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

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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.

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2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens TV, streaming schedule

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The Rugby World Cup Sevens, held in the U.S. for the first time, airs live on NBC, NBCSN and Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

NBC Sports’ TV coverage totals more than 30 live hours. NBC Sports Gold will also stream live, commercial-free coverage of every match with its “Rugby Pass.”

NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app will stream all NBC Sports and Olympic Channel TV coverage.

The Rugby World Cup Sevens is the biggest standalone competition outside of the Olympics for an event that debuted at the Rio Games. Traditional 15-a-side rugby was played at the Olympics in 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924.

Like the Olympics, the World Cup takes place every four years, now in the middle of every Olympic cycle, with men’s and women’s competitions at the same site.

New Zealand is the defending World Cup champion for men and women, though Fiji took the men’s Olympic title and Australia the women’s gold in Rio.

The U.S. finished fifth (women) and sixth (men) in this season’s World Series standings, though the U.S. men won the only World Series leg played in the U.S. in Las Vegas in March.

The U.S. men are led by Perry Baker, the 2017 World Player of the Year, and Carlin Isles, the 2018 World Series leader in tries. The U.S. women feature Naya Tapper and Rio Olympian Alev Kelter, two of the top scorers from the World Series.

The NBC Sports broadcast team includes U.S. Olympian and Super Bowl champion Nate Ebner as a studio analyst. Leigh Diffey and Bill Seward are on play-by-play, and Ahmed Fareed hosts on-site studio coverage.

Former USA Sevens captain Brian Hightower, U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame member Dan Lyle, former Premiership Rugby and English international prop Alex Corbisiero and World Rugby Hall of Famer Phaidra Knight will provide game and studio commentary.

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Day Time (ET) Network Coverage Highlights
Friday 1 p.m. NBC Sports Gold Men’s Qualifiers
4-7 p.m. Olympic Channel Men’s Qualifiers
7 p.m.-1 a.m. NBCSN Women’s Quarters/Men’s Round of 16
Saturday 12:25-3 p.m. Olympic Channel Women’s Semifinal 1
3-5 p.m. NBC Women’s Semifinal 2
5-6 p.m. Olympic Channel Men’s Challenge Quarters
6:30-11:30 p.m. NBCSN Men’s Quarters/Women’s Finals
Sunday 11:55 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Olympic Channel Men’s Bowl/Challenge Semifinals
2:30-5 p.m. NBC Men’s Semifinals
5-7 p.m. Olympic Channel Men’s Bowl Finals
7-10 p.m. NBCSN Men’s Finals

Denis Ten, Olympic medalist figure skater, dies

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Denis Ten, the 2014 Olympic figure skating bronze medalist from Kazakhstan, died after he reportedly was stabbed in Almaty on Thursday.

The International Skating Union and the Kazah Olympic Committee confirmed Ten’s death.

Ten, 25, competed in three Olympics and earned world championships silver and bronze medals in 2013 and 2015.

At 16, Ten was the youngest men’s competitor at Vancouver 2010 and finished 11th in his Olympic debut; he was also only the second singles skater Kazakhstan had ever sent to the Olympics.

Ten made unexpected history in 2013, becoming the first skater from Kazakhstan to win a world championships medal. After experiencing health setbacks at the start of his 2014 Olympic season, he was the biggest question mark among the top men in Sochi, but he surprised by becoming the first skater from Kazakhstan to earn an Olympic medal.

Ten struggled through health issues leading into his last Olympics in PyeongChang, where he placed 27th. Those Winter Games were nonetheless special to Ten, who was of South Korean descent; his great-grandfather was a famous general who fought for Korean independence, and there is a statue and memorial dedicated to him in Wonju, a town 35 miles southwest of PyeongChang.

Ten also played a significant role as an ambassador for his hometown Almaty’s bid for the 2022 Winter Games. Beijing got the Games over Almaty in an IOC members vote in 2015.

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.