Alpine combined, slalom: The refs are talking about that goal, and while they’re busy with that, we can see Switzerlands’s Gisin and Holdener have taken the top two spots.
Goal! Canada 3-2 USA 12.5 seconds, 3rd period (Kessel 59:47)
Just brute force on the 6-on-4. Kessel jams a rebound through Desbiens.
Alpine combined, slalom: Only five of the first 10 skiers have made it down the course. Now come the two skiers with a good chance — Holdener and Gisin.
Canada 3-1 USA 1:25, 3rd period
The USA accidentally plays the puck out of the Canadian zone but regroups.
And it’ll be a power play — Poulin, of all people, for tripping. Dangerous hit on Barnes.
6 on 4 …
Canada 3-1 USA, 2:30, 3rd period
Good effort by the US defense to prevent the empty-net goal. Here comes Knight.
Canada 3-1 USA 3:08, 3rd period
While the PA plays Elvis Costello’s Pump It Up, the US women pull the goalie.
Alpine combined, slalom: Never mind, then — Italy’s Federica Brignone rips through the gates with confidence and bests Ledecka’s combined time by 0.80 seconds.
Still, a medal from the snowboard wizard would be amazing.
Halfpipe: Gus Kenworthy has qualified! His score of 70.75 holds up, and he makes the 12-skier final.
The top nine all hail from the USA (four), Canada (three) and New Zealand (two). Then one each from France, Switzerland and Britain.
Alpine combined, slalom: The USA’s Keely Cashman gives Shiffrin some company on the DNF list.
Don’t look now, but Ester Ledecka may be set for a snowboard-ski double even more unlikely than the one she pulled off in 2018.
Canada 3-1 USA 5:45, 3rd period
Nothing happened on the power play.
Mikaela Shiffrin misses gate again
She said she had a mental image of this happening, and it did. Third time she has failed to finish a race.
She’s still the GOAT, with Olympic medals, world championships and too many World Cups to count. But this hurts.
Canada 3-1 USA 9:21, 3rd period
Power play to the USA. Savannah Harmon gets past Jocelyn Larocque, who reaches out in desperation and gets the hooking call.
Alpine combined, slalom: It’s underway. Ester Ledecka is going now. Two more skiers after her, then it’s Mikaela Shiffrin, and I’m shuddering with anxiety. Upsets are one thing. But a truly outstanding athlete struggling with internal demons is a harrowing thing to behold.This isn’t Shiffrin vs. other skiers. This is Shiffrin vs. herself. Only a hard-hearted person would root for the latter.
Canada 3-1 USA 13:50, 3rd period
The right post again gets a bit of action, this time being dislodged as Desbien makes a save and onrushing players slip past.
Canada wins a faceoff and gets a bit of space. Princeton’s Sarah Fillier shoots, but Cavallini is up to the task.
Canada 3-1 USA 14:58, 3rd period
Dink! The sound of puck on post echoes through the arena off an Alex Carpenter shot as the USA applies the pressure.
Thirty seconds later, Carpenter slides in between Canadian defenders and takes a pass. She’s forced onto her backhand, though, and Ann-Renee Desbiens makes the save.
The result here no longer looks like a foregone conclusion.
Halfpipe: New Zealand’s Ben Harrington is able to walk off under his own power after a crash. He may be more disappointed than hurt — his first-run score is 13th right now, so he’ll just miss the final.
Canada 3-1 USA 19:25, 3rd period
Underway. The USA needs two goals in 19 minutes to force the traditional overtime between these two rivals.
Halfpipe: In case you didn’t believe me when I said a skier ran into a camera operator …
Alpine combined, slalom: The start list is simply the current standings, in order. That means Mikaela Shiffrin is up fifth and will probably be in the start gate within 30 minutes from now.
Halfpipe: Two-time world champion Aaron Blunck ran into trouble on his first run and needed to put things together on his second. He did. A couple of double corks, the last a 1260, lands him atop the standings with a 92.00.
New Zealand’s Nico Porteous has also broken 90, moving ahead of David Wise.
On the bubble right now is the man we’re all watching — Gus Kenworthy, who posted a 70.75 in his second run after falling in his first.
End 2nd period: Canada 3-1 USA
The USA needed some sort of spark, and the rules don’t allow for sending Donald Brashear over the boards to drop the gloves. Hilary Knight is an alternate captain playing in her fourth Olympics, and that shorthanded goal could give this team some confidence.
They’ve outshot Canada 24-17. In the first game between the two, that meant very little, but that’s another potential building block here.
Goal! Canada 3-1 USA 3:21, 2nd period (Knight 16:39)
That’s a start. Hannah Brandt and Hilary Knight swipe the puck from the Canadian power play point players and go off to the races. Knight shoots, it’s blocked, and she jams home the rebound for the shorthanded goal.
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Canada 3-0 USA 4:27, 2nd period
The organist is playing the J. Geils Band classic Freeze Frame. That is all.
Oh, and now Canada is getting another power play.
Canada 3-0 USA 5:44, 2nd period
Ann-Renee Desbiens finally has to make a difficult save, sprawling to keep the puck under her. An inquisitive US attacker comes in and gives a little shove in search of the puck, and multiple Canadian defenders send an unmistakable message not to do that. No response from the US.
The US team simply isn’t up for this.
Halfpipe: Just a mesmerizing run from the USA’s David Wise, the two-time defending champion in this freestyle skiing event. Two double cork 1260s, a 1080 tossed in for good measure, and it all just flows rather than looking like a series of athletic exhibitions. That’s an 88.75. Safe to say he’ll be back in the final.
That’s the end of the first run, and Wise is the leader. Then it’s Canadian Brendan Mackay, followed by Americans Alex Ferreira and Birk Irving.
Canada 3-0 USA 8:45, 2nd period
The US shots are getting more dangerous, and their pressure earns a power play. It’s Jocelyn Larocque with an effective judo throw, but instead of the ippon, she gets two minutes in the box.
Goal! Canada 3-0 USA 10:52, 2nd period (Poulin 9:08)
Sarah Nurse outraces the US defense, and has enough space to stop and wait for Brianne Jenner to race through the middle. Cavallini makes a good save on Jenner and sends the rebound out wide, but while a US defender skids into the goalie, Marie-Philip Poulin hits the empty net from an acute angle.
Canada 2-0 11:34, 2nd period
Tell me they’re not playing Vanilla Ice on the PA.
Can I go to bed now?
Canada 2-0 USA 12:00, 2nd period
Best save of the game from Cavallini, moving swiftly to her right on a Canadian 2-on-1.
Canada 2-0 USA 13:30, 2nd period
If you’re anxious to get to bed early, you’ll love this period. Several minutes go by with no stoppage of play.
Meanwhile, in the halfpipe, Finland’s Jon Sallinen just ran into a cameraman as he went up off a wall.
Canada 2-0 USA 17:30, 2nd period
A half-chance for Canada on a long diagonal pass to an unmarked attacker (and unnamed — these numbers are not easy to read) sitting on the blue line. She squanders the open look, but it’s another wake-up call for the US defense. You know, just in case those two goals weren’t wake-up calls.
Halfpipe (men’s freestyle): Sorry to neglect the qualifying phase of this competition, taking place in a dusty snowfall.
The man we’re all watching here is Gus Kenworthy. Competing for the USA, he took silver in the slopestyle in Sochi eight years ago. He also rescued stray dogs while he was in Russia. In 2015, he came out as gay. Since then, he has started an acting career, with an extended run on American Horror Story, a guest spot in Will & Grace, and an appearance as “skier” in Sharknado 5: Global Swarming.
He’s competing for Team GB now in halfpipe, where he’ll need a good second run to qualify after a fall in his first.
American Alex Ferreira and a gaggle of Canadians and New Zealanders are in good shape to qualify.
Alpine combined: NBC speaks with Shiffrin. She says she’s well-placed after the downhill but isn’t confident. She has a mental image of missing the fifth gate again.
Can the USOPC set up some Zoom calls with sports psychologists? We’re in the midst of what might be a miserable two hours for underconfident US athletes.
End 1st period: Canada 2-0 USA
Put a pin in this moment …
Canada-USA games can get chippy. There’s no fighting in international hockey, but there’s the usual argy-bargy at times, and neither team backs down.
Late in the first period, while Cavallini was covering the puck, Canada’s Sarah Fillier gave Hannah Brandt a solid two-handed shove and knocked her to the ice. Fillier than coolly skated in the foot or two of space between the downed US player and the goal.
There was no reaction from any US players.
They need a Herb Brooks speech at this point.
Canada 2-0 USA 1:40, 1st period
Prolonged possession for the USA, but again, no serious shots here. The Americans haven’t had a real scoring chance since Brandt hit the outside of the net with the goal at her mercy in the early going.
Canada 2-0 USA 3:48, 1st period
Canada has a power play, courtesy of a delay-of-game call when Kendall Coyne Schofield played the puck over the glass, and it just feels like this game will be out of hand if the US penalty kill can’t hold here.
Goal! Canada 2-0 USA 4:48, 1st period (Poulin 15:02)
Marie-Philip Poulin just kills the USA in every major tournament final. She’s done it again, swiping the puck from an unsuspecting defender and easily depositing it past Cavallini, who doesn’t seem to be getting any sort of a look at a few of these shots.
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Canada 1-0 USA 6:00, 1st period
In the group-stage game, Canada gave up shots by the bushel, but the defense also made those shots a lot less dangerous. The USA just got another shot, but it was from a distance that isn’t going to scare Desbiens.
Don’t blame Canada. Blame Wisconsin. That’s where Desbiens went to college.
Canada 1-0 USA 7:18, 1st period
And a bit better for the USA, forcing a scramble in front of Desbiens’ goal. But the swarming Canadian defense forms a red wall, and the danger is cleared.
Canada 1-0 USA 8:24, 1st period
Finally, the USA goes back on the attack. Alex Carpenter gets a shot on a quick push forward.
Nurse has tied the great Hayley Wickenheiser for points in one Olympic tournament with 17 — five goals, 12 assists.