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Erin Hamlin wins second World Luge Championships medal in two days

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IGLS, Austria — German luger Tatjana Huefner won the women’s singles race at the world championships on Saturday for her fifth career individual gold medal and first in five years.

Leading after the first run, Huefner posted the second-fastest time in the final run to beat Erin Hamlin of the United States by 0.213 seconds and Kimberley McRae of Canada by 0.240. Hamlin had won the gold medal in Friday’s sprint event.

Olympic and defending world champion Natalie Geisenberger was only 17th before setting a track record of 39.822 seconds in the final run to finish sixth, 0.294 behind her German teammate.

Huefner has won eight medals at world championships and three at Olympics, including gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

Later Saturday, Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken led a German sweep of the podium in the men’s doubles.

Eggert and Benecken posted a track record of 39.468 seconds in the first run and held on to their lead to beat Olympic champions Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt by 0.206 and Robin Geueke and David Gamm by 0.385.

Austrians Peter Penz and Georg Fischler were the best non-German finishers in fourth.

It was the first world title for Eggert and Benecken, who had won silver three times before. They have won seven of nine races in the luge World Cup season.

The worlds conclude with the men’s singles race and a team relay on Sunday.

USA Hockey to start reaching out to potential replacement players

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USA Hockey will begin reaching out to “alternate players” to determine their interest in playing for the U.S. at the women’s world championship next week amid a potential boycott by its national team.

The contact is taking place in the event a resolution cannot be reached between USA Hockey and the women’s national team in a wage dispute.

“It’s important for everyone to understand clearly that our objective is to have the players we named as the U.S. women’s national team be the ones that compete in the world championship,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, in a statement. “Productive conversations have taken place this week and are ongoing in our collective efforts to reach a resolution.”

The alternate players are in the professional NWHL and college, according to USA Today, a report that USA Hockey would not confirm.

U.S. captain Meghan Duggan has said every player in the U.S. national team player pool, plus under-18 national team players, committed to not playing at worlds unless the wage dispute is resolved.

“We are confident that they [potential replacement players] would choose not to play,” the U.S. players said in a statement.

The world championship tournament starts March 31 in Plymouth, Mich.

As of Thursday evening, no resolution has come between USA Hockey and its women’s national team. They met formally on Monday for more than 10 hours, with both sides calling it productive.

“We ask that they approve the original agreement that, the players believed, was acceptable to both parties after Monday’s meeting,” the players said in a statement. “Unless there is an agreement, the players remain resolved to bypass the defense of the world championship.”

Neither side has said when the next meeting will take place.

On Tuesday, USA Hockey said it postponed a pre-worlds camp that was to run through next Tuesday in Traverse City, Mich., and canceled a scheduled Friday exhibition against Finland.

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MORE: NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

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International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel tells The Associated Press he needs to know by the end of April whether NHL players will be cleared to play in the South Korea Olympics next year.

NHL team owners have made it clear they don’t want to stop their season again for the Winter Games and put their stars at risk of injury. The reluctance has come up before and yet the NHL has participated in the Olympics since 1998. This time, however, there seems to be an impasse.

The head of the NHL Players Association, Donald Fehr, says the players want to participate and hopes the league will take advantage of the chance to market the game in Asia.

However, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says without “material change to the current status quo, NHL players will not be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics.”

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MORE: 2018 Olympic hockey groups set