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‘Chemistry’ already building for U.S. men’s hockey

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — Thrown together from leagues all over the world, the players shook hands and introduced themselves to teammates they’d never met but know well thanks to a bit of technology.

Long before their first practice together Friday, members of the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team connected via a group chat. They talked hockey, logistics and life, and it’s already paying dividends.

“When we get in the locker room today, we feel like we’ve known each other for a while,” forward Brian O’Neill said.

The U.S. was among the final teams to get on the ice together as a group, save for many playing at the pre-Olympic Deutschland Cup in November. With just five practices to get up to speed with coach Tony Granato and each other, the group chat and a website to study various systems were essential to bonding and developing camaraderie. Hockey Hall of Famer Cammi Granato told her brother such bonding was key in a short international tournament.

Read the rest and watch streams, video at NBCOlympics.com

USA wins gold in men’s curling

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For the first time in history, the United States won the Olympic gold medal in curling.

A week ago, it didn’t seem like that would happen. Sitting at 2-4 and with a game against behemoth Canada coming up, John Shuster captained the United States to three consecutive wins (over Canada, Switzerland, and Great Britain) to squeak into the semifinals. From there, they took down Great Britain before completing the run against Sweden in the gold medal game.

Tied at 5-5 in the eighth end, Shuster was able to hit both of Sweden’s rocks out of the house, giving the United States an incredible five points and a 10-5 lead heading into the ninth.

NBCOlympics.com: Watch: Team USA scores five points in eighth end

After that, it was all about protecting the lead. Just a few minutes later Swedish skip Niklas Edin conceded the game, and it was the United States standing on top of the podium for the first time ever in the sport of curling.

Click here to read the full recap from the gold medal game 

Ester Ledecka first woman to win gold in two sports at same Winter Olympics

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One week after shocking the world by winning a gold medal in Alpine skiing, Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic strapped back into a snowboard and won a gold medal in her primary sport.

Ledecka, the No. 1 ranked athlete in women’s parallel giant slalom snowboarding, qualified for the finals of that event with the fastest time, then won four consecutive head-to-head races to claim her second gold medal of the PyeongChang Olympics.

With the win, Ledecka is the first woman to win gold medals in two different sports at the same Winter Olympics.

Results: Women’s Parallel Giant Slalom

Gold: Ester Ledecka (CZE)
Silver: Selina Joerg (GER)
Bronze: Ramona Hofmeister (GER)
4. Alena Zavarzina (OAR)
5. Benjamin Karl (AUT)
6. Stefan Baumeister (GER)
7. Roland Fischnaller (ITA)
8. Edwin Coratti (ITA)

Click here to catch up on all of the snowboarding action from PyeongChang