Lindsey Vonn just misses downhill win at 2018 Olympic track

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Lindsey Vonn looked golden at the 2018 Olympic track, up until Sofia Goggia crossed the finish line.

The Italian Goggia edged Vonn by .07 of a second in a World Cup downhill in Jeongseon, South Korea, site of the PyeongChang Olympic speed races in 11 months.

“I think it’s better that I save my best skiing for the Olympics,” an upbeat Vonn said afterward. “I was second as well in Vancouver at the test event [in 2008] before the [2010] Olympics. If that shows any indication of what’s to come next year, hopefully that’s what it means.”

Vonn put up a strong run as the first racer to go at the first women’s World Cup race in South Korea. Goggia, the fifth racer, trailed Vonn at every split until the finish.

Goggia was .22 behind with about 11 seconds left but made up nearly three tenths in the final portion.

The Italian recorded her first World Cup win after 10 previous podium finishes this season, including a world championships giant slalom bronze.

Full Results | Race Replay

Vonn was hoping for her second win in 10 races since returning in January from crash-caused knee and arm fractures last year, and her 78th World Cup win overall.

She arrived in South Korea on Tuesday after a race crash last Saturday in Switzerland that left her with neck whiplash, plus food poisoning last week.

Nevertheless, Vonn was fastest in both downhill training runs Thursday and Friday, saying afterward her confidence level on the track was similar to how she feels at her favorite venue of Lake Louise, Alberta.

Vonn has won 18 times in 41 World Cup starts at Lake Louise, a record number for any racer (male or female) at one place in history.

She remains nine wins shy of the World Cup record of 86 held by retired Swede Ingemar Stenmark.

Vonn will race again Sunday in a World Cup super-G in Jeongseon, live on NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET.

South Korea is 14 hours ahead of New York time.

World Cup overall leader Mikaela Shiffrin is skipping the South Korean speed races to prepare for next week’s giant slalom and slalom in Squaw Valley, Calif.

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MORE: Vonn among Olympic medalists in documentary about gender in sports

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