Thursday's Olympic Highlights

Feb. 20, 2014 at 4:21 PM
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SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Highlights from Thursday's action at the Winter Olympics:

-- With the United States leading 2-0 and the game entering its final 4 minutes, it appeared the Americans had ended Canada's gold medal reign in women's hockey. The Canadians, however, found a way to win. Marie Philip Poulin scored the tying goal with 55 seconds to go in regulation and then tallied again 8:10 into overtime for a 3-2 victory that gave Canada its fourth straight Olympic title.

-- Even though the silver medal handed out to the Americans came as a disappointment, it boosted the United States' lead over Russia in the overall standings with three days and 17 events remaining in the Sochi Olympics. The Americans have 25 medals to 23 for Russia and 22 for the Netherlands.

-- The loss by the Russian hockey team to Finland in the men's quarterfinals Wednesday was considered to be nothing short of a national disaster, as was evidenced by the pounding the players took in the national press. At least some sort of Russian pride was restored when 17-year-old Adelina Sotnikova became the first woman from her country to win an individual figure skating gold medal. She defeated defending champion Yuna Kim of South Korea, who was trying to become the first back-to-back winner in the event since Katerina Witt was the gold medalist in both 1984 and 1988.

-- American Maddie Brown had such a good evening in the inaugural freestyle skiing halfpipe event that even her second-best effort would have been good enough for the gold medal. Bowman's two scores, only the best of which counted in the final result, were 89.00 and 85.80. France's Marie Martinod was second with a score of 85.40.

-- Frenchmen won all three medals in the freestyle skiing cross event, the sixth medal sweep of the Olympics. Jean Frederic Chapuis, Arnaud Bovolenta and Jonathan Midol finished 1-2-3. The Netherlands recorded four medal sweeps in speed skating at these Olympics and the United States had one in men's freestyle skiing's slopestyle competition. France has 15 medals at the Sochi Olympics, the most ever for that country in a Winter Games. The old record had been 11. The French have not won that many medals in a Summer Olympics since the Montreal Games of 1976.

-- Canada completed another kind of sweep to win the women's curling gold. The Canadians swept all 11 of their matches in the tournament, finishing things off with a 6-3 victory over Sweden in the gold medal match. Sweden had won gold in the previous two Olympics.

-- Joergen Graabak of Norway edged Germany's Fabian Riessle by three-tenths of a second to win the team nordic combined gold. Graabak already had an individual gold in the sport at these Olympics

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