Sochi Olympic Daily Recap & Medal Count: Day 8

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It took 60 minutes of regulation, five minutes of overtime, and an eight-round shootout, but the U.S. men’s hockey team got the win over Russia in a classic that will be remembered for some time to come.

With international hockey allowing the same shooters to be used multiple times in a shootout, the U.S. chose T.J. Oshie to go six times. He scored four goals in the SO, including the game-winner, to lift the Americans over the Russians, 3-2.

Russia appeared to have taken their own 3-2 lead late in the third period, as a shot from Fedor Tyutin got past U.S. goalie Jonathan Quick. But the net was ruled to have been off of its pegs and the goal was disallowed. In overtime, Patrick Kane’s breakaway attempt was denied by Russia goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to set up the shootout…

VIDEO: Team USA’s highlights from Day 8

Here are recaps of the other men’s hockey contests today:

In women’s hockey quarterfinal action, Sweden beat Finland, 4-2, and Switzerland blanked Russia, 2-0. The Swedes get the U.S. in the semifinals, while the Swiss now prepare for Canada in the same round…

Meanwhile, the U.S. speedskaters continued to struggle. The team gained permission to swap their new racing suits for old ones but still finished out of the medals in the men’s 1500m. Afterwards, star skater Shani Davis wondered if a medal-less Sochi Olympics was the ultimate fate for himself and his comrades…

Their short track brethren didn’t have things any better. None of the three Americans in the men’s 1000m made it out of the quarterfinals, with two of them – J.R. Celski and Eddy Alvarez – crashing out (Russia’s Victor An got the gold). In the women’s 1500m, Emily Scott was able to advance into the final but she was also collected in a crash (she was credited with fifth)…

On the slopes, Team USA’s Julia Mancuso was unable to claim her fifth Olympic medal in the women’s super-G, finishing eighth in the event that was won by Austria’s Anna Fenninger…

Over at Sanki Sliding Center, Matt Antoine became the first American men’s skeleton racer to claim a medal since Jim Shea won in 2002 at Salt Lake City, earning the bronze after teammate John Daly was unable to recover from an ill-fated start. Russia’s Aleksandr Tretiyakov gave the host nation its fourth gold so far in Sochi…

In other medal events, Charlotte Kalla’s blazing final leg gave Sweden the win in the women’s cross country 4x5km relay, while Kamil Stoch became the third man to win both individual ski jumping events in a single Winter Olympics by claiming the large hill title

Out of competition, Russian skicross racer Maria Komissarova suffered a fractured vertebrae in her back in a training crash this morning at Rosa Khutor. Russian officials later reported that she had undergone successful surgery that lasted for six and a half hours…

Today’s Olympic medalists did not receive a piece of the Russian meteorite that exploded over the Chelyabinsk region one year ago…

U.S. skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace received her silver medal after last night’s emotional run at Sanki

The top U.S. women’s bobsled sustained front-end damage in an incident that took place after it had set the fastest training time…

After being unable to attend the Opening Ceremony, Billie Jean King will be part of the American delegation for the Closing Ceremony next weekend…

Thanks to a fellow traveler, snowboard slopestyle gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg was able to go home and see his parents

And one of the Sochi mascots, the Polar Bear, had his own Olympic competition today – trying to fit his head into a minivan

MEDAL COUNT – Feb. 15
(Country – Gold/Silver/Bronze – Total Medals)

1. Germany – 7/3/2 – 12
2. Switzerland – 5/1/1 – 7
3. Russia – 4/6/5 – 15
4. Canada – 4/5/3 – 12
5. Netherlands – 4/4/6 – 14
6. United States – 4/3/7 – 14
7. Norway – 4/3/6 – 13
8. Poland – 4/0/0 – 4
9. China – 3/2/0 – 5
10. Belarus – 3/0/1 – 4
11. Austria – 2/4/1 – 7
12. France – 2/0/2 – 4
13. Sweden – 1/5/2 – 8
14. Japan – 1/3/1 – 5
15. Slovenia – 1/1/3 – 5
16. Korea – 1/1/1 – 3
17. Great Britain – 1/0/1 – 2
18. Slovakia – 1/0/0 – 1
19. Italy – 0/2/3 – 5
20. Czech Republic – 0/2/1 – 3
21. Finland – 0/2/0 – 2
22. Latvia – 0/1/2 – 3
23. Australia – 0/1/1 – 2
24. Croatia – 0/1/0 – 1
T-25. Kazakhstan – 0/0/1 – 1
T-25. Ukraine – 0/0/1 – 1

What to watch at Drake Relays, Penn Relays

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Olympic gold medalists ramp up their track and field seasons at the Penn Relays and Drake Relays, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold this weekend.

Athletes are working toward the U.S. Championships in June and the world championships in August.

First, the historic Penn Relays will air on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold on Friday (5:30-6:30 p.m. ET) and Saturday (12:30-3 p.m. ET).

USA vs. The World in men’s and women’s 4x100m, 4x400m and sprint medley relays will air live on Saturday from Franklin Field in Philadelphia. A full schedule is here.

The U.S. teams are led by Olympic relay champions English Gardner and Natasha Hastings. The full roster is here.

Rio Olympic rematches highlight the individual-event fields at the Drake Relays in Des Moines on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold from 3-5 p.m ET on Saturday. A full schedule is here.

Perhaps no field is deeper than the 100m hurdles. World-record holder Keni Harrison takes on Rio silver and bronze medalists Kristi Castlin and Nia Ali, plus 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson.

The 110m hurdles contingent is strong as well. It features the last two Olympic champions, Jamaican Omar McLeod and American Aries Merritt, plus 2013 World champion David Oliver.

Grenada’s Kirani James and American LaShawn Merritt, who earned silver and bronze in Rio, go head-to-head again in the 400m at Drake.

The men’s 1500m is headlined by Rio Olympic 800m bronze medalist Clayton Murphy and London Olympic 1500m silver medalist Leo Manzano.

Rio bronze medalist Jenny Simpson races individually for the first time this year in the women’s 1500m.

That field also includes New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin, who gained fame of her own in Rio. Hamblin and American Abbey D’Agostino fell in an Olympic 5000m heat and helped each other make it to the finish line. Both were praised for their sportsmanship.

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IOC president unsure whether esports should be considered sport

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Esports are gaining momentum in the international sports movement, but they are not close to becoming an Olympic sport.

“We are not yet 100 percent clear whether esports is really sport, with regard to physical activity and what it needs to be considered sport,” IOC president Thomas Bach said Tuesday, according to insidethegames. “We do not see an organization or a structure that will give us confidence, or guarantee, that in this area the Olympic rules and values of sport are respected and in place, and that the implementation of these rules are monitored and secured.”

The first clear step (of many) to become an Olympic sport is for the IOC to recognize the sport’s international governing body.

Esports will be added as a medal sport to the Asian Games in 2022, and has been praised by LA 2024 Olympic bid chairman Casey Wasserman, but it is not yet IOC recognized.

“We are watching it, we see the differences, we see the lack of organisation,” Bach said, according to the report. “But we also see the high engagement of youth in esports. Therefore, we have to carefully consider how this could be consolidated.”

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