United States v Canada

Jessie Vetter will start in U.S. women’s hockey opener

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The United States women’s ice hockey team will roll with goalie Jessie Vetter as their starter for at least their first game of the 2014 Olympics, USA Today’s Kevin Allen reports. The American team faces potential upset threat Finland on Saturday.

Such a nod can be a larger sign of approval, although hockey coaches often rotate netminders to see if one gets on a hot streak, especially during a short tournament.

American head coach Katey Stone has good reason to stick with Vetter, 28, as she already has the experience of starting on the U.S. team that won silver in 2010. That being said, gold is the goal as America continues its women’s ice hockey rivalry with Canada.

Brianne McLaughlin was hoping to usurp Vetter after backing her up in Vancouver, but it’s plausible that Vetter maintains the upper hand in Stone’s eyes. That could change quickly if things don’t go well for the American team, though.

Watch NBC Sports’ Alpine skiing World Cup preview video

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NBC Sports will air coverage of 87 Alpine skiing races at 22 resorts across the globe this fall and winter, from October through March, in the final full season before the 2018 Olympics.

Highlights include fall and winter stops in the U.S. with races in Killington, Vt.; Beaver Creek, Colo.; Squaw Valley, Calif.; and the World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colo., in March.

Lindsey Vonn‘s highlighted World Cup stop will be downhill and super-G races in Lake Louise, Canada, the first weekend of December.

The world championships in February will be in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin will look to defend titles.


Skier goes airborne in World Cup opener (video)

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Canadian skier Phil Brown was fortunate to walk away from an airborne crash at the World Cup season opener in Soelden, Austria, on Sunday.

Brown failed to finish his first run, losing contact with the snow early on and falling hard onto his side.

He tweeted a video of the crash, with slow-motion replays, with a soundtrack of Irish singer Enya‘s “Only Time.”

The World Cup season continues with men’s and women’s slaloms in Levi, Finland, in three weeks.

MORE: Ted Ligety recovers to finish fifth in first race in 9 months