Mats Zuccarello

Norway Olympic hockey team guided by top New York Rangers scorer

Leave a comment

These could be the first Olympics with at least one NHL player on every hockey team.

Thank Mats Zuccarello. Norway’s only NHL player on the roster announced Tuesday is a talented one.

Zuccarello, 26, leads the New York Rangers in points. He also played for Norway at the 2010 Olympics, where the nation earned style points for its chic jerseys but ultimately failed to win a game.

He was in hot water in 2013 and in jeopardy of not being put on the Olympic Team because he had a sponsorship with a company that rivaled one of the Norwegian National Team’s sponsors.

Olympic hockey rosters: U.S. | Canada | Russia | Sweden | Finland | Czech Republic | Slovakia | Switzerland | Latvia | Norway | Austria | Slovenia

Norway has never made it past the Olympic quarterfinals, but it has now qualified for two straight Winter Games after missing 1998, 2002 and 2006.

Here’s the full Norway roster:

Goalies
Lars Haugen
Steffen Soberg
Lars Volden

Defensemen
Jonas Holos — former Colorado Avalanche player
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen — former NHL player
Alexander Bonsaksen
Henrik Odegaard
Henrik Solberg
Daniel Sorvik
Mats Trygg

Forwards
Mats Zuccarello — New York Rangers
Patrick Thoresen — former NHL player
Morten Ask
Anders Bastiansen
Robin Dahlstrom
Kristian Forsberg
Mads Hansen
Marius Holtet
Sondre Olden
Ken Andre Olimb
Mathis Olimb
Mats Rosseli Olsen
Niklas Roest
Martin Roymark
Per-Age Skroder

Hockey player breaks record for span between Winter Olympics

Mikaela Shiffrin wrestles with doubt in seconds before World Cup downhill debut

Mikaela Shiffrin, of the United States, skis during the third training run for the World Cup women's downhill ski race in Lake Louise, Alberta, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)
AP
Leave a comment

After a momentary panic in the start house, Mikaela Shiffrin raced to a tie for 18th in the first downhill of her World Cup career in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Friday.

Shiffrin, the youngest Olympic slalom champion who has also won a World Cup giant slalom, has been slowly adding the speed events of super-G and downhill to her repertoire the last two seasons.

“It wasn’t bad,” Shiffrin said, according to SkiRacing.com. “I certainly didn’t risk anything crazy.”

Her result Friday, 1.99 seconds behind Slovenian winner Ilka Stuhec, came after Shiffrin was 18th, 24th and 30th fastest in downhill training runs the previous three days. Shiffrin also had to wait several minutes in the start house as the racer before her crashed (video here).

“That was just a bummer,” Shiffrin said, according to the Denver Post. “I was like, ‘Just don’t let it affect you,’ but being up there for 10 minutes, like, ‘What happened? What’s taking them so long? What’s going on? Is she hurt?’

“Then I started doubting myself, like my technique going off the jumps, which is actually pretty good. I was going back and forth between, ‘Should I even be doing this? Maybe I just should pull out because I don’t want to kill myself.’ Then I’m like, ‘You’re absolutely fine, you haven’t felt sketched out a single time on this track in the past three days, so stick with that. You don’t have to go crazy.'”

“To be fast in speed there certainly needs to be a certain level of risk, and I know that, but now, if [giant slalom] and slalom are my main priority this season, I don’t need to be going crazy in a downhill with flat light and after I got iced [waiting so long],” Shiffrin said, according to SkiRacing.com.

Stuhec won Friday’s race by .22 of a second over Italian Sofia Goggia. Swede Kajsa Kling was third.

A race replay can be seen here. Full results are here.

Lindsey Vonn, owner of a record 18 wins at Lake Louise, is missing the annual World Cup stop in Alberta due to a broken arm from a November crash. Vonn had raced at Lake Louise each of the previous 15 seasons.

Last season, Shiffrin made her World Cup debut in the super-G at Lake Louise and finished 15th.

The women have another downhill Saturday and a super-G on Sunday in Lake Louise, both streaming live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app (schedule here).

MORE: Vonn eyes January return from her most painful injury

High-speed crash at World Cup downhill in Lake Louise (video)

Leave a comment

Swiss Joana Haehlen crashed into netting at high speed during a World Cup downhill at Lake Louise, Alberta, on Friday.

Haehlen, 24, lost her right ski after landing from a jump and sped uncontrollably off course. She braced for impact, slammed into red netting and was turned around before landing with neither of her skis still attached.

She lay on the snow while being attended to and eventually skied down the mountain on her own.

It caused a 10-minute delay before the next skier, American Mikaela Shiffrin, could take her run.

VIDEO: Vonn details the most painful injury of her career