Shiffrin’s big finish lands U.S. another golden moment in South Korea

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 15: Gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States poses on the podium after the Ladies' Giant Slalom on day six of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Yongpyong Alpine Centre on February 15, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — Michelle Karvinen scored two power-play goals and Finland beat the Olympic athletes from Russia 5-1 to finish third in the top group of women’s hockey behind Canada and the United States.

Finland will play Sweden in the quarterfinals Saturday for a slot in the semifinal against Canada, the defending gold medalist. Still winless, the Russians will play Switzerland, with the winner advancing to a semifinal against the U.S.

Riikka Valila and Pera Nieminen each had a goal and an assist for Finland on Thursday, and Minamarri Tuominen added a goal. Goaltender Noora Raty made 24 saves for her eighth career Olympic victory.

Anna Shokhina scored the Russians’ first goal of this tournament in the third period.

WOMEN’S 15-KILOMETER BIATHLON:

Sweden’s Hanna Oeberg has pulled off a major upset in the women’s 15-kilometer biathlon at the Pyeongchang Olympics, beating out two-time gold medalist Laura Dahlmeier to capture the gold medal.

Oeberg entered the race ranked 42nd in the World Cup standings in the individual event. She was in tears Thursday after winning her first medal in her first Olympic Games by hitting all 20 shots.

Slovakia’s Anastasiya Kuzmina took home silver, and Germany’s Dahlmeier captured the bronze.

Dahlmeier won the previous two biathlon events in Pyeongchang and looked almost unbeatable, but she had one costly miss that led to an automatic one-minute penalty.

 

WOMEN’S 10-KILOMETER FREESTYLE:

Ragnhild Haga of Norway has won her first gold medal in the women’s 10-kilometer freestyle at the Pyeongchang Olympics, dusting the field by more than 20 seconds.

She finished in just over 25 minutes Thursday.

Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla won her second medal of the Olympic Games by finishing in second, while Norway’s Mart Bjoergen and Finland’s Krista Parmakoski finished tied for third with identical times of 25 minutes, 32.4 seconds.

It is the 12th career medal for Bjoergen, leaving the 37-year-old one shy of matching the record of 13 held by Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen.

USA’s Jessica Diggins finished in fifth place and now has three top-six finishes at the Olympic Games.

 

MEN’S SNOWBOARDCROSS:

Pierre Vaultier of France has defended his title in men’s snowboardcross at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Vaultier barely qualified for the final after crashing during the semifinals but recovered to win his second Olympic gold medal on Thursday with relative ease.

Jarryd Hughes of Australia took silver, with Spain’s Regino Hernandez earning a rare Winter Games medal for his country by taking bronze.

Americans Nick Baumgartner and Mick Dierdorff advanced to the final, but both washed out on a jump and finished well back of the leaders.

 

WOMEN’S GIANT SLALOM:

American Mikaela Shiffrin has won gold in the women’s giant slalom in her Pyeongchang Olympic debut.

She used a hard-charging final run to win her second career Olympic gold medal.

The 22-year-old American standout trailed by 0.20 seconds heading into the last run, but made up ground in no time by powering through ruts that had developed on the course.

Shiffrin finished 0.39 seconds ahead of Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel at Yongpyong Alpine Center. Federica Brignone of Italy captured bronze, 0.46 behind Shiffrin’s combined time of 2 minutes, 20.02 seconds. First-run leader Manuela Moelgg of Italy wound up eighth.

At the 2014 Sochi Games, Shiffrin won the slalom crown at age 18. She will defend that title Friday.

There were still 37 lower-ranked ski racers left to go, all of whom were well back of the leaders after the first run.

 

WOMEN’S HOCKEY:

Defending gold medalist Canada has clinched the top spot in pool play by edging the United States 2-1 in an early Olympic showdown between the dominant powers in women’s hockey.

Meghan Agosta and Sara Nurse each scored in the second period, and Genevieve Lacasse made 44 saves. Canada and the United States are the only countries to ever win gold at the Olympics.

Lacasse stopped Hilary Knight at the post inside the final 90 seconds. Brianne Decker hit two posts, the second in the final seconds, before punching, pushing and shoving. Officials reviewed the final play and ruled no goal.

The Canadians also had two goals disallowed, the second midway through the third for Haley Irwin kicking the puck in off her left skate.

The Americans have not taken home gold since 1998, while Canada is here looking for a fifth straight.

 

MEN’S HOCKEY:

Eeli Tolvanen shined with a goal and three assists as Finland flashed skill and sharp shooting to beat Germany 5-2 in each team’s Olympic opener.

Tolvanen, the Nashville Predators’ top prospect, scored at even strength and assisted on a power-play goal by Sami Lepisto and captain Lasse Kukkonen’s first goal in the Olympics or world championships since 2006. Former Philadelphia Flyers forward Mika Pyorala also scored for Finland on Thursday.

Former New York Islanders goaltender Mikko Koskinen stopped 22 of 24 shots for the victory. Germany goaltender Danny aus den Birken allowed five goals on 20 shots.

Brooks Macek and Frank Hordler scored for Germany, which could not match Finland’s firepower.

Stars prospect Miro Heiskanen had a turnover that led to one of Germany’s goals but played a strong game overall.

 

PAIRS FIGURE SKATING:

Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany have won Olympic pairs figure skating gold with a flawless, record-setting free skate.

Savchenko and Massot scored 159.31 points in their program set to music by Armand Amar on the final day of pairs skating at the Pyeongchang Games. That gave them 235.90 points, catapulting them from fourth place after a shaky short program. It’s Germany’s first pairs gold since 1952.

China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, who led after the short program, recovered from a slow start to their free skate to score 153.08 points. But their early bobbles proved costly — they finished with 235.47 points, less than half a point off the top step of the podium.

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford added a bronze medal after winning team gold with Canada.

 

MEN’S DOWNHILL SKIING:

Aksel Lund Svindal has won the men’s downhill in Pyeongchang, making the 35-year-old Norwegian the oldest-ever Olympic gold medalist in Alpine skiing.

Svindal was 0.12 seconds faster than Norwegian teammate Kjetil Jansrud down the 1 4/5-mile (2.9-kilometer) course at Jeongseon. Beat Feuz of Switzerland took bronze, 0.18 behind Svindal’s time of 1 minute, 40.25 seconds.

Lower-ranked skiers are yet to start in the 57-racer lineup, though none is regarded as a threat to the medal-winning times.

The men’s downhill was one of three Alpine races that were supposed to be held earlier in the week, but were postponed because of gusty winds.

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