Winter olympics: Canada claims women’s goldCanada is halfway there in its bid to win two gold medals in hockey at home. The Canadian women beat the United States 2-0 on Thursday for their third straight Olympic title. In a showdown between the sport’s two powers, Marie-Philip Poulin scored twice and Shannon Szabados made 28 saves as the Canadian women extended their Olympic winning streak to 15. The streak dates to the 1998 Nagano Games, when the United States beat Canada for the gold medal.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Canada is halfway there in its bid to win two gold medals in hockey at home.
The Canadian women beat the United States 2-0 on Thursday for their third straight Olympic title. In a showdown between the sport’s two powers, Marie-Philip Poulin scored twice and Shannon Szabados made 28 saves as the Canadian women extended their Olympic winning streak to 15.
The streak dates to the 1998 Nagano Games, when the United States beat Canada for the gold medal.
Thursday’s game was played before a sea of red and white-adorned, cowbell-ringing, maple leaf flag-waving fans who packed Canada Hockey Place. Also in attendance were Wayne Gretzky, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and members of the Canadian men’s team, which faces Slovakia on Friday in a semifinal.
Earlier in the day, Finland beat Sweden 3-2 in overtime to win the bronze. Finland hadn’t won a medal since taking bronze when women’s hockey debuted at the 1998 Winter Olympics.
Billy Demong and Johnny Spillane finished 1-2 in a Nordic combined race Thursday, 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.
Spillane became the first on Sunday — and now he has three, all silver. Demong’s victory is the first gold and his second overall. Both were part of a second-place finish in the team event Tuesday.
“I think it has been building over the past five to 10 years,” Demong said. “We knew we had three guys who could medal on any given day.”
This race involved ski jumping on the large hill, then a 10-kilometer race. Weather was another obstacle.
A driving, wet snow and tail wind late in the ski jumping portion ruined the distances for many of the top competitors, forcing them to start way back in the cross-country race. Demong and Spillane were among those to win the weather “lottery,” as World Cup leader Jason Lamy Chappuis of France called it.
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.
“It just wasn’t enough,” said Mancuso, who finishes these Winter Olympics 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.
“Unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable,” she said.
Also, Lindsey Vonn plans to ski the slalom Friday with a hard, plastic brace protecting her right pinkie. She broke it during a tumble in the giant slalom Wednesday that left her “a ball of hurt right now,” according to her husband, Thomas.
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 Friday’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.
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.
WOMEN”S FIGURE SKATING
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — South Korea's Kim Yu-na has won the women's figure skating gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics — and did it by setting a record.
Kim shattered her own world mark by scoring 228.56 points, more than 18 higher than her previous record. She is the winner of South Korea's first Olympic medal in the sport.
Mao Asada of Japan won the silver, but finished 23 points behind Kim.
Joannie Rochette, whose mother died four days ago, got the bronze, Canada's first women's medal in the games since 1988.
American Mirai Nagasu finished fourth.