Winter Olympics 2022 – Team USA women down Finland in hockey semifinals, Americans go 1-2 in monobob and more from Beijing

The gold medal in women’s ice hockey at the 2022 Winter Olympics seems destined to go through the U.S.-Canada rivalry. On Sunday, Canada did its part, defeating Switzerland in one semifinal game.

Monday morning, USA booked its ticket to the gold-medal game, defeating Finland 4-1. Four Americans scored — Cayla Barnes, Hilary Knight, Hayley Scamurra and Abby Roque. But it was the play of goaltender Alex Cavallini that was the story. She held the Fins scoreless until the final 26 seconds of the game.

As it has done throughout the Olympic tournament, Canada swamped its opponent, defeating the Swiss 10-3. By the 10:40 mark of the first period, the Canadians had staked a five-goal lead. They never looked back.

Now the United States will meet Canada for the sixth time in seven Olympics. The puck drops at 11:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Here is our breakdown of Team USA’s hockey semifinal:

Cavallini (25 saves) made some quality saves, including a spectacular stop on Finnish forward Michelle Karvinen on a 2-on-1 late in the first period to keep the game scoreless.

In the second period, forward Knight gave the U.S. some breathing room and made history in the process. The Americans finally hit the board on the power play just 3:29 into the second period as forward Hannah Brandt found defender Barnes wide-open on the right side of the Finland net for an open-net goal. Knight had the secondary assist on that goal to tie Natalie Darwitz for second most for an American women’s player with 25 career Olympic points.

She broke that tie on a goal with 1:07 left in the second period, as Team USA’s top line converted. Kendall Coyne Schofield outworked Finland’s defense to win a loose puck in the corner, setting up a sequence that ended with Knight scoring from just in front of the Finland crease for the 2-0 lead. Scamurra added insurance in the third period, and Roque added a late empty-net goal. — Greg Wyshynski

Other top action from the Olympics:

Two medals for the U.S. in monobob

The U.S. women went 1-2 in the first ever Olympic women’s monobob event, with Kaillie Humphries winning gold and Elana Meyers Taylor securing the silver medal. Canada’s Christine de Bruin won the bronze medal.

Humphries dominated the event, leading by 1.54 seconds by the end. Meyers Taylor, who had been in fourth after her first two runs, made up time in the third and fourth runs to finish ahead of de Bruin at 4:20:81. An emotional Meyers Taylor, who took an entire season off to give birth to her son, Nico, screamed, “We did it!” as she got to the finish line.

Humphries, a three-time Olympic medalist and five-time world champion, received her American passport in December 2021. She left Canada for the U.S. because of a divisive separation from Bobsleigh Canada, after she accused her former coach of mental and emotional harassment. She was a part of Bobsleigh Canada for 16 years, representing Canada in three Olympic Games — Vancouver, Sochi and Pyeongchang — and won two golds and one bronze medal in the two-woman bobsled events.

With this gold medal, she became the first American to win a gold for two countries — U.S. and Canada — at the Winter Olympics.

Meyers Taylor also had a rough journey to Beijing. She tested positive for COVID-19 soon after arrival and was unable to walk as flag-bearer in the opening ceremony. She isolated for a week and produced two negative tests right before training for monobob and the two-woman bobsled events began. — Aishwarya Kumar

Valieva free to compete

Kamila Valieva will be allowed to skate in the women’s singles competition after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled not to reinstate her suspension. The 15-year-old Russian had tested positive for a banned substance.

According to a media release, the panel considered that “preventing the athlete from competing at the Olympic Games would cause her irreparable harm in these circumstances.” It also cited the lower sanctions for her as a “protected person” due to her age and noted that the late reporting of the test, which was taken in December, was “not her fault.” A timeline of the doping allegations.

Nick takes bronze in slopestyle

Team USA’s Megan Nick took bronze in the women’s slopestyle final as China’s Xu Mengtao won gold.

U.S. teammate Ashley Caldwell scored highest heading into the final jumps, but she failed to land her final jump cleanly, and Xu’s score of 108.61 proved to be enough to win on home snow.

Nick recorded a score of 93.76 with her final jump to secure bronze, while Belarus’ Hanna Huskova took silver.

Redemption in ice dance

For three of the world’s top ice dance teams, tonight was about unfinished business.

Four years after finishing fourth, Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue finally got the Olympic medal they dreamed of in their very last competitive skate.

The U.S. team finished in third, behind Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France and Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov from the Russian Olympic Committee.

Papadakis and Cizeron won gold with an exquisite performance — possibly one of the best ever — and banished the memory of Pyeongchang, where they skated through a wardrobe malfunction and still won silver. They broke their own world record yet again, just like they did in the rhythm dance.

Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates finished fourth despite a personal-best score for their Daft Punk-soundtracked free skate about an alien and an astronaut. Four years ago, they both fell during the free dance. Now, despite finishing off the podium, they can leave Beijing with their heads held high — and a team medal to boot! — Elaine Teng

Surprises all around

A rematch of the recent X Games Aspen big air showdown between U.S. snowboarder Jamie Anderson and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand will not be in Beijing.

As expected, Sadowski-Synnott — who won gold in slopestyle eight days ago and became the first Winter Olympics gold medalist from New Zealand — qualified first into Monday’s women’s snowboard big air final. But Anderson failed to qualify, falling on her first two jumps.

In her third attempt, Anderson landed a gorgeous frontside 1080, scored an 89.75 and nearly qualified on that score alone. But ultimately, she finished 14th.

Two-time Olympian Hailey Langland grabbed the 12th and final qualifying spot to become the sole rider who will represent Team USA in the final.

Meanwhile, over on the slopestyle course, the focus — and the on-site cheering — was directed at recent freeski big air gold medalist Eileen Gu of China. One of the most popular athletes at these Games, Gu, who was born in San Francisco to a Chinese mother and American father, struggled in her opening run. She laid down a solid second run to qualify in third place. “I don’t know why, but qualies are always way more nerve-wracking than finals,” Gu said in the finish area, eating a bao bun.— Alyssa Roenigk

From Beijing to the Super Bowl

Olympic legends Shaun White and Chloe Kim are both posting from the Super Bowl … a mind-boggling transportation achievement it’s best not to think too much about:






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