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USA Hockey adds 2 more players to Olympic women’s pool

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USA Hockey added two more players to its pool of potential Olympic women’s team members in a move reminiscent of Herb Brooks in 1980.

Forward Haley Skarupa and defenseman Sidney Morin joined the national team, making 26 players (23 skaters, three goalies). The 23-player Olympic roster will be named New Year’s Day (20 skaters, three goalies).

The original 23-player national team was named in May, but it was not the Olympic team. USA Hockey always had the option of adding players to the pool in the run up to the Winter Games.

Cayla Barnes, a freshman defenseman at Boston College, was added in October.

Now enter Skarupa, a member of the last three world championship teams, and Morin, who has no Olympic or senior world championships experience.

Skarupa, 23, was the only one of 12 skaters who made all three world championships teams in this Olympic cycle who didn’t make the original cut for the national team in May. Forty-two players tried out for the original 23 spots.

Morin, 22, has never played for the senior national team but was one of 12 defenseman who tried out last spring. Ultimately, seven were chosen, with an eighth added in Barnes.

Morin completed her career at the University of Minnesota-Duluth last season and now plays professionally in Sweden. She is the only player on the national team coming over from a European club.

The additions conjure memories of the 1980 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team.

A month before the Lake Placid Winter Games, Coach Herb Brooks famously added two forwards — Minnesota freshmen Aaron Broten and Timmy Harrer — but the original player pool that had been together for six months convinced Brooks to send them home.

The U.S. women have two more pre-Olympic exhibitions versus rival Canada on Sunday (NBCSN, 4 p.m. ET) and Dec. 15 ahead of the Olympic roster announcement.

The Americans won three of their four meetings so far this fall, including in the Four Nations Cup final Nov. 12.

Two-time Olympians and twins Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando did not play in any of the four games at the Four Nations Cup, reportedly as healthy scratches.

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MORE: Hilary Knight’s trip to historic Olympic ice rekindles love for hockey

U.S. Women’s National Team
Goalies
Nicole Hensley
Alex Rigsby
Maddie Rooney

Defensemen
Cayla Barnes — Added in October
Kacey Bellamy — Olympian (2010, 2014)
Megan Bozek — Olympian (2014)
Kali Flanagan
Megan Keller
Monique Lamoureux-Morando — Olympian (2010, 2014)
Gigi Marvin — Olympian (2010, 2014)
Sidney Morin — Added in November
Emily Pfalzer
Lee Stecklein — Olympian (2014)

Forwards
Hannah Brandt
Dani Cameranesi
Alex Carpenter — Olympian (2014)
Kendall Coyne — Olympian (2014)
Brianna Decker — Olympian (2014)
Meghan Duggan — Olympian (2010, 2014)
Amanda Kessel — Olympian (2014)
Hilary Knight — Olympian (2010, 2014)
Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson — Olympian (2010, 2014)
Sidney Morin — Added in November
Annie Pankowski
Kelly Pannek
Amanda Pelkey

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.