Other Sports

Olympic roundup

Men's hockey

Nothing about Thursday's practice suggested that the U.S. men's hockey team was just two wins from a most improbable gold medal.

The Americans meet Finland in a semifinal today, and some thoughts are starting to creep in about what could be in store if this unbeaten team keeps winning.

"That's only natural," said defenseman Brooks Orpik, a Stanley Cup champion with Pittsburgh last season. "If you're not thinking about that, then I think you're lying. I think that's good to kind of look ahead. You have to set your goals high, but at the same time not overlooking the game you have."

Whoever wins today will advance to the gold-medal game against Canada or Slovakia. It has been 30 years since the U.S. men won gold.

"We have a very difficult game against Finland," goalie Ryan Miller said. "They are very fast, they're very well organized. I don't think we got this far by looking ahead. We've always focused on that one game we needed. This will be a bigger test for our locker room to see if we can keep our heads in the right spot."

Nordic combined

Up in the mountains, Billy Demong and Johnny Spillane finished 1-2 in a Nordic combined race, a surprising medal haul in a sport that's been part of the Winter Olympics since 1924 but never had an American medalist until these games.

Demong's victory is the first gold and his second of these games. Spillane became the first medalist on Sunday, and now he has three, all silver.

"I think it has been building over the past five to 10 years," Demong said. "These Olympics are the combination of years of hard work and hard breaks."

Aerials

American Jeret "Speedy" Peterson pulled out his one-of-a-kind "Hurricane" jump and landed the highest score of the 24 jumps, but his two-jump total came up just shy of Alexei Grishin of Belarus.

Peterson's move wraps five twists into three somersaults as he vaults off the ramp and 50 feet in the air. Then, he stuck the landing.

Giant slalom

American Julia Mancuso was third fastest in Thursday's second run of the giant slalom, which wasn't enough to overcome a frustrating performance in the first run a day earlier. Her Vancouver Olympics ends with a pair of silver medals.

Viktoria Rebensburg won the race, giving Germany a winner in it for the first time since 1956. She was highly unlikely to be the drought-buster as she'd never won a major event.

Also, Lindsey Vonn plans to ski the slalom today with a hard, plastic brace protecting her right pinkie. She broke it during a tumble in the giant slalom.

Bobsledder detained

American bobsledder Bill Schuffenhauer was detained and released by Canadian police after an argument with his fiancee, a person with direct knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press.

Schuffenhauer, a silver medalist in 2002, resumed Olympic training Thursday and is expected to compete in today's four-man bobsled.

Police released him after finding no evidence of a crime, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

"I don't foresee any way that he would not race, regardless of how things progress," said Darrin Steele, chief executive of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation.

Cross-country skiing

Bjoergen joined the growing trend of skiers pausing on the way to the finish to grab a flag. Like the others who did it, she was well ahead.

Norway won its first women's relay gold since 1984, having settled for silver five times.

Bjoergen also won the individual sprint and 15K pursuit, and took bronze in the 10K freestyle.

The Americans were 12th.

NHL still unsure of 2014

In the ongoing dispute over whether the NHL will let its players participate in the 2014 Sochi Games, the head of Russia's pro hockey league says it would be a serious mistake for the NHL to stand in their way.

Alex Medvedev said he met three times in Vancouver with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Bettman is concerned about shutting down the NHL season during the Olympics. He also has doubts about an Olympics in which the hockey would be played at a time when many North American fans would be asleep.

Curling

The Norwegian men — and their popular, gaudy, diamond-print trousers — will meet Canada in the gold-medal final after beating Switzerland. Canada is attempting to become the first Olympic curling team to go unbeaten at the games since the sport returned as a medal event in 1998. It earned its own spot in the final by beating Sweden.

In the women's final, it'll be Sweden vs. Canada.

The defending gold medalists from Sweden KO'd the reigning world champion Chinese in one semifinal, and the hosts took out Switzerland on a late shot.

  Comments