Noora Raty

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

1 Comment

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.”

Slovakia hockey jerseys include lyrics of national anthem

WATCH LIVE: World Cup men’s downhill – 1:30 p.m. ET

Aksel Lund Svindal
Leave a comment

Before missing the downhill World Cup last year due to injury, Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway won the title in 2012-13 and 2013-14. Today, he may become just the eighth man to win this World Cup title at least three times, but he faces competition from countryman Kjetil Jansrud, who won last year’s title in Svindal’s absence.

The World Cup men’s  downhill at Lake Louise is streaming today at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra.

MORE: Men’s apline skiing season preview

Hanyu, Miyahara into Grand Prix Final with wins at NHK Trophy

Yuzuru Hanyu
Leave a comment

Yuzuru Hanyu won the NHK Trophy in front of a home crowd in Japan in spectacular fashion – setting three world records – and qualified for the Grand Prix Final in the process.

He followed up his short program world record with a record setting free skate of 216.07 and a combined overall score record of 322.40.

China’s Boyang Jin finished second overall followed by Japan’s Takahito Mura. The U.S. Grant Hochstein finished fourth after an eighth-place finish in the short program.

Though the results are still unofficial, the men’s field in Barcelona will likely include no U.S. men, a streak that has continued since 2012. Max Aaron is eighth in the standings, but would be invited if he finished seventh overall. More on that the qualifying process here.

MORE: Fernandez into final with Rostelecom win

Japan’s Satoko Miyahara took the ladies’ competition over the U.S.’ Courtney Hicks, who finished second in her first career Grand Prix circuit medal, and countrywoman Mao Asada, who finished third.

Ashley Wagner was fourth, the lowest place she could have to give her a berth to Barcelona. Wagner has earned a medal at every Grand Prix Final since 2012 (silver in 2012, and bronzes in 2013 and 2014).

Again, the overall standings are unofficial, but Miyahara, Asada, and Wagner should join Gracie Gold, Evgenia Medvedeva, and Elena Radionova in the Grand Prix Final.

Russia finished off the podium entirely in the ladies’ field – Alena Leonova and Anna Pogorilaya finished eitghth and ninth while Maria Artemieva finished 11th.

The last time no Russian women were on a Grand Prix podium – the final or otherwise – was in the 2012-13 season, where it happened a handful of times. Russian women have been featured on every Grand Prix circuit podium since the 2012-13 season, where they only missed out on Skate Canada, the Rostelecom Cup, the NHK Trophy, and the Grand Prix Final from that season. Names like Olympic gold medalists Adelina Sotnikova and Julia Lipnitskaya, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Elena Radionova, Pogorilaya, Leonova, and 2015 world junior champion Evgenia Medvedeva all contributed to that streak.

MORE: Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir practice dog handling skills before dog show

U.S. pairs champions Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim earned a trip to Barcelona with a bronze medal in Japan. Leading the field in their ninth straight international win was Canadian pair Meaghan Duhamel and Eric Radford followed China’s Yu Xiaoyu and Jin Yang.