Nate Clark

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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Hirscher storms back to win World Cup GS, Ligety takes 7th (video)

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BEAVER CREEK, Colo. (AP) — Lounging on the couch with his broken left ankle in a cast, Marcel Hirscher felt something he hadn’t in a long time — no pressure.

Now that he’s back on the slopes with his ankle mended and returning to his winning ways, that familiar tension has returned.

The six-time overall World Cup champion can’t escape the one glaring omission from his impressive resume: an Olympic gold.

He insisted he doesn’t give it a second thought heading to PyeongChang. Still, all eyes will be on him constantly between now and February.

Especially after a performance like Sunday’s. The Austrian standout stormed back from a first-run deficit to win a World Cup giant slalom race on an afternoon when rival Ted Ligety struggled.

Hirscher finished in a combined time of 2 minutes, 37.30 seconds to show he’s getting back up to speed after breaking his ankle in a training accident in August. Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway was second, 0.88 seconds back, and first-run leader Stefan Luitz of Germany took third.

“Today I thought: ‘OK, let’s go for it. Let’s give it a try. Let’s see what’s possible,’” Hirscher said. “So unexpected was never a win before.”

Sitting next to him, Kristoffersen couldn’t help but chime in.

“I’m not surprised,” Kristoffersen said.

“Come on, Henrik,” Hirscher responded.

It was Hirscher’s 23rd World Cup giant slalom win, which ties him for third most among men with Switzerland’s Michael von Gruenigen. That leaves him trailing only Ingemar Stenmark (46) and Ligety (24) in the discipline.

“Marcel’s a great athlete,” Kristoffersen said. “He’s making sure that everything is lined up as good as possible for himself. That’s one of the reasons he has won six overall globes in a row. Of course, he’s mentally strong.”

These days, he’s getting physically strong, too. He hardly feels any discomfort in that ankle, especially on race day.

“If you’re so pumped, with this high adrenaline, it doesn’t hurt,” said Hirscher, who was 17th in a slalom in Levi, Finland, on Nov. 12. “It is completely free of pain. I didn’t think about it. Maybe during training sometimes I think about it or feel a little pain. But it is not worth talking about it.”

Hirscher’s not the only top GS racer on the mend. Ligety showed signs of returning to form following surgery to fix herniated disks in January. He was second after the first pass through the course, but he made several small mistakes on his final run to slip to seventh.

“I’m happy with how I’ve been skiing and how my body feels. That’s good,” Ligety said. “But Beaver Creek has been a really good hill for me. I expected a lot more.”

As a whole, the Americans turned in a lackluster performance on their home course. In three races, the top finish was by Ligety. Tommy Ford had a career-best 10th-place World Cup finish Sunday.

“That was much better skiing,” Ford said. “It was cool to do some good arcs.”

Starting third-to-last in the final run, Hirscher powered his way down the course to knock Kristoffersen from the top spot. Ligety couldn’t catch him and neither could Luitz, who picked up his fifth World Cup podium finish.

Luitz was impressed with Hirscher.

“He’s unbelievable. He was injured and trained like two weeks, maybe less, and just amazing how he came back,” Luitz said. “He’s the best skier in the world.”

Hence, the pressure that only figures to escalate as the Olympics near.

“The first day I was able to walk without the cast and no crutches, the pressure began to pop up again,” Hirscher said. “But especially after today, it is completely the same (pressure).

“The last month was really hard. Just skiing, skiing, skiing, as many runs as possible, trying to gain the speed. … I improved myself through every turn.”

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Lindsey Vonn falls in super-G, second time in Lake Louise

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After her scary downhill crash from Friday, Lindsey Vonn, an 18-time winner at Lake Louise, again lost control on the once friendly slopes, this time in the super-G on Sunday.

Fourth out of the gate, Vonn lost her balance 30 seconds into her run, posting another DNF for the weekend.

Vonn spoke before the start of Sunday’s race regarding the lingering effects of Friday’s crash.

“I’m just trying to get the swelling down,” Vonn explained. “Definitely my meniscus took a pretty big hit on Friday.”

On Saturday she was able to race to a 12th place finish in the second running of the downhill, finishing less than a second behind the winner, and U.S. teammate, Mikaela Shiffrin.

Sunday’s super-G concluded with Tina Weirather of Lichtenstein winning her first race at Lake Louise finishing in 1 minute, 18.52 seconds. Switzerland’s Lara Gut, winner of last year’s super-G, finished second in 1:18.63 and Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria was in third at 1:18.79.

Shiffrin impressed finishing in fifth.

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