AP

U.S. men’s hockey team goes winless at pre-Olympic tournament

2 Comments

It fell to Slovakia 2-1 on Friday, Russia 5-2 on Saturday and Germany 5-1 on Sunday. All three of those nations will be in the Olympic tournament. The U.S. was the only country in the four-team tournament not to notch a victory.

Slovakia and Russia are in the U.S.’ group in PyeongChang, along with Slovenia. A full Olympic hockey schedule is here.

“If you looked at the games and saw the opportunities we had, you would’ve thought that the scoreboard would look a lot different at the end of the games,” U.S. Olympic coach Tony Granato said after Sunday’s loss. “We created those chances. We just didn’t score. There were parts of lots of games where we were in complete control of the game territorially.”

It’s likely that the majority of the U.S. Olympic roster will be made up of Deutschland Cup players. Some NCAA players and possibly AHL players not on NHL contracts — who weren’t at the German tournament — could be part of the 25-man team for PyeongChang named New Year’s Day.

Three U.S. goalies, none with NHL experience, shared the net among the three Deutschland Cup games.

Ryan Zapolski, one of the top goalies in the Russian KHL this season, gave up four goals on 18 shots to Germany. He also played one period against Slovakia, letting in one goal on five shots.

Granato said it was difficult to evaluate over a three-day tournament and expects Zapolski to have a good chance of making the roster if he continues playing well this season.

Brandon Maxwell allowed four goals on 24 shots against a Russian team lacking its biggest KHL stars expected to join the team for PyeongChang. David Leggio played two periods against Slovakia, stopping 10 of 11 shots.

Bobby SanguinettiMark ArcobelloChad Kolarik and Broc Little scored the four U.S. goals in three games.

The U.S. team included two Olympians — captain Brian Gionta from 2006 and Ryan Malone from 2010.

“I think we learned about where we’re at,” Granato said. “The whole purpose of the tournament was get evaluations, see where you’re at. There was lots of positives, but when you don’t win some games, at the end of the day you’ve got to stay with the process of why we were here.

“That’s what we’ll do: move forward, try to learn from what happened and put together the team that we think can compete, do well and win in South Korea.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: NHL commish cold on 2022 Olympics

U.S. beats Japan in Olympic baseball qualifier, may still need help

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The U.S. handed Japan its first loss in the Premier12 global Olympic baseball qualifier, at the Tokyo Dome no less, but now the Americans must root for the host nation.

The Americans, with a roster mostly of Double-A and Triple-A players, won 4-3 over a Japanese team that includes some of its domestic league’s biggest stars like two-time Central League MVP Yoshihiro Maru and veteran shortstop Hayato Sakamoto.

Outfielder Jo Adell, MLB Pipeline’s top-ranked prospect on the U.S. team, starred by reaching base four times with a home run.

Japan is already qualified for baseball’s Olympic return as the host nation.

The U.S., meanwhile, has a sense of urgency at Premier12, the first of a possible three tournaments in which it could clinch an Olympic spot.

At Premier12, the top-ranked nation from North and South America qualifies for the Olympics. The tournament is at the super-round stage of the final six teams, and two are from the Americas: the U.S. and Mexico.

The top four nations after each has played five games advance to gold- and bronze-medal games.

Mexico already beat the U.S. and ran its super-round record to 3-0 on Tuesday, clinching a spot in the medal round.

The U.S. moved to 1-2 in the super round on Tuesday and must at least get into the same medal-round game as Mexico to keep its hope of finishing as the top team from the Americas.

Japan could help, since it plays Mexico on Wednesday. If Mexico beats Japan, the Mexicans clinch a spot in the gold-medal game, which would put more pressure on the U.S. to win its last two games (vs. Australia on Wednesday and Chinese Taipei on Friday). Even then, South Korea would get into the gold-medal game if it wins out.

If the U.S. is not the top team from the Americas at Premier12, it can still earn an Olympic berth in March. But then it faces trying to come up with a roster at the end of MLB’s spring training rather than during the offseason. MLB teams may be less inclined to release minor leaguers.

“That’ll be a delicate dance,” U.S. general manager Eric Campbell said before Premier12.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: AL MVP nixes unretirement for Olympic baseball qualifying

College gymnast dies after practice accident

Getty Images
Leave a comment

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — An accomplished gymnast at Southern Connecticut State University has died following a serious spinal cord injury suffered in a training accident.

Melanie Coleman, 20, of Milford, Connecticut, was training Friday at New Era Gymnastics in Hamden when she was injured, said her mother, Susan Coleman.

She was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital and died Sunday.

Coleman was a former All State gymnast at Jonathan Law High School in Milford and was captain of the school’s gymnastics team. She was named a Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association Scholastic All-American this year.

Her former club coach, Tom Alberti, said she attained a level 10, the highest level in the USA Junior Olympics Program.

She was a junior studying nursing, following in the footsteps of her two older sisters, her mother said.

“She’s from a very large, loving family; there’s seven of us, we were the Coleman seven,” Susan Coleman said. “We spent every day together for the past 20 years.”

She volunteered at the gym where her accident occurred.

Her coaches and professors described her as a special young woman who excelled in both the classroom and gym, college President Joe Berolino said in a written statement.

“Our deepest sympathies are extended to her family and friends on this tragic loss,” he said.

People the family has met by traveling to gymnastics events around the country are giving support that is “holding us up,” Coleman’s mother said.

She described her children, which also include two sons older than Melanie, as “inseparable.”

“We’re going to leave an empty space in our photos for her” from now on, Susan Coleman said.