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Robb Stauber, coach of U.S. Olympic champion hockey team, takes pro job

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Robb Stauber, the head coach of the U.S. Olympic women’s hockey team, and wife Shivaun Stauber, a former college goalie, will be co-head coaches of the newest NWHL team, the Minnesota Whitecaps, next season.

The club tweeted St. Paul Pioneer Press story confirming the hires, quoting Robb Stauber and reporting he also applied to coach the University of Minnesota’s men’s team. He did not get that job.

Asked if Stauber’s new job means he will not coach the U.S. at the 2019 World Championship, a USA Hockey spokesperson said, “We haven’t announced our 2018-19 national team coaching staff yet..”

The NWHL season typically runs from October to late March, ending just before the world championship tournament. The schedule for 2018-19, the league’s fourth season, has not been announced.

The U.S. women’s national team’s schedule is defined by two major international tournaments — worlds and the Four Nations Cup, the latter scheduled for November.

Stauber previously coached the Whitecaps when they were an independent team in 2015-16, while also serving as a U.S. national team assistant coach.

The following fall, Stauber was promoted from assistant to head coach of the U.S. women’s national team, starting a two-season run that included world and Olympic titles.

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MORE: Unified Korea Olympic hockey coach gets new job

Weekend Gymnastics Roundup: Carey and McCusker on World Cup podium

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World medalists Jade Carey and Riley McCusker headlined gymnastics action over the weekend as the World Cup circuit continued with an all-around competition in Birmingham, England, and an apparatus event in Doha, Qatar.

Carey won both the vault and floor events in Doha, pushing her to the top of the standings on both apparatus (she also won the vault and floor competitions the previous weekend at the World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan).

Doha marked the halfway point of apparatus World Cups, putting Carey in a promising position to qualify for the Tokyo Games heading into the next four events. The apparatus World Cup series includes a total of eight competitions spread over two seasons, and one gymnast per apparatus will qualify for the Olympics based on his or her top three results across the eight events.

Carey, 18, was the 2017 world silver medalist on vault and floor. But she opted not to try for a spot on the 2018 World Championships team due to the International Gymnastics Federation’s rules that active team members who help their countries qualify team spots for Tokyo (as the U.S. women did in November) cannot earn individual spots. Carey, an apparatus specialist rather than an all-around gymnast, chose the World Cup route to keep open her options of qualifying individually.

McCusker, who was part of the U.S. team that won the world title last year, finished second at the all-around World Cup in Birmingham, posting the top scores on the uneven bars and floor. Russia’s Aliya Mustafina, a seven-time Olympic medalist, won the event. Mustafina bounced back from a shaky showing last weekend at the World Cup in Stuttgart, where she finished fifth in an event won by Simone Biles. Mustafina, 24, is trying to qualify for her third Olympics after giving birth to daughter Alisa in June 2017.

The all-around World Cup circuit continues on April 7 in Tokyo, Japan, where two-time world all-around medalist Morgan Hurd and two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak are expected to compete.

First Olympic women’s aerials champion Cheryazova dies at 50

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MOSCOW — Lina Cheryazova, the first woman to win an Olympic aerials skiing gold medal, has died. She was 50.

Officials in the Russian city of Novosibirsk, where Cheryazova was living for the last two decades, said she died “following a lengthy illness,” without giving further details.

Competing for Uzbekistan, Cheryazova won gold with a triple flip when aerials skiing debuted on the Olympic program in 1994 in Lillehammer.

Shortly after winning, she learned her mother died three weeks before.

Cheryazova’s career was derailed later that year when she suffered a serious head injury while training in the United States, and spent days in a coma. She retired after failing to qualify for the 1998 Winter Olympics.