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U.S. women’s hockey team and Canada face off in pre-Olympic contests

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) The U.S. women’s national team will play Canada at least four times as part of the Time is Now Tour leading up to the 2018 Winter Olympics.

USA Hockey announced the schedule Tuesday, which also includes the 2017 Four Nations Cup.

The U.S. women, who beat Canada at the world championships last spring, will play the defending Olympic gold medalists Oct. 25 in Boston, Dec. 3 in St. Paul, Minnesota and Dec. 15 in San Jose.

A fourth game is scheduled Nov. 8 as part of the Four Nations Cup featuring Finland and Sweden in Wesley Chapel, Florida, with the championship game Nov. 12 in Tampa. The Americans have won the Four Nations Cup and its predecessor seven times, including the past two years.

The Time is Now Tour full schedule

Day Time (ET) Game Location
Oct. 25 7:30 p.m. USA vs. Canada Boston, Mass.
Nov. 7 7:00 p.m. USA vs. Finland (Four Nations Cup) Wesley Chapel, Fla.
Nov. 8 7:00 p.m. USA vs. Canada (Four Nations Cup) Wesley Chapel, Fla.
Nov. 10 7:00 p.m. USA vs. Sweden (Four Nations Cup) Wesley Chapel, Fla.
Nov. 12 3:30 p.m. 1st & 3rd place games (Four Nations Cup) Wesley Chapel, Fla.
Dec. 3 4:00 p.m. USA vs. Canada St. Paul, Minn.
Dec. 15 10:30 p.m. USA vs. Canada San Jose, Calif.

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French skiers to start in Lake Louise after David Poisson’s death

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PARIS (AP) — The French skiing federation says its athletes will compete in Lake Louise at the first World Cup speed events of the Alpine season despite the death of David Poisson earlier this week.

The 35-year-old Poisson died on Monday in a crash while training at the Canadian resort of Nakiska, which staged Alpine skiing races of the 1988 Olympics.

The federation said in a statement Sunday that it has provided psychological support to all members of the French squad who were present in Nakiska when Poisson died, and that “all athletes decided to start the first speed World Cup of the season on Nov. 25-26 in Lake Louise, Canada.”

Poisson, who won the downhill bronze medal at the 2013 world championships, was training for the upcoming World Cup races in North America.

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John Shuster, 30 pounds lighter, rallies for 4th Olympic curling berth

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John Shuster is going to a fourth Olympics. It’s one more chance to prove Urban Dictionary wrong.

Shuster, 30 pounds lighter since his second straight Olympic failure in Sochi, led a team that beat Heath McCormick‘s squad at the U.S. Olympic Trials finals in Omaha on Saturday night.

Shuster, Tyler GeorgeMatt Hamilton and John Landsteiner lost the opener of a best-of-three finals series on Thursday.

They came back to deliver in a pair of must-win games, 9-4 on Friday night and 7-5 on Saturday, after spending each day at the Omaha Zoo.

The new-look Shuster — leaner and, at least this weekend, clutch — would astonish those who know him by scenes at the last two Olympics.

After taking bronze in 2006 as a role player, he led the last two U.S. Olympic teams to 2-7 records in 2010 and in 2014. Last place in Vancouver, where he was benched after an 0-4 start. Next to last place in Sochi.

After the last Olympics, the former bartender from Chisholm, Minn., was left off USA Curling’s 10-man high performance team.

He took it as motivation to get in shape.

Shuster, a father of a 2- and a 4-year-old who once said, “If I don’t have pizza three or four times a week, I’m not happy,” now totes meal replacement shakes. He’s starting to enjoy Olympic lifting.

Shuster, George, Hamilton and Landsteiner, all absent from that USA Curling high performance list, formed their own team. They became Team USA in their first season together and represented the Stars and Stripes at worlds in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Their results — fourth, third and fifth —  marked the best string of U.S. men’s or women’s finishes at that level in a decade.

Shuster is set to join Debbie McCormick as the only Americans to curl at four Olympics. The sport was part of the first Winter Games in 1924, then absent as a medal sport until 1998.

“I don’t think it’s about the four Olympics for me,” Shuster said on NBCSN. “What this is about — and what I’m about — is getting my teammates to now. I have two new Olympians on this team, and I know how special that is.”

George, the 35-year-old vice skip for Shuster, led a team that lost to Shuster in the 2010 Olympic Trials final. The liquor store manager from Duluth, Minn., is going to his first Winter Games.

As is the 28-year-old Hamilton, whose younger sister qualified for PyeongChang earlier Saturday.

Landsteiner, a 27-year-old corrosion engineer, played with Shuster since 2011, including in Sochi.

Alternate Joe Polo can go 12 years between Olympic appearances after taking bronze on that Torino team.

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