Kjetil Jansrud

Norwegian wins Kvitfjell super-G; career best for American

Leave a comment

Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud continued his strong return from last year’s torn ACL, winning his second race in three days at home in Kvitfjell, Norway, on Sunday.

The Olympic super-G champion Jansrud claimed the next to last World Cup super-G of the season, two days after sharing first place in a downhill at the 1994 Olympic course.

Jansrud prevailed in 1 minute, 31.39 seconds. Swiss Patrick Kueng took second, .26 behind, followed by Austrian Olympic downhill champion Matthias Mayer.

Andrew Weibrecht led the American contingent Sunday with his best-ever World Cup finish — seventh. Weibrecht stunned in winning Olympic super-G bronze in 2010 and silver in 2014 as he had never finished better than 10th in a World Cup race.

“It’s nice to carry the momentum from the Games and the good skiing that I had there and prove to myself that it wasn’t just a one-shot deal, a one-day thing, that I can come out and ski fast pretty much every day,” Weibrecht said.

Six-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller was 12th amid falling snow. Rising Travis Ganong, third and fourth in Kvitfjell on Friday and Saturday, did not finish.

Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal took fourth to wrap up the super-G season title. Svindal already won the downhill season title and leads the overall standings by 77 points over Austrian Marcel Hirscher.

Hirscher, who is better in technical events, will likely cut into that lead (or take it back) with a giant slalom and slalom in Slovenia next weekend.

The race for the overall title will likely come down to the World Cup Finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, in two weeks.

Hirscher, who did not race in Kvitfjell, is trying to become the third man to win three straight overall titles and the first since American Phil Mahre from 1981-83.

Kvitfjell super-G
1. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) 1:31.39
2. Patrick Kueng (SUI) 1:31.65
3. Matthias Mayer (AUT) 1:31.72
4. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) 1:31.83
5. Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT) 1:31.87
6. Romed Baumann (AUT) 1:31.97
7. Andrew Weibrecht (USA) 1:32.03
8. Manny Osborne-Paradis (CAN) 1:32.09
9. Erik Guay (CAN) 1:32.12
9. Matteo Marsaglia (ITA) 1:32.12
12. Bode Miller (USA) 1:32.28
38. Steven Nyman (USA) 1:33.59
41. Jared Goldberg (USA) 1:33.74
55. Marco Sullivan (USA) 1:35.43
DNF. Erik Fisher (USA)
DNF. Travis Ganong (USA)

U.S. Alpine medalist lands on Wheaties box

Team USA keeper Rooney had ‘ice in her veins’ for shootout

Getty Images
Leave a comment

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — Maddie Rooney couldn’t stop smiling. She was on top of her game, and it didn’t seem to matter that it was a shootout against the powerhouse Canadians.

The first shootout in an Olympic women’s final.

With a gold medal on the line.

Her coach, Robb Stauber, made sure not to say a word to the 20-year-old goaltender.

“I know she has ice in her veins,” Stauber said.

It sure looked like it. Rooney made 29 saves through overtime, then turned away shots from four Canadians in the six-round shootout, smiling along the way at her jubilant teammates on the bench. The last save came against four-time Olympian Meghan Agosta to clinch a 3-2 victory that ended the Americans’ 20-year gold medal drought .

The goalie who took the year off from college at Minnesota-Duluth had outdueled three-time Olympian Shannon Szabados, who was among those who prefer overtime over a shootout to settle such an important game.

“It’s more individual and less of a team thing,” Szabados said. “It’s a little harder to swallow, but that’s the way it goes.”

The United States had to replace not one, two but all three of their goalies after losing gold in 2014 at Sochi. Rooney, who played her senior year of high school in Andover, Minnesota, on the boys’ varsity team, was the goalie in net for each of the three U.S. victories over Canada in pre-Olympic play. She bounced back from a 2-1 loss last week to Canada and then some on Thursday.

Rooney said she’s been told it’s important to stay calm under pressure. She is sure she’s been nervous at times.

“But pressure is power,” said the goalie whose job title on Wikipedia entry was briefly changed to U.S. “Secretary of Defense.”

Her teammates said they had complete confidence in Rooney, who has only been with the national team since the 2017 world championships. Gigi Marvin, the oldest on the roster at 30, has been rooming with Rooney. She called Rooney unbelievable in net, so strong that they had complete trust in her.

“She’s a gem, talk about poise,” Marvin said. “We all knew she had it. She has been around all year and she just owns it.”

Stauber, a former goalie, knows exactly what a goaltender that never gets rattled means for a team. He didn’t worry about Rooney even after Haley Irwin and captain Marie-Philip Poulin scored in the second period to give Canada a 2-1 lead.

“Then she bounces back tall, after a goal or two,” Stauber said. “It sends a lot of confidence. It really is a classic example of a great goaltender.”

Monique Lamoureux-Morando scored on a breakaway late in the third period to force overtime. Rooney stopped all seven shots in the 20-minute overtime, which ended with a Canadian power play. In the shootout, Agosta beat her stick-side and Melodie Daoust scored, too.

That was it. Rooney stopped Natalie Spooner, Poulin and lastly Brianne Jenner and Agosta taking a second turn as Canada’s final shooters.

“Then it all came down to Maddie Rooney, and she had a gold medal-winning performance,” U.S. forward Hilary Knight said.

Amanda Kessel gets gold-medal encouragement from brother Phil

Getty Images
Leave a comment

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) _ The night before she played for the Olympic women’s hockey gold medal, Amanda Kessel looked at her phone and saw text messages from her brother, Phil, offering encouragement.

“Just, ‘Proud of you no, matter what,’ and he believes in me,” Kessel said.

NBCOlympics.com: Gold at last: U.S. women beat rival Canada in epic shootout

Kessel hadn’t yet checked her phone in the minutes after she and the United States beat Canada 3-2 in a shootout for the gold medal in an instant classic between the sport’s two powerhouses.

Phil tweeted he was proud of his sister and all of Team USA.

Click here to read the full story