Preview: U.S. women’s hockey hopes to dethrone Canada



All games can be seen live online or on NBCSN, USA Network and MSNBC. TV listings can be found here.

Feb. 8 – USA vs. Finland – 3 a.m. ET; Canada vs. Switzerland – 8 a.m. ET

Feb. 9 – Sweden vs. Japan – 3 a.m. ET; Russia vs. Germany – 8 a.m. ET

Feb. 10 – USA vs. Switzerland – 3 a.m. ET; Finland vs. Canada – 8 a.m. ET

Feb. 11 – Germany vs. Sweden – 5 a.m. ET; Russia vs. Japan – 10 a.m. ET

Feb. 12 – Switzerland vs. Finland – 3 a.m. ET; Canada vs. USA 7:30 a.m. ET

Feb. 13 – Japan vs. Germany 3 a.m. ET; Sweden vs. Russia noon ET

Feb. 15 – Quarterfinals at 3 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. ET

Feb. 16 – Classification games at 3 a.m. and noon ET

Feb. 17 – Semifinals at 7:30 a.m. ET and noon ET

Feb. 18 – Classification games at 3 a.m. and noon ET

Feb. 20 – Bronze medal game at 7 a.m.; gold at noon ET


One crucial difference between men’s and women’s hockey is that body checks aren’t totally permitted in women’s hockey. This table explains the differences between body checks and body contact, though it must be noted that there’s potential for gray area:


In a similar vein, women are forced to wear full face masks while doing so is voluntary for men’s hockey players.


The women’s tournament will be broken up into two groups, this time with the top teams in Group A:

Group A

Canada, U.S., Finland and Switzerland

Group B

Sweden, Russia, Germany and Japan

The logic behind putting the most powerful teams in Group A is to reduce the amount of blowouts, which was an unfortunate byproduct of the previous format. It also opens up the possibility for two United States – Canada games.

The top two teams from Group A after the round robin advance straight to the semifinals while the bottom two from Group A and top two from Group B begin the quarterfinals. From there, seeding is pretty standard.

For a more detailed breakdown of the format, click here.

MORE: Off the cuff with Canadian flag bearer Hayley Wickenheiser


The Americans hope that Amanda Kessel truly his 100 percent heading into the 2014 Olympics. Phil Kessel’s sister insists that she’s good to go despite rehabbing an injury. Silver medal-winning goalie Jessie Vetter will start the first U.S. game against Finland.

It’s pretty difficult to separate the United States from Canada, as the two nations have dominated ice hockey since it was added to the Olympics in Nagano. Canada is seeking its fourth consecutive gold medal in women’s ice hockey, yet the Americans carry momentum against their neighbors with four consecutive exhibition wins.

This is a bitter rivalry with an opportunity for two confrontations in Sochi.


Beyond Canada (who, by the way, have a bit of a captain controversy going), Finland is believed to be the greatest threat to upset the dominant North American teams, as the country’s penchant for developing impressive netminders transcends genders, at least if it Noora Raty’s potential is any indication. She’s already in her third Olympics at 24 and recently frustrated the U.S. with 58-save performance in a 3-1 win in November.

Switzerland and Sweden are likely to be the top underdogs behind the Finns.

Chloe Dygert crashes over guard rail at world championships, has surgery

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American Chloé Dygert crashed over a guard rail at the world road cycling championships time trial, where she appeared en route to a repeat title, and underwent leg surgery as a result.

Dygert, who last year won by the largest margin in history as the youngest-ever champion, lost control of her bike while approaching a curve to the right. Her front wheel bobbled, and she collided with the barricade, flipping over into an area with grass.

Dygert, who had a left leg laceration, was tended to by several people, put on a stretcher and taken to a hospital in Bologna, Italy, about 25 miles from the worlds host of Imola.

“We are relieved that this crash was not worse than what it could have been,” USA Cycling chief of sport performance Jim Miller said in a press release. “While this crash is distressing, Chloe is young and a fighter. With Chloe’s determination, we know she will be back riding before we know it. For now, we want her to focus on healing.”

About 10 minutes after the crash, Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen won her first time trial title.

Van der Breggen took silver the last three years behind Dygert and countrywoman Annemiek van Vleuten, who missed this year’s race after breaking her wrist last week in the Giro Rosa.

Dygert, 23, had a 26-second lead at the 14-kilometer time check of the 31-kilometer race. Full results are here.

Dygert qualified for the Tokyo Olympics when she won last year’s world time trial title. She has been bidding to make the Olympics on the road and the track.

Worlds continue Friday with the men’s time trial airing on Olympic Channel and NBC Sports Gold for Cycling Pass subscribers at 8:15 a.m. ET. A full TV schedule is here.

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MORE: USA Cycling names Olympic team finalists

2020 French Open men’s singles draw, bracket

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Rafael Nadal was put into the same half of the French Open draw as fellow 2018 and 2019 finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria, with top-ranked Novak Djokovic catching a break.

Nadal, trying to tie Roger Federer‘s male record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, could play sixth-seeded German Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals before a potential clash with Thiem, who just won the U.S. Open.

Djokovic, who is undefeated in 2020 save being defaulted out of the U.S. Open, could play No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the quarterfinals before a possible semifinal with Russian Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev is the fourth seed but is 0-3 at the French Open. Another possible Djokovic semifinal opponent is fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who reached the fourth round last year.

The most anticipated first-round matchup is between three-time major champion Andy Murray and 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka. In Murray’s most recent French Open match, he lost in five sets to Wawrinka in the 2017 semifinals.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

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