Bob Corkum named U.S. women’s hockey head coach

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Bob Corkum, who played 12 NHL seasons, succeeds Robb Stauber as head coach of the U.S. women’s hockey team this season.

Corkum was announced as head coach Monday, along with assistants nine-year NHL defenseman Brian Pothier and Joel Johnson, who is in his 14th year on the University of Minnesota women’s team’s coaching staff. Corkum’s deal is through the 2019 World Championship. Pothier and Johnson were named on the staff only for next week’s Four Nations Cup.

Reagan Carey, director of U.S. women’s hockey since 2010, stepped down to pursue other opportunities.

Corkum previously was an assistant coach for the U.S. women’s under-22 team and head coach for the U.S. men’s team at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. He played center for seven NHL teams between 1990 and 2002.

Stauber, a former Los Angeles Kings goaltender, was U.S. women’s head coach for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, guiding teams to world and Olympic titles. PyeongChang marked the Americans’ first Olympic hockey gold since the first Winter Games women’s hockey tournament in 1998.

Stauber and his wife were named co-head coaches of the newest NWHL team, the Minnesota Whitecaps, in May.

It is unknown if Stauber could return to the U.S. coaching staff before the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

The U.S. plays its first international tournament since the Olympics next week at the Four Nations Cup in Saskatchewan, an annual event that also includes Canada, Finland and Sweden.

The roster includes all of the stars from the Olympic team save captain Meghan Duggan, who is sitting out with an injury but plans to return to the national team later in this Olympic cycle, and twins Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando, who are pregnant.

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Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

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Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

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Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

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