play just 1:22 into the second period.
Later, Alfredsson's one-timer from the left circle gave Sweden the lead for good and Ericsson scored on a rebound off the end boards with 1:13 remaining in the period to make it 4-2.
Girgensons pulled Latvia within 4-3 on a rebound 1:28 into the third but Edler gave the Swedes some breathing room with 7:40 remaining, scoring from the left side through traffic for Sweden's only even-strength goal.
Earlier, Berglund opened the scoring 15:50 into the game on a deflection and Darzins scored just under three minutes later to tie it for Latvia.
HILLER, SWISS SHUT OUT CZECH REPUBLIC
Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Jonas Hiller stopped all 26 shots he faced and Simon Bodenmann's first period goal stood up, as Switzerland skated past the Czech Republic 1-0 on Saturday at the Sochi Olympics.
Switzerland, which ended round robin play 2-1 and in second place in Group C, has scored just two goals in the tournament, but has allowed only one.
Hiller was up to the task again Saturday, turning aside eight shots in the first period, 10 in the second and eight in the third for his second shutout of these Olympics.
Hiller also blanked Latvia, but was not in net for a loss to Sweden.
The Czechs are 1-2 and finished third in the group, ahead of only 0-3 Latvia.
On the goal, Denis Hollenstein slid a pass from behind the net to Bodenmann, who went top shelf past Ondrej Pavelec for Switzerland's 1-0 advantage with 5:50 remaining in the first period.
The Czechs had plenty of opportunities, but were stymied by Hiller at every pass.
Their best chance may have come in the final period when captain Tomas Plekanec rifled a point-blank shot from the circle, but Hiller just batted it away.
Plekanec, who led the Czechs with four shots on goal, had a similar chance earlier in the game to no avail.
Pavelec stopped 25 shots in the loss.
SLOVENIA USES THIRD-PERIOD FLURRY TO UPEND SLOVAKIA
Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Anze Kopitar was one of three third- period scorers for Slovenia to help the country earn its first ever Olympic hockey win in a 3-1 victory over Slovakia in Saturday's game at Bolshoy Ice Dome.
Kopitar, the first Slovenian to ever play in the NHL, joined countrymen Rok Ticar and Tomaz Razingar as goal-scorers to help Slovakia improve to 1-1 in Group A play at the Sochi Games. Slovenia had opened its first Olympic hockey tournament with a 5-2 loss to Russia on Thursday.
Robert Kristan made 27 saves for Slovenia in the upset win and he came just 18 seconds away from posting a shutout.
Tomas Jurco scored the lone goal for Slovakia, which fell to 0-2 in the tournament after getting slammed 7-1 by the United States on Thursday.
Goaltender Jaroslav Halak of the NHL's St. Louis Blues surrendered three goals on 31 shots in the loss.
Neither team was able to score over the first two periods, but Slovenia received the break it needed when Slovakia's Andrej Meszaros was whistled for cross-checking 1:36 into the third period. With time winding down on the man advantage, Slovakia defenseman Andrej Sekera turned the puck over along the end boards to Ziga Jeglic. Jeglic then found Ticar in front of the net and the latter player sent a backhander between Halak's pads.
The Slovenes then made it a 3-0 game with a pair of quick goals near the midway point of the third. Razingar tallied at 8:59 of the final period and Kopitar tallied just 23 seconds later to give Slovenia a three-goal cushion.
Razingar scored on a one-time blast from the lower left circle. Halak had made a save on a shot from the right side before the puck trickled out to Razingar, who wound up and ripped the puck into the net.
Kopitar made it 3-0 at the 9:22 mark after a terrific individual effort. The Los Angeles Kings star held the puck along the right boards and stickhandled all the way to the left circle before patiently wristing a shot past Halak.
The score remained 3-0 until Jurco converted on a power-play for the Slovaks with only 18 seconds left in the contest.
Like the score, the shots were even through two periods with each team registering 19 shots on net at the end of 40 minutes. Slovakia had a trio of power-play chances in the second period, but was unable to convert on any of them.
The Slovaks carried the final 44 seconds of a man advantage into the third before Ticar broke the scoreless tie with his power-play marker for Slovenia.
Both teams will be back in action Sunday, when Slovenia takes on the U.S. and Slovakia faces off with Russia.
AUSTRIA'S FENNINGER WINS GOLD IN WOMEN'S SUPER-G
Krasnaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Austrian alpine skier Anna Fenninger won gold in the women's Super-G on Saturday at the Sochi Olympics from Rosa Khutor Alpine Center.
Fenninger recorded the fastest time on a tricky Super-G course that left 18 skiers unable to finish. The 24-year-old Austrian posted a time of 1 minute, 25.52 seconds, .55 seconds faster than super combined champion Maria Hoefl- Riesch of Germany.
Fenninger became the third straight Austrian woman to grab gold in the Super- G, while countrymate Nicole Hosp, the runner-up to Hoefl-Riesch in the super combined, posted a time of 1:26.18 to bring home bronze.
American Julia Mancuso, the bronze medalist in the super combined, finished in eighth with a time of 1:27.04.
Swiss skier Laura Gut, who won bronze at these Olympics in the women's downhill, finished in fourth, followed by downhill co-champion Tina Maze of Slovenia.
Swiss Dominique Gisin, who shared the downhill gold with Maze, crashed during her trip down the slope, while Marie-Pier Prefontaine posted the best result of any Canadian in the competition after ending up in 20th.
STOCH JUMPS TO ANOTHER GOLD IN LARGE HILL
Krasnaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Polish ski jumper Kamil Stoch captured his second gold medal at the Sochi Olympics on Saturday, winning the men's large hill competition.
Stoch, who also won gold in the normal hill, led all jumpers after the first round and jumped 132.3 meters in the final for a total of 278.7 points to narrowly edge Japan's Noriaki Kasai by 1.3 points.
Stoch became the third man to sweep the individual ski jumping events at the same Winter Games, joining Matti Nykanen of Finland (Calgary 1988) and Simon Ammann of Switzerland (Salt Lake City 2002 and Vancouver 2010).
Kasai, 41, earned his first medal since he picked up a silver in the large hill event at the 1994 Lillehammer Games. Along with Russian luger Albert Demtschenko, Kasai is competing in a record seventh Winter Olympics.
Slovakian Peter Prevc finished third, 3.9 points behind Stoch. He won silver in the normal hill earlier in these games.
The four-time Olympic gold medal winner Amman, who barely qualified and was 29th going into the final round, managed a 23rd-place finish.
The U.S., which has had only two top-10 finishes in this event since 1980, did not qualify any jumpers for the final.
KALLA, SWEDEN STEAL GOLD IN WOMEN'S CROSS-COUNTRY RELAY
Krasnaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Sweden won the gold medal in the women's 4x5-kilometer cross-country relay on Saturday behind a strong anchor leg by Charlotte Kalla.
Sweden trailed by almost 30 seconds heading into the final leg, but Kalla, the silver medalist in the 10km and skiathlon at Sochi, slowly but surely cut into the deficit before speeding past Krista Lahteenmaki of Finland and Denise Herrmann of Germany on the home stretch to secure Sweden's first gold in Sochi.
The Swedes posted a total time of 53 minutes, 2.7 seconds, while Finland built off its bronze medal effort in this event at the Vancouver Games by securing silver with a time of 53:03.2.
Germany, the silver medalists in Vancouver, brought home bronze after finishing .4 seconds after the Finns.
Norway had been dominant in this event since winning gold in 2010, but the 2011 and 2013 World Champions stumbled to a fifth-place finish on Saturday.
The United States, anchored by Jessica Diggins, ended up in ninth place.
TRETIAKOV WINS RUSSIA'S 1ST SKELETON GOLD
Rzhanaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Alexander Tretiakov completed a wire-to-wire win in the men's skeleton competition Saturday for Russia's first Olympic gold medal in the sport.
The United States won its second skeleton medal in two days, Matthew Antoine's bronze, but also suffered heartbreak when John Daly slipped out of the track at the start to ruin his chance at a medal.
Tretiakov had .56-second lead over favorite Martins Dukurs of Latvia after two runs Friday and extended it to .81 seconds after the last two runs Saturday.
Dukurs, the youngest of two brothers in competition, settled for his second straight Olympic silver medal. Tomass Dukurs ended fourth, .32 seconds out of a medal.
Antoine's bronze was the first U.S. Olympic medal in men's skeleton since Jim Shea Jr.'s gold in 2002, when the sport made its return to the Winter Games at Salt Lake City after an absence of 54 years.
Noelle Pikus-Pace earned silver for the U.S. in the women's competition on Friday.
"It's going to take some time to process it for sure, but it's the greatest moment of my life without a doubt," said Antoine. "I've been preparing for this moment, but it's still just unreal right now."
Sliders in skeleton keep one runner of their sled in a groove cut into the track as they charge down the ice at the start of their runs.
Daly was in fourth place by just .04 seconds after being leapfrogged by his teammate in the third run, but he couldn't keep the right runner of his sled in the track to start his fourth run.
He lost too much time and was left with nearly a minute to think about the mistake as he navigated the rest of the Sanki Sliding Center track.
Daly, 28, slipped all the way to 15th place. He finished 17th four years ago at the Vancouver Olympics.
"I went for it," he said, "and I don't regret going for it"
Daly said he wished he had one more chance.
"The sole blame was on myself; there's no one else to blame here but me," he said. "I know I left it all there, but I really do wish for the first time in my career that I had a second chance, and I didn't have to wait four more years."
Tretiakov started with a track-record time of 55.95 seconds on Friday and held his lead over Martins Dukurs all the way through. He finished with an overall time of 3 minutes, 44.29 seconds.
The younger Dukurs was the only slider with a chance to catch him and managed to trim .02 seconds off the Russian's lead after the third run. But Tretiakov beat the Latvian by .27 seconds on the final run to win the gold going away.
Tretiakov improved on his bronze medal from 2010, when he finished behind Canada's Jon Montgomery and Martins Dukurs.
Montgomery was one of the home stars of the Vancouver Olympics, but did not qualify for Sochi and told The Canadian Press he was "99 percent" sure he was going to retire.
Canada's top finisher Saturday was John Fairbairn in seventh place. Teammate Eric Neilson ended 13th
Only 20 of the 27 riders qualified for the fourth run. American Kyle Tress missed it by one spot.
BOBROVSKY TO START IN NET FOR RUSSIA VS. TEAM USA
Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Russia's men's hockey team has decided to go with goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky between the pipes for Saturday's matchup with the United States at the Sochi Olympics.
Bobrovsky will be making his first career start at the Olympics, replacing netminder Semyon Varlamov, who got the start in Thursday's opener and allowed two goals on 14 shots in a 5-2 win over Slovenia.
Bobrovsky, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner for the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets, is 20-14-3 over 37 games for the Blue Jackets this season.
The United States and Russia are both 1-0 in Group A play heading into Saturday's showdown.
SWITZERLAND, SWEDEN ADVANCE TO SEMIS IN SOCHI
Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - The medal round is now set for women's ice hockey at the Sochi Games, as Switzerland and Sweden both advanced to the semifinals with wins on Saturday.
Switzerland moved into the medal round for the first time, as Florence Schelling stopped all 41 shots she faced in a 2-0 win over Russia.
The Swiss, who had finished last in the top-tier Group A that included the top four teams in the world rankings, will now play Canada in a semifinal matchup on Monday. Canada, of course, posted a 5-0 win over Switzerland earlier in the tournament.
Russia had rolled through group play undefeated, but gave up a first period goal and was unable to solve Shelling. It will now face Japan in a classification game on Sunday.
Russia dominated play in the early going, but it was Switzerland which got on the board first for its first lead of the tournament, as Stefanie Marty rifled a shot past Anna Prugova from between the circles midway through the opening stanza.
Schelling made it stand up, as she stopped all 19 shots she faced in the third period to help Switzerland advance.
Lara Stadler iced it with an empty netter with 21 seconds to play.
In the other quarterfinal matchup on Saturday, Emma Eliasson scored the game- winner on the power play with 4:15 remaining to send Sweden into the medal round with a 4-2 win over Finland.
Lina Wester, Anna Borgqvist and Emma Nordin each scored once, while Valentina Wallner made 29 saves for Sweden, which exacted a measure of revenge for a loss to Finland in the bronze medal game in Vancouver.
Pernilla Winberg recorded three assists for the Swedes, who will square off with the United States in the semifinals on Monday.
Venla Hovi and Emma Nuutinen lit the lamp for Finland, which missed out on the medal round at the Olympics for the first time. Noora Raty made 28 saves in defeat.
Finland will play Germany in a classification game on Sunday.
With the score tied 2-2 late in the third, Finland's Emma Terho was whistled for interference and the Swedes quickly capitalized.
Sweden won the ensuing offensive zone faceoff and worked the disc to the high slot, where Eliasson fired a heavy slapper that slipped through a bevy of bodies in front and past Raty's glove to make it 3-2 with 4:15 to play.
Raty left the Finland cage in favor of an extra attacker with just over a minute left, but Nordin found the empty net with 41 seconds left to seal the outcome.
After a scoreless first frame, Hovi got Finland on the board late in the second when she pounded home a rebound from the slot with 6:44 on the clock.
However, Hovi was sent off for holding late in the frame, and Borgqvist buried a rebound with the Swedes on the power play 48 seconds into the third to make it 1-1.
Wester's one-timer from the slot off a behind-the-net feed from Winberg gave Sweden a 2-1 lead 5:09 into the third, but Nuutinen answered with a one-timer of her own just 12 seconds later to retie the score.
BRODKA WINS 1,500 GOLD FOR POLAND; DAVIS 11TH
Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Poland's Zbigniew Brodka claimed his country's first gold medal in Olympic speedskating, winning the men's 1,500 meters by mere thousandths of a second.
Brodka and Koen Verweij of the Netherlands both finished the race in 1 minutes, 45 seconds, but after the times were adjusted to the next decimal point the Polish skater was ahead by .006 seconds.
It's the first Olympic medal for Brodka, who was 27th in the 1,500 at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Verweij also claimed his first medal at a Winter Games.
Canadian Denny Morrison, who was ninth in this event in Vancouver and a surprise silver medalist in the 1,000 meters earlier this week, claimed bronze with a time of 1:45.22.
American Shani Davis finished 11th in the event, crossing the finish line .98 seconds after Brodka. Davis won silver in this event and a gold in the 1,000 four years ago in Vancouver, but is still without a medal in Sochi. He placed eighth in the 1,000 and 24th in the 500.
Brian Hansen had the best showing for a U.S. skater, placing seventh with a time of 1:45.59 seconds.
The U.S. team switched suits for this event, ditching the new uniform made by Under Armour specifically for the Sochi Games in favor of an earlier model. The suits worn on Saturday -- also made by Under Armour -- were previously used by the Americans at World Cup races and the Olympic trials. The suit change was approved by the International Skating Union hours before Saturday's event.
However, the costume change did little to change the results on the ice, as the Americans continued to struggle at Adler Arena. The U.S. has failed to claim a single speedskating medal at the Sochi Games after winning four at the 2010 Vancouver Games. All of the medals four years ago came on the men's side with Davis leading the way with a second straight gold in the 1,000 while also adding his silver in the 1,500.
Americans Joey Mantia and Jonathan Kuck finished in 22nd and 37th place, respectively.
The Dutch men failed to win gold in men's speedskating for the first time in Sochi. The Netherlands still has nine of the 12 total medals -- three gold, three silver and three bronze -- awarded for men's speedskating at these Olympics.
Dutch skater Mark Tuitert was the defending gold medalist in this event and came in fifth place on Saturday. Countryman Stefan Groothuis, winner of the 1,000 in Sochi, finished 12th.
ZHOU REPEATS AS OLYMPIC CHAMPION IN 1,500
Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - China's Zhou Yang successfully defended her gold medal in the women's 1,500-meter short track speedskating event, taking the final race with a late surge Saturday at the Sochi Olympics.
Zhou trailed South Korea's Shim Suk Hee heading into the penultimate lap at Iceberg Skating Palace, but made a move to take the lead before the final time around the track. Zhou was able to hold her place and finished with a winning time of 2 minutes, 19.140 seconds -- .99 seconds ahead of Shim.
Italy's Arianna Fontana was third with a time of 2:19.416 seconds to pick up the bronze. Fontana won silver in the 500 earlier in Sochi and now has four Olympic medals.
Emily Scott of the United States placed fifth after earning a spot in the medal race due to a penalty by South Korea's Cho Ha-Ri in a semifinal race. It was ruled Cho interfered with the American while the skaters were coming around a turn.
Scott had a time of 2:39.436 in the final race.
China's Li Jianrou, who won gold in the 500 on Thursday, and South Korea's Kim Alang were involved in a crash in the final race. Kim was eliminated from medal contention for her part in the collision and Li failed to finish the race.
China and South Korea have won 10 of the 12 Olympic medals awarded in the women's 1,500 since its debut in 2002.
AHN WINS 1,000 AS RUSSIA TAKES GOLD, SILVER
Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Russia claimed gold and silver in men's short track speedskating Saturday at the Sochi Games, as Viktor Ahn won the 1,000 meters by finishing just ahead of countryman Vladimir Grigorev.
Ahn picked up his sixth Olympic medal overall and his second of the Sochi Games. He won Saturday's final with a time of 1 minute, 25.325 seconds, finishing just .074 seconds ahead of Grigorev. Ahn won bronze in the 1,500 meters earlier in Sochi.
Ahn won four medals, including gold in the 1,000, for South Korea at the 2006 Turin Games. However he failed to qualify for the 2010 Olympics and after a falling out with his South Korea, the 28-year-old Russian citizen decided to compete for this year's host nation.
Grigorev, who finished eighth at this distance at the 2013 World Championships, picked up his first Olympic medal.
Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands earned bronze with a time of 1:25.611. China's Wu Dajing was fourth and .161 seconds behind Knegt.
It was not a good day for the American men as J.R. Celski, Chris Creveling and Eduardo Alvarez all failed to make it out of the quarterfinals.
Canadian Charles Hamelin, winner of the 1,500 in Sochi, also failed to make it to the semifinals after crashing in his quarterfinal heat.
7-0 CANADA INTO SEMIS IN WOMEN'S CURLING
Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Canada clinched the first semifinal spot in women's curling Saturday, winning two more times to remain unbeaten at the Sochi Olympics.
Canada, chasing its first Olympic gold medal in women's curling since 1998, beat Japan 8-6 in the morning session and topped Russia 5-3 in the evening.
There were seven matches on the women's side.
The last-place United States team fell to 1-6 after losing a heartbreaker to two-time reigning Olympic champion Sweden, which won on a measurment in the last end to move to 5-2 for second place behind Canada.
The loss officially eliminated the U.S. from playoff contention.
On the men's side, China beat Russia 9-6 and Sweden defeated Germany 8-4 as both nations remained tied atop the standings at 6-1.
Canada, which has won the last two Olympic gold medals, improved to 5-2 with a 7-5 win over Great Britain while the U.S. men's team had the day off.
RUSSIAN FREESTYLE SKIER BROKE BACK IN CRASH
Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - A Russian skicross racer who broke her back in a training crash Saturday was in "serious but stable" condition after having surgery.
Maria Komissarova underwent a 6 1/2-hour procedure after suffering a fracture and dislocation of her T12 vertebra, the Freestyle Federation of Russia said.
During the operation, which took place after Komissarova, 23, was rushed from the venue to a hospital built for the Olympics, doctors fitted her with a metal implant.
Komissarova was in "serious but stable" condition and was conscious after the surgery, according to the ski federation, which said her full prognosis will not be known for "three or four days."
Komissarova was visited in the hospital by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who "wished her a speedy recovery," according to presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
The women's skicross event will take place next Friday without Komissarova, who had a World Cup season-best 16th-place finish in Italy in December.