Caroline Ouellette, Hilary Knight

U.S. women spoil Kevin Dineen’s coaching debut, brawl in win over Canada (video)


Welcome to U.S.-Canada, Kevin Dineen.

The new Canadian coach couldn’t do much to stop the bleeding, or flying punches, in his first game behind the bench.

The U.S. won its second straight over its rival, 4-1 in dominating fashion at Grand Forks, N.D., on Friday night.

A brawl among several players broke out in the final minute, reminding of their fight earlier this fall (video here). Players still customarily shook hands after the final horn sounded.

“[Canadian Brianne Jenner] took a cheap shot, hit one of our girls in the head with her elbow,” U.S. forward Hilary Knight said on NBCSN after the game. “We don’t like that.”

The Americans won 5-1 in Calgary, Alberta, on Dec. 12, hours after Canadian coach Dan Church resigned.

Dineen, the former 19-year NHL veteran, was named the replacement Tuesday. He has his work cut out for him, as Friday showed.

The reigning world champion U.S. came back from a 1-0 deficit with goals from Monique LamoureuxBrianna DeckerHilary Knight and Jocelyne Lamoureux. The Lamoureux twins played college hockey for North Dakota.

U.S. goalie Molly Schaus stopped 17 of 18 shots.

Canada played without stalwart Hayley Wickenheiser, who suffered a lower-body injury in last week’s game. The U.S. played without reigning NCAA Player of the Year Amanda Kessel, who hasn’t played at all in five exhibition games against Canada this fall, also with a lower-body injury.

The U.S. and Canada play twice more before the Olympics: Dec. 28 in St. Paul, Minn., and Dec. 30 in Toronto. What should viewers expect in St. Paul?

“Heightened tension, heightened emotions,” Knight said. “A really physical game.”

Nike unveils U.S. Olympic Team apparel

Ashton Eaton named male IAAF Athlete of the Year

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American decathlete Ashton Eaton was named the 2015 male Athlete of the Year by the International Association of Athletics Federations, the world governing body for track and field. Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba, the reigning world champion in the 1500m, was named the female IAAF Athlete of the Year.

Eaton is the first decathlete and just the eighth American man to win the title. Tyson Gay in 2007 was the last American man to be named.

The honor came due to Eaton’s world-record-setting performance at the world championships held in Beijing this past August. There he beat the previous record, his own from the 2012 Olympic Trials, by nine points. He also set a world record for running the fastest 400m portion of the decathlon in 45.00 seconds.

In the IAAF press release, Eaton said, “Athletes spend the most vigorous years of human life, arguably called the ‘best years’, working to hone their abilities. So, when an athlete competes, what people are witnessing is the manifestation of what a human being is capable of when they choose to direct all of their time and effort towards something.

“I’m grateful and thankful to the IAAF for excellent competitions, the canvases that allow us to display our work.”

He also acknowledged sprinter Usain Bolt and triple jumper Christian Taylor, who were also up for the title: “While I’m honored that I am considered the ‘artist’ of the year, I did not beat Usain and Christian; my work simply differed in design. They are some of the most talented and beautiful performers of all time. I’m flattered to be among them.”

Dibaba has been unbeaten in the 1500m over five races in 2015. Along with winning gold and setting a world record in the 1500 at the Beijing World Championships, Diababa won a bronze medal in the 5000m event.

She gratefully accepted the award, saying, “After being a finalist and narrowly missing out on this award one year ago, I am very proud to be recognized by the fans and experts of our sport.

“I had a great season and truly enjoyed competing around the world, from Monaco where I managed to establish a world record, to Beijing where I finally captured my first world outdoor title.”

Dibaba was recently featured in a family-themed promotional video for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

MORE: Seb Coe splits from Nike as IAAF president


Olympians celebrate Thanksgiving

Meryl Davis
Team USA/ Twitter
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Nov. 26 – or Thanksgiving to the rest of us – is oftentimes a typical training day for many Olympians and Olympic hopefuls. Here’s a look at how some of them spent the day training, competing, celebrating, and being thankful.

Workout football and food😁👍!!! Happy thanksgiving everyone!!!

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

Happy Thanksgiving from our cold cuts Turkey to yours! #family #happyhappyheart

A photo posted by @cammileadams on

Happy Thanksgiving from the SwimMAC Parade crew!

A photo posted by Tyler Clary (@tylerclary) on


MORE: NBC’s Thanksgiving Rio promo