Four Nations Cup

Canada beats U.S. women’s hockey again at Four Nations Cup

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The U.S.-Canada women’s hockey rivalry is going through yet another stretch of one-sided results.

The nations have played three times this fall. Canada has won all three, including two in the U.S. The latest was a 4-2 game at the Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Wednesday night.

“Any time you don’t win, it should sting,” U.S. coach Katey Stone said. “There’s no question about it. We want it to sting. You want to eliminate that experience from continuing to happen.”

Canada’s Natalie Spooner broke a 2-2 tie on a 5-on-3 power play with 3 minutes, 30 seconds left on Wednesday. The win was all the more impressive given Canada left three veteran stars off its roster for the tournament — Hayley WickenheiserCaroline Ouellette and Marie-Philip Poulin. It also rested No. 1 goalie Shannon Szabados against the U.S.

Lyndsey Fry and Kelli Stack scored for the United States.

The U.S., which beat Canada in Canada for the World Championship in April, plays Finland on Friday and will likely face Canada again in the Four Nations Cup championship game Saturday.

“I think we’re overthinking this a little bit and trying to make this a much more complicated game than it needs to be,” Stone said. “Credit to Canada. They put a lot of pressure on us, too. We’ve got to firm up some things on our defensive end, but our game is pressure. Speed, pressure, quickness with the puck. We just didn’t show up to do that, consistently, until the third period.”

The U.S. and Canada played at least eight times in the months leading into each of the last four Olympics. Here’s how those results went:

1998 — Canada starts 2-1, goes 7-6 overall. U.S. wins Olympic gold.
2002 — U.S. goes 8-0. Canada wins Olympic gold.
2006 — Canada starts 6-0, goes 8-2 overall. Canada wins Olympic gold.
2010 — U.S. starts 2-1, but Canada goes 7-3 overall. Canada wins Olympic gold.

Slovakia’s hockey jerseys have national anthem lyrics on them

Nathan Chen holds off Yuzuru Hanyu to win first Grand Prix

AP
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U.S. champion Nathan Chen opened the Grand Prix season by beating Olympic gold-medal favorite Yuzuru Hanyu.

Chen, 18, held off Hanyu at Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, totaling 293.79 points to win by 3.02 over the Japanese megastar.

Full scores are here.

Chen landed four quadruple jumps in a strong but imperfect free skate for his first Grand Prix title in his second senior international season.

“I got a little tired halfway through the program and started faltering a little bit on the second quad toe – that was a big mistake,” Chen said, according to the International Skating Union .”I can’t let things like that happen in the future. But this is my first Grand Prix win, and I’m very happy with that.”

Hanyu outscored Chen in the free skate, but the American benefited from his 5.69-point lead from Friday’s short program.

Hanyu, the reigning Olympic and world champion, has never won his opening Grand Prix start in eight tries.

He did three quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate rather than the planned five, but did not fall as he did in the short program.

Chen has now outscored Hanyu in three of their last four head-to-head events dating to February. Hanyu got the better of Chen at the most important event — winning the world championships, where the American was sixth.

Also Saturday, two-time world medalists Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani won the ice dance with 189.24 points, sweeping both the short and free programs.

The siblings and U.S. champions have now won four straight Grand Prix titles (not counting the Grand Prix Final).

They won by 4.5 points over Russians Yekaterina Bobrova and Dmitry Soloviyev.

The world’s top two couples were not in the field — Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron.

Russia swept the pairs podium, led by world bronze medalists Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov.

The top pairs teams from the rest of the world — including world champions Sui Wenjing and Han Cong — were not in the field.

The Rostelecom Cup women’s free skate is later Saturday.

The Grand Prix season continues next weekend with Skate Canada, headlined by three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner and three-time world champion Patrick Chan.

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Rostelecom Cup
Men
1. Nathan Chen (USA) — 293.79
2. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) — 290.77
3. Mikhail Kolyada (RUS) — 271.06
11. Grant Hochstein (USA) — 206.09

Ice Dance
1. Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) — 189.24
2. Yekaterina Bobrova/Dmitry Soloviyev (RUS) — 184.74
3. Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) — 179.35
7. Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons (USA) — 148.75

Pairs
1. Yevgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) — 224.25
2. Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov (RUS) — 204.43
3. Kristina Astakhova/Aleksey Rogonov (RUS) — 199.11
7. Marissa Castelli/Mervin Tran (USA) — 170.53

Olympic ski cross champion suffers serious knee injury

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Canadian Marielle Thompson, the reigning Olympic and World Cup ski cross champion, ruptured an ACL and MCL in a training crash in Switzerland.

Alpine Canada did not say when the accident happened or what Thompson’s chances are of returning to defend her Olympic title in PyeongChang.

Thompson flew from Switzerland to Vancouver for an MRI that confirmed the injury.

“I’ll be making a plan with my team moving forward and when the time is right getting back on the ski cross course stronger than ever,” Thompson said in a press release.

Thompson, 25, tore a meniscus in January 2015 and returned to competition 11 months later. She won seven of the 13 World Cup races last season.

Other Olympic medal contenders include Swede Sandra Näslund and Swiss Fanny Smith.

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