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Olympic men’s hockey: Quarterfinals preview

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United States vs. Czech Republic, 10:10 p.m. ET, CNBCLIVE STREAM

The U.S. came into the tournament with several speedy forwards in order to play an up-tempo style, while the Czechs look to clog up the neutral zone and slow things down. Whichever team can dictate the pace will likely come out on top and advance to the semifinals. The U.S. finally got some offense from someone other than Ryan Donato in its game vs. Slovakia — although he did pitch in two goals of his own — as Mark Arcobello, James Wisniewski and Garret Roe were able to find twine. The Czech Republic enjoyed a day off to rest: a luxury earned with a perfect record in the preliminary round.

Depth will be critical, as both teams will need the entire roster in order to force the opponent out of its comfort zone. The winner will be rewarded with two opportunities to compete for a medal.

Olympic Athletes from Russia vs. Norway, 2:40 a.m. ET, NBCSNLIVE STREAM

Norway won for the first time since the 1994 Games to advance to the quarterfinals but now have the “privilege” of playing against the Olympic Athletes from Russia. While Norway had to play a tightly-contested, physical game against Slovenia, Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk and the rest of the OAR squad enjoyed an off day to rest up. If Norway has plans on an enormous upset, it will need a herculean effort and then some to keep this competitive.

Canada vs. Finland, 7:10 a.m. ET, NBCSNLIVE STREAM

Finland fell just short of earning a bye to the quarterfinals, but after a 5-2 win vs. South Korea, it eventually got there. Eeli Tolvanen has been a dynamic offensive player, showing the Nashville Predators that they made the right selection with the 30th overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft. Canada will be looking to slow the Finns down and play a physical style but might not have the right combination of size and speed like years past. The winner will get the chance to compete for a medal.

Sweden vs. Germany, 7:10 a.m. ET, USA NetworkLIVE STREAM

Sweden can truly appreciate the value of its bye: While the Swedes rested up in preparation for their quarterfinal matchup, Germany needed overtime to beat Switzerland 2-1 and will have less than 24 hours to recover for its next game. These two sides met in the preliminary round, and though Sweden escaped with a 1-0 victory, the contest was decided by a matter of inches as the Germans rang the pipe multiple times throughout. Tired but with momentum on its side, Germany will feel good about getting a second bite at the cherry, while Sweden will hope its fresh legs make the difference to earn a semifinal berth.

Mikaela Shiffrin wins final slalom for best career season (video)

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Mikaela Shiffrin won her 12th World Cup race this season and seventh slalom, both personal bests, at the World Cup Finals in Are, Sweden, on Saturday.

Shiffrin, who clinched her second World Cup overall title and fifth slalom season title before the last races of the campaign this weekend, prevailed by 1.58 seconds over Swiss Wendy Holdener. PyeongChang gold medalist Frida Hansdotter of Sweden was third.

“The slalom has always been really close to my heart,” said Shiffrin, who won the last two slaloms this season after a shocking fourth-place finish in PyeongChang. “To finish with a run like that was super special.”

Full results are here.

Shiffrin matched Lindsey Vonn‘s American record for World Cup wins in one season — 12 — with one more race Sunday. Only Swiss Vreni Schneider has more women’s World Cup wins in a single campaign with 14.

Shiffrin, who turned 23 on Tuesday, also moved into solo fifth place on the women’s World Cup wins list with 43, including 23 victories in the last two seasons.

If Shiffrin keeps it up, she can move into the top three next season, though Lindsey Vonn‘s record 82 is a ways off.

“I’m not thinking about that so much,” Shiffrin said. “It’s way too soon to set that as my goal.”

Shiffrin is also three World Cup slalom wins shy of the record 35 held by retired Austrian Marlies Schild, whom Shiffrin supplanted as the world’s top slalom skier in 2013.

The World Cup Finals conclude Sunday with the women’s giant slalom. Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA will air live coverage of the second run at 7:30 a.m. ET.

“After today I’m really looking forward to going to the start one more time this season and hammering down,” Shiffrin said.

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Katie Ledecky beaten in NCAA Championships individual medley

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Katie Ledecky lost an NCAA Championships race for the first time in eight career finals, taking second in the 400-yard individual medley on Friday.

Stanford teammate Ella Eastin easily beat Ledecky by 3.69 seconds and grabbed the American and NCAA records from Ledecky, too. Eastin’s 3:54.60 is 1.93 seconds faster than Ledecky’s time from the Pac-12 Championships last month.

How did she do it?

“Honestly, I don’t know,” Eastin said on ESPNU. “I’ve built a lot of endurance this year, and it really showed.”

Eastin is decorated in her own right. She three-peated as NCAA 400-yard IM champion and held the American record in the event before Ledecky lowered it last month.

Eastin would have made the 2017 World Championships team had she not been disqualified for an illegal turn after finishing in second place at nationals.

Ledecky, a sophomore, has never contested the 400m IM at a U.S. Championships, Olympics or world championships, nor did she race the 400-yard IM at 2017 NCAAs. She raced the 400 IM instead of the 200 freestyle on Friday.

All of Ledecky’s races at major meets before Friday were in freestyle events. Her only defeat in a major international meet individual final was the 200m freestyle at 2017 Worlds.

Ledecky won five NCAA titles last year and the last two nights anchored the 800-yard freestyle relay and captured the 500-yard freestyle by eight seconds.

Meet results are here.

Later Friday, Lilly King of Indiana three-peated in the 100-yard breaststroke, breaking her American and NCAA records and winning in 56.25 seconds. King is also the Olympic and world champion in the 100m breast, plus the world-record holder.

“Always excited to get the record, but was really hoping to break 56 today,” King said.

Louisville’s Mallory Comerford became the second woman after Missy Franklin to break 1:40 in the 200-yard freestyle, winning in 1:39.80. Co-Olympic 100m free champ Simone Manuel of Stanford was third. Comerford and Ledecky tied for the 2017 NCAA 200 free title.

Stanford’s Ally Howe won the 100-yard backstroke in 49.70, one hundredth shy of her NCAA and American records. Olympic 100m backstroke silver medalist Kathleen Baker of Cal-Berkeley was third.

NCAAs conclude Saturday. Ledecky swims the 1,650-yard freestyle. She is the overwhelming favorite, having gone 35 seconds faster than anyone this season.

Ledecky hasn’t discussed with Stanford whether she will return for her junior season or turn pro, according to the school.

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