Noora Raty

U.S. women’s hockey team stunned by Finland at Four Nations Cup

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It went from bad to worse for the U.S. women’s hockey team Friday night.

The reigning World champion lost to Finland 3-1 at the Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Finnish goalie Noora Raty, who helped Minnesota to a perfect 41-win season and an NCAA title in March, stopped 58 U.S. shots. Finland took 16 shots on U.S. No. 1 Jessie Vetter.

“I thought our team played great,” said U.S. coach Katey Stone, according to USA Hockey. “Obviously we’re pretty disappointed with the result, but their goaltender stood on her head. The kids stayed together and there wasn’t any quit on our bench. That’s the best I’ve seen us play, despite the result.”

Karolina Rantamaki and Susanna Tapani scored in a 9-second span in the second period for Finland. Megan Bozek scored a power-play goal to cut it to 2-1, but Jenni Hiirikoski tacked on the third in the final period.

Finland will play Canada in the championship game Saturday night. The U.S., which had finished first or second in every Four Nations Cup appearance dating to its debut in 1996, will play Sweden in the third-place game.

The U.S., which is 0-3 against Canada this fall, lost to a nation other than Canada in IIHF competition for the first time in five years. The last defeat was also to Finland, 1-0 in overtime at the 2008 World Championships.

It’s the first time the U.S. has lost to a nation other than Canada in regulation in an Olympics, World Championships or Four Nations Cup, spanning 161 games.

“We’ll just lick our wounds a little bit here until midnight,” Stone said. “When we wake up tomorrow morning, it’s onto the next one.”

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Ida Keeling, 100 years old, sets world record at Penn Relays (video)

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Ida Keeling electrified the Penn Relays crowd with her 100-meter dash in 1 minute, 17.33 seconds on Saturday afternoon.

Keeling set a world record for fastest 100m by a woman 100 years and older. There is no data on USA Track and Field and masters athletics websites for a previous record holder.

“I’ll be 101 in a couple of weeks,” Keeling pointed out to NBC Sports’ Carolyn Manno after the race, a mixed-gender event for athletes 80 and older. “I’ve never seen nothing like this crowd. Maybe that’s what the excitement was.”

Keeling’s advice?

“Love yourself, do what you have to do and what you want to do,” she said. “Eat for nutrition, not for taste. And exercise at least once a day.”

More on Keeling is here.

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U.S. sprinters past, present trade relay barbs

Justin Gatlin
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The only loss for the Americans at the Penn Relays came in the men’s 4x100m, as the U.S. team bobbled its victory away on a bad baton handoff between Tyson Gay and Isiah Young for the final leg, which led to a disqualification.

Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin gave the Americans an early lead in the race, and things were moving along well during Gay’s third leg. But the muffed handoff for the final leg cost the Americans. Both the winning Jamaican squad and the second American team surpassed them.

Young finished third, but the team was disqualified because the handoff occurred outside the pass zone. The second U.S. team of Sean McLean, Wallace Spearman, Calesio Newman and Remontay McLain finished in 39.02.

The mistake led to some inflammatory comments from U.S. great Leroy Burrell about continued problems with handoffs by U.S. relay teams.

“Well, I think we’ve got to put our team together a little earlier, possibly,” Burrell said in a television interview. “I think, we’ve had the same coaches working with these guys for many years, and we’ve had failure after failure. So it’s possible that, you know, it might be time for a bit of a regime change with the leadership.

“I think the athletes have to be the catalysts that make that happen. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get the stick around. I saw thousands of relay teams yesterday — maybe not thousands, but hundreds of relay teams get it around. But the professionals can’t. That’s just not good for our sport.”

Rodgers didn’t take kindly to those remarks.

“People keep pointing their fingers and downing us, but nobody has ever tried to come out there and help us,” he said. “Nobody from the past. Not Carl [Lewis] or Leroy. They haven’t been out there. I can’t really respect their opinions because they’re supposed to be leaders in our sport and in the USA, and they’re not coming out there to drop some knowledge on us, so I don’t care what they have to say.”

Lewis criticized U.S. relays in March.

Gatlin was equally critical of Burrell.

“I’m tired of people who have been part of Team USA take shots at Team USA,” Gatlin said. “To put us in the same boat as high schoolers is insulting.”

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