U.S., Canada women's hockey

U.S. squanders lead to Canada again, falls in Four Nations Cup final shootout

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The U.S. women’s hockey team lost a shootout to Canada in the Four Nations Cup title game Saturday, squandering a 2-1 lead for the second time in four days to its rival and falling 3-2.

“Coach [Ken Klee] just said there’s no such thing as moral victories,” U.S. Olympic forward Brianna Decker said. “It’s a learning experience. We have World Championships in April [in Malmo, Sweden], so hopefully we can get them back then.”

Canadian Olympian Brianne Jenner scored the only shootout goal, beating U.S. goalie Molly Schaus. Schaus was the No. 2 U.S. goalie at the 2014 Olympics.

Jenner also scored the first Canadian goal in the Sochi Olympic gold-medal game, sparking a comeback from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in overtime.

“They’re our rivals, and we don’t want to drop a game to them,” Jenner said, according to The Associated Press.

The U.S. and Canada Four Nations Cup rosters were a mix of Olympians and non-Olympians. Neither starting goalie from the Sochi gold-medal game was on the teams.

Decker and Sochi Olympic teammate Hilary Knight potted second-period goals Saturday, but Canada drew even late in the second in Kamloops, B.C.

“We’re not satisfied with it, but we played out hearts out,” Klee said. “I think there’s no question that we’re right there with them.”

Olympic figure skating champion out 2-3 weeks after collision

Federica Brignone hopes World Cup rival Mikaela Shiffrin will return soon

Shiffrin and Brignone
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Mikaela Shiffrin‘s prolonged absence from the World Cup Alpine skiing circuit has opened the door for Italy’s Federica Brignone to break the American’s grip on the season title, but Brignone hopes her friend and rival will be back in competition soon.

“I really do hope that she will return soon for herself so she can do again what she loves most,” Brignone said.

Brignone took the season lead from Shiffrin, who has won the last three World Cup overall titles, on Sunday and has a 73-point advantage with 11 of the season’s 40 races remaining. She also leads Shiffrin by 74 points in the giant slalom standings.

READ: Brignone moves into World Cup lead

No Italian woman has won the overall World Cup. Brignone was fifth in 2017 and won the Alpine combined discipline title last season.

Brignone will have a chance to clinch another Alpine combined discipline title and extend her overall lead in her home country this weekend. While some other sports events in Italy have been canceled or otherwise affected by the coronavirus outbreak, the host resort of La Thuile has so far been spared from the virus’ spread.

Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, the only other skier with a realistic chance of winning the overall trophy, is dealing with a knee injury and might not be able to race this weekend. Vhlova leads Shiffrin by 20 points in the slalom standings.

Shiffrin has not competed since the death of her father Feb. 2, and she has not announced plans to return. She was not on pace to match her astounding 17-win 2018-19 season but still had six wins and had reached the podium in 13 of 19 races.

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World short-track speedskating championships will be moved, postponed or canceled

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The International Skating Union announced Tuesday that the world short-track speedskating championships will not proceed as scheduled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Seoul’s Mokdong Ice Rink, where the competition was set to be held March 13-15, held the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships earlier this month but closed on Monday.

The ISU left open the possibility that the championships will be postponed or relocated, but the window to do so may close rapidly.

“Taking into account the uncertain world-wide development of the coronavirus, the limited and uncertain available time slots during the coming weeks and the logistical challenges of potential organizers and participating teams, a postponement and/or relocation of the Championships would be difficult to achieve,” the ISU said. “Nevertheless, a postponement and/or relocation of this Championships might be considered if the circumstances would allow so in due time.”

South Korea is one of short-track speedskating’s traditional powers. Last year, the country dominated the world championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, winning both relays and taking gold in all of the men’s individual races. South Korea also led the medal count on home ice in the 2018 Olympics.

The coronavirus outbreak has forced the cancellation of many events in China, where the illness was first found. The world indoor track and field championships were pushed back a whole year.

With the virus spreading to other regions, other countries’ sports schedules are being affected. Several soccer games are proceeding in empty stadiums in Italy and Iran.

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