U.S. beats Canada for another hockey tournament title

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Make it eight straight tournament final victories over Canada for the U.S. women’s hockey team. How’s that for a rivalry?

Hilary Knight scored twice as the Americans won 5-2 for their fourth straight Four Nations Cup title on Saturday night in Saskatchewan. The U.S. also captured the last three world championships and PyeongChang Olympic titles. The last Canadian final victory was at the 2014 Four Nations Cup.

The next major tournament is the world championship in Finland in April.

Melissa Samoskevich, Brianna Decker and Kendall Coyne Schofield also scored, leading Canada to pull three-time Olympic goalie Shannon Szabados 41 seconds into the third period.

Alex Rigsby, the U.S.’ No. 3 goalie in PyeongChang, played the whole game, stopping 23 of 25 shots. Rigsby was also in net for a 2-1 win over Canada in preliminary play Wednesday.

The U.S. made major changes since the Olympics, including a new head coach (Bob Corkum replacing Robb Stauber) and program director Reagan Carey stepping down after eight years at the helm.

The Four Nations Cup roster included all of the stars from the Olympics save captain Meghan Duggan, who sat 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.

The Four Nations Cup is an annual tournament featuring the U.S., Canada, Finland and Sweden.

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MORE: NHL helped end USA Hockey, women’s national team wage dispute

IOC revokes shooting event status over Pakistan visa refusal

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The International Olympic Committee has revoked the Olympic qualification status of a 25-meter shooting event in New Delhi because Indian officials refused to grant entry visas to two Pakistani athletes and an official.

The IOC said Thursday it was informed on Monday that the Indian government authorities did not grant entry visas to the Pakistani delegation for the 25-meter rapid-fire pistol event at the ISSF World Cup, where two places at next year’s Tokyo Olympics were meant to be at stake.

The IOC said it only withdrew the Olympic qualification status from the competition in which the two Pakistani athletes were supposed to participate. There are 500 athletes from 61 countries who are already in India for other World Cup events.

“Since becoming aware of the issue, and in spite of intense last-minute joint efforts by the IOC, the ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) and the Indian NOC (National Olympic Committee), and discussions with the Indian government authorities, no solution has been found to allow the Pakistani delegation to enter India in time to compete,” the IOC said in a statement.

It did not say whether Pakistani athletes were entered in any other events at the competition.

In a statement to the Press Trust of India news agency, Rajeev Mehta, the secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association, said Friday the IOA would approach the government again about the visas.

“It is a dangerous situation for all sport in the county,” Mehta was quoted as saying. “In addition to not being able to host events in India, there may be problems for our athletes to take part in international events.”

The IOC said the situation goes against the fundamental principles of the Olympic Charter to not discriminate against any athlete.

The visa refusal comes amid escalated tensions between the two countries following last week’s deadly suicide bombing in Kashmir against Indian paramilitary troops. At least 40 Indian soldiers were killed in Thursday’s attack, which New Delhi blamed on Islamabad.

Since independence from Britain in 1947, Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir, which is divided between the two but claimed by each in its entirety.

Yevgenia Medvedeva wins Russian figure skating event to revive Worlds hope

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VELIKY NOVGOROD, Russia — Yevgenia Medvedeva beat Elizaveta Tuktamysheva in the Russian Cup final on Friday and boosted her hopes of a dramatic return to the Russia team for the world championships.

Despite a fall in the free skate, last year’s Olympic silver medalist scored 222.90 points to beat Tuktamysheva by just 1.71.

Medvedeva has struggled this season after moving to Canada to train, while Tuktamysheva started strongly in the autumn but was then hospitalized with pneumonia.

The Russian Cup was widely considered an unofficial skate-off for Russia’s third world championship slot next month alongside Olympic gold medalist Alina Zagitova and European champion Sofia Samodurova.

The skater likely to lose her spot is Stanislava Konstantinova, who followed up fourth at the European championships with another fourth-place finish on Friday.

MORE: Medvedeva’s coach Brian Orser says they’re on stand-by for Worlds spot

As a reminder, you can watch the world championships live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

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