Jessie Vetter

U.S. women’s hockey evens series with Canada in shootout

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Make it three straight for the U.S. over Canada.

Goalie Jessie Vetter stopped all three Canadian shootout attempts after the U.S. squandered a 2-0 lead in the third period for a 3-2 victory in St. Paul, Minn., on Saturday. There were no fights after last week’s line brawl (video here).

“[The shootout] puts our kids on the hot seat, it puts their kids on the hot seat and it’s time to execute and deliver,” U.S. coach Katey Stone said, according to The Associated Press. “At the end of the day, that’s what we’re going to have to do.”

The U.S. drew even with Canada, 3-3, in its series of games leading into the Sochi Olympics in February. They’ll play one more game, Monday in Toronto, before the U.S. Olympic Team is named on New Year’s Day at the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The Americans have won all three games between the rivals since Canadian coach Dan Church‘s shock resignation Dec. 12. Longtime NHL player and former Florida Panthers coach Kevin Dineen took over Dec. 17.

“I don’t think there was any less intensity tonight, but it was directed towards the game instead of anything else,” Dineen said, according to the AP.

In the shootout, Vetter stopped Canadian veterans Jayna HeffordCaroline Ouellette and Meghan Agosta-MarcianoHilary Knight potted a shootout goal for the U.S.

“We’re an extremely talented team, but we still have a long way to go and we’re going to get there,” Knight said, according to the AP. “We’re confident with our game plan. … You got to find a way to win, dig deep, and we did that tonight.”

Kelli Stack and Alex Carpenter scored in the first and second periods, respectively, for the U.S. Agosta-Marciano and Marie-Philip Poulin answered midway through the third.

Canada already named its Olympic team, led by six-time Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser, who returned following a one-game absence due to a lower-body injury Saturday.

Top U.S. forward Amanda Kessel, the reigning NCAA Player of the Year, did not play. She has not played at all against Canada this fall or winter due to a lower-body injury, but U.S. coach Katey Stone said Kessel will be ready for the Olympics.

Canadian forward racks up penalty minutes, doles out concussions

Eddy Alvarez, Olympic short track medalist, to play for Miami Marlins

Eddy Alvarez
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Eddy Alvarez realized his MLB dream, six years after earning a Winter Olympic medal, and during a global pandemic that affected his club more than any other U.S. professional sports franchise.

Alvarez, a 2014 U.S. Olympic short track speed skating medalist, is being added to the Miami Marlins roster for Tuesday’s restart of their abbreviated season, president of baseball operations Mike Hill said Monday, according to Marlins beat reporters.

The 30-year-old was among a group added after as many as 18 Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus last week, forcing the club to cancel seven games.

Alvarez is believed to be the first U.S. Winter Olympian to become a Major League Baseball player.

He may be the second Olympic medalist in a sport other than baseball to make it to the majors, joining Jim Thorpe. (Michael Jordan tried to do so with the Chicago White Sox, playing Double-A in 1994, but returned to the Chicago Bulls in 1995.)

Alvarez, a Miami native, played baseball in high school and at Salt Lake Community College before focusing on short track in 2012 for a 2014 Olympic run.

He came back from missing the 2010 Olympic team and surgeries on both knees, reportedly leaving him immobile and bedpan dependent for four to six weeks, to make the Sochi Winter Games. Eddy the Jet earned a silver medal in the 5000m relay.

Then Alvarez returned to baseball after three years away. He signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox in June 2014. He worked his way through the minors between that franchise and the Marlins system.

Alvarez was a Kannapolis Intimidator, a New Orleans Baby Cake and a Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

Now, he’s a big leaguer.

“It definitely was a chance, picking up a kid who hasn’t played in three years who is starting at the age of 24,” Alvarez said in 2014. “It’s not your typical story, but I play like a 17-year-old kid. I’m running around everywhere. I’m diving around everywhere. I’m full of life. I definitely see my progression moving at a rapid pace.”

MORE: What Olympic baseball, softball return looks like in 2021

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Katie Ledecky balances glass of chocolate milk on her head while swimming

Katie Ledecky
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Katie Ledecky will always remember Aug. 3 as the date she won her first Olympic gold medal, at age 15 in 2012.

Now, she can also associate it with the time she created another kind of buzz on social media.

The five-time Olympic champion posted video of her swimming the length of a pool while balancing a glass of chocolate milk on her head. Barely any, if any, milk spilled into the pool.

Ledecky swam as part of a new got milk? ad campaign.

“Hoooowww nervous were you when you did this?!” fellow Olympic champion and training partner Simone Manuel asked Ledecky on Instagram.

“I have never braced my core so hard,” Ledecky wrote. “It’s a great drill!”

“Try doing it breaststroke,” British Olympic 100m breaststroke champion and world-record holder Adam Peaty wrote.

“Is it wrong of me to think this is even more impressive than a few of your WR’s?!!!” wrote 1992 Olympic champion Summer Sanders.

MORE: The meet where Kathleen Ledecky became Katie Ledecky

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