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

Germans dominate women’s skeleton at world championships

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Germans Jacqueline Loelling and Tina Hermann went one-two at the skeleton world championships at home in Koenigssee on Saturday.

Loelling, 22, prevailed by one-quarter of a second after three runs over the 2016 World champion Hermann. Lizzy Yarnold, the Sochi Olympic champion from Great Britain, was .73 back for bronze.

“I didn’t expect to win, though I had perhaps hoped a little bit,” Loelling said, according to the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation.

The top American was Kendall Wesenberg in 13th. Full results are here.

Loelling and Hermann, 24, represent the new generation of German sliders, both seeking to become the first Olympic skeleton champion from the sliding sports power.

Hermann swept the World Cup and world championships titles last season, and Loelling can clinch this season’s double at the World Cup finale at the 2018 Olympic track in three weeks.

Yarnold, who returned this season after a one-year break, said Saturday she had head and back issues and that she couldn’t walk three weeks ago.

The world bobsled and skeleton championships conclude with the final two runs of four-man bobsled and men’s skeleton on Sunday.

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Lindsey Vonn crashes out of World Cup super-G (video); out Sunday

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Lindsey Vonn crashed out of a World Cup super-G on Saturday, one day after refusing to start a race due to dangerous course conditions at the same venue.

Vonn fell trying to make a right turn about 17 seconds into her run, sliding into netting with her arms raised above her head in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. Vonn came back last month after breaking her right upper arm in a Nov. 10 training crash, the latest in a career filled with injuries.

Vonn lay motionless for several seconds but soon after skied on her own to the bottom of the course. She “was visibly upset and appeared to be crying as she was comforted by teammate Julia Mancuso” in the finish area, according to The Associated Press.

In four super-Gs since her comeback, Vonn has finished ninth and 12th and failed to finish twice.

Slovenia’s world downhill champion Ilka Stuhec won the race by a half-second over Italian Elena Curtoni. Austrian Stephanie Venier was third.

Mikaela Shiffrin was 13th in her fifth career World Cup super-G start, 2.11 seconds behind Stuhec. Full results are here.

“I just didn’t quite handle the peely snow as well as I could have, and I was a bit conservative in sections that I didn’t want to be,” Shiffrin said, according to the U.S. Ski Team. “But I’m happy to get a run in on this hill.

“I feel really good on my skis. I didn’t feel like that run showed it. But I also felt like I had some reservations after seeing how it was [Friday], and I really wanted to ski the whole course and make it down and try to put a time in there. But I wasn’t totally sure how it was going to run. So having a run under my belt is really nice.”

Six of the first 18 racers failed to finish, including a crash by Italian Sofia Goggia, who ranks fourth in the World Cup overall standings. After 20 starters, the race was delayed for about five minutes to treat the deteriorating course, according to Eurosport.

Mancuso, who hasn’t raced since March 2015, was a forerunner for a second straight day.

On Friday, Vonn and Shiffrin criticized race officials (and refused to race) for allowing a super combined to take place on dangerous snow conditions, specifically the bottom pitch, U.S. head coach Paul Kristofic said.

Vonn then spent Friday afternoon throwing up due to possible food poisoning, according to her social media.

The women race another super combined in Crans-Montana on Sunday (4:30 a.m. ET, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app).

Vonn is not entered, choosing to skip it due to the crash and her stomach ailment. She is expected to return for World Cup races next weekend at the 2018 Olympic venue.

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