Canada gets quick goal in OT to beat U.S. women (video)

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Great goaltending on both ends of the ice was the story through regulation as Team USA and Canada battled into overtime at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota on Sunday as the two best women’s hockey teams in the world prepare to finalize their 2018 Olympic rosters for PyeongChang in February.

With the score tied 1-1, Canada’s Brianne Jenner wristed a shot past Team USA goaltender Maddie Rooney just 37 seconds into the overtime period, stunning the U.S. with the 2-1 win. Canada’s Rebecca Johnston was awarded the assist.

Per IIHF rules, overtime was played 3-on-3 with both teams electing to put two forwards and one defender on the ice.

The 20-year-old Rooney was a solid backstop for the U.S. throughout the game making 24 saves on 26 shots from Canada. Team Canada’s two-time Olympic gold medal winning goalie Shannon Szabados made her pre-Olympic tour debut, giving up just one goal and stopping 27 shots.

It was the fifth time the two teams have played since starting their pre-Olympic tour in October. The record still tilts in favor of the U.S., 3-2. The U.S. also holds the advantage in goals, scoring 16 to Canada’s 12.

After a scoreless first period, the U.S. opened the second period on the power play. A shot by Team USA’s Megan Keller appeared to redirect off the skates of a teammate, on its way into the net and past Szabados for the first goal of the game.

Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin tied it up with an even strength goal with roughly two minutes left in the second period.

At the second intermission the U.S. led Canada in shots, 23-14, but in the third period the Canadian attack, bolstered by three U.S. penalties, came alive, as the Canadians put 12 shots on net to just five by the U.S.

The two teams now head to Winnipeg for a Tuesday night game at Bell MTS Place, with the puck dropping at 8 p.m. ET.

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World champion wins doping case citing bodily fluids from boyfriend

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — A world champion canoeist won a doping case Monday after persuading a tribunal that her positive test was caused by bodily fluid contamination from her boyfriend.

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) ended its investigation into 11-time world champion Laurence Vincent Lapointe, who tested positive for a steroid-like substance in July. She faced a four-year ban and could have missed her event’s Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games.

The Canadian canoe sprint racer and her lawyer detailed in a news program that laboratory analysis of hair from her then-boyfriend showed he was likely responsible for a tiny presence of ligandrol in her doping sample.

“The ICF has accepted Ms. Vincent Lapointe’s evidence which supports that she was the victim of third-party contamination,” the governing body said in a statement, clearing her to return to competition.

The legal debate is similar to tennis player Richard Gasquet’s 2009 acquittal in the “cocaine kiss” case. The Court of Arbitration for Sport accepted Gasquet’s defense that kissing a woman who had taken cocaine in a Miami nightclub, after he had withdrawn injured from a tournament, caused his positive test.

The 27-year-old Vincent Lapointe was provisionally suspended for almost six months and missed the 2019 World Championships, which was a key qualifying event for the Tokyo Olympics. American 17-year-old Nevin Harrison won the 200m world title in her absence.

She can still qualify for the Olympic debut of women’s canoe sprint events with victory at a World Cup event in May in Germany.

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U.S. women’s soccer team begins Olympic qualifying, which should rest on one match

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The U.S. women’s soccer team has never been in danger in Olympic qualifying, but that doesn’t change this fact: It must win on Feb. 7 to reach the Tokyo Games.

The CONCACAF tournament begins Tuesday in Houston, where the world champion Americans face world No. 72 Haiti. The last two group games are against No. 68 Panama on Friday and No. 37 Costa Rica on Feb. 3. The top two nations from the group advance to Feb. 7 semifinals.

The U.S. roster, with 18 of its 20 players coming from the 2019 World Cup team, is here.

Since CONCACAF qualifies two nations to the Olympics, the semifinals are the deciding games.

Should the U.S. win its group, it would face the runner-up from the other group in a winner-goes-to-Tokyo match. The other group (world ranking):

Canada (8)
Mexico (37)
Jamaica (53)
St. Kitts and Nevis (127)

Chaos could result in the unlikely event that either the U.S. or Canada finishes second in its group, and the two North American powers play a semifinal.

The U.S. is undefeated in Olympic qualifying history, since the tournament format began in 2004 — 15-0 with a goal differential of 88-1 (not counting matches played once they’ve already clinched qualification). The lone goal allowed came in a group-stage match in 2008, when the U.S. was already assured a spot in the semifinals.

Still, the U.S. knows the feeling of one poor outing in an important match. In 2010, it lost to Mexico in a winner-to-the-World Cup match. The U.S. was forced to win a last-chance, home-and-home playoff against a UEFA team — Italy — for the last spot in the World Cup.

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