Another big win by the U.S. men's hockey team highlighted Sunday in Sochi, with U of M alum Phil Kessel lighting the lamp three times. On the negative end of the Games, both the men's and women's curling teams both lost, eliminating them from playoff contention. The losses mean they will compete in their last contests of the Games Monday, along with the women's hockey team getting back to the ice in semifinal action.
A tight victory over Finland, domination of Switzerland, and narrow loss to Canada greeted the U.S. women's hockey team in group play, setting up a near-certain rematch with Canada in the gold medal game. Before they can turn their attention to that though, they must take down Sweden, who defeated 2010 bronze-medalist Finland 4-2 in the play-in game to the semis Saturday. Sweden has medaled in two of the last three Games, missing out in 2010, and a win for the U.S. would guarantee them their fifth medal in five Olympic women's hockey competitions. Should they lose, it would set up a bronze-medal game matchup with the loser of Canada-Switzerland. The U.S. will have Julie Chu, who is skating in her fourth consecutive Olympics and was injured in practice Saturday after a collision that left her left arm and shoulder in pain. Former Gopher Megan Bozek, one of five current or former U of M connections to the team, said of Sweden "they're good, they're crafty, we're not thinking past them." The game is scheduled for a 6:30 a.m. start, and can be seen live on NBC Sports Network.
The men's curling team gets their final chance to compete in Sochi Monday, going up against Switzerland at at 4 a.m. It's been another disappointing Olympics for U.S. skip John Shuster, a native of Chisholm, whose 2010 U.S. team finished in a tie for last in Vancouver. Along with Minnesota natives Jared Zezel, John Landsteiner, and Jeff Isaacson, Shuster can avoid that same fate with a win over the Swiss, which would be their third win of the Games, one more than in 2010. Should the U.S. lose and Germany win, their result would be the same as last Olympics, a 2-7 record and tie for last. The men's match can be seen live on USA Network.
The U.S. women's curling team has had a similar fate as the men this Olympics, struggling throughout despite high hopes entering competition. Thought to be the team with the better chance at a medal, the women have won just once, despite solid showings the last two days. Jessica Schultz and Allison Pottinger, both from the Land of 10,000 Lakes, will get one more go around Monday against Korea, a 9 a.m. start in Sochi that can be seen on NBC Sports Network at 2 a.m. central time.
Results of these coming Monday afternoon.