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U.S. men’s hockey team bounced from IIHF World Championship

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The U.S. men’s hockey team was eliminated by Finland 2-0 in the IIHF World Championship quarterfinals Thursday, ending a six-game winning streak.

The U.S., which hasn’t won a world title since 1960, failed to build on the recent success of two bronze medals from the last four world championships.

The Americans rolled into the quarterfinals this week by topping a group that included Russia and Sweden.

The Finns barely advanced out of their group (by one point over tournament co-host France, which beat Finland 5-1) but had the Americans’ number again. Remember, Finland crushed the U.S. 5-0 in the Sochi Olympic bronze-medal game.

None of the stars from Sochi played for either team on Thursday, though.

Finland’s Harri Sateri shut out the Americans. Sateri, 27, was a San Jose Sharks fourth-round draft pick in 2008 but has never played in the NHL. Full stats are here.

The U.S. roster included one Olympian — Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, who took the loss Thursday — and a star in Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel. Eichel registered zero goals and five assists in eight games at worlds.

It appears unlikely that Howard, Eichel or any NHL players will make Team USA next year in PyeongChang with the league saying it will not participate in the Winter Games.

Finland advances to play Sweden in the worlds semifinals Saturday. Canada and Russia face off in the other semifinal.

All knockout round games are streaming live on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

Canada, the 2010 and 2014 Olympic champion, is trying to become the first nation to win three straight world titles since the Czechs in 2001.

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Yuzuru Hanyu to miss Japan Figure Skating Championships

Yuzuru Hanyu
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Yuzuru Hanyu, the reigning Olympic and world figure skating champion, will miss his national championships this week after suffering ankle and knee injuries this fall, according to Japanese media citing the Japan Skating Federation.

Hanyu can (and very likely will) be named to Japan’s three-man Olympic team despite missing nationals.

Hanyu has reportedly been off the ice for more than one month since a Nov. 9 practice fall.

“It is an important selection competition, and the Olympics are a big goal, so with that in mind we would like to think things through together,” Japan Skating Federation director Yoshiko Kobayashi said last week, according to Kyodo News.

Hanyu, who turned 23 on Dec. 7, fell on a quadruple Lutz attempted and then favored his right ankle in a Nov. 9 practice at a Grand Prix event (video here).

He skated the run-through for his free skate, although he elected not to do any more jumps.

“I have been told by the doctor that I need 10 days of complete rest,” Hanyu said in a statement on Nov. 12, according to Kyodo. “Following that, it will take three to four weeks to return and get back to where I was.”

Hanyu and world silver medalist Shoma Uno are favored to lead Japan’s Olympic men’s figure skating team. The third spot is likely to go to Takahito Mura or Keiji Tanaka.

Hanyu competed twice this season.

He posted a world-record short program score in his debut at a small September event in Canada, but struggled to fifth place in the free skate and finished second overall behind two-time world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain.

He then finished second to U.S. champion Nathan Chen at the first Grand Prix event of the season in Moscow in October.

Chen is the only undefeated male singles skater this season.

Hanyu won four straight national titles before missing last season’s event with the flu.

He was still named to Japan’s team for worlds, where he won his second title in four years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Green Bay Packers pull another Olympic sport TD celebration

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We’re halfway to a decathlon of Olympic sport touchdown celebrations over the last two seasons.

After the hurdles, the long jump, the bobsled and the relay came the race walk on Sunday.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, once part of a three-man bobsled team, led three other teammates in a race walk after scoring in Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers. (Adams later left the game with a concussion.)

Adams won the race walk, which was much, much shorter than the standard Olympic distances of 20km and 50km, over teammates Jordy NelsonRandall Cobb and Geronimo Allison.

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