The first weekend of the 22nd winter olympiad is complete, and Minnesotans have already made their presence felt.
The U.S. women's hockey team picked up a 3-1 win over Finland early Saturday morning, with five current or former Gophers contributing to the victory including Anne Schleper, who picked up an assist in the triumph. Their win sent two others with Gopher connections, Finland goalie Noora Raty and defender Mira Jalusuo, both of the 2013 U of M national championship team, to losses.
Jessie Diggins, native of Afton, finished eighth in the finals of the skiathlon Saturday, a result she was happy with, while Leif Nordgren of Marine on St. Croix finished 45th in the 10-kilometer biathlon sprint, and Anna Ringsred of Duluth took a 26th-place finish in the 3000-meter speedskating final.
Day three holds more action for Minnesotans representing the U.S. in Sochi. Here's what they're doing, when they're doing it, and where to watch them in their pursuit of gold.
The women's hockey team is back in action at 4 A.M. Monday morning against the Swiss. The aforementioned Schleper, Lee Stecklein, and Gigi Marvin all represent Minnesota, while Amanda Kessel and Megan Bozek are former/future (both true in Kessel's case) Gophers. The game can be seen on NBC Sports Network.
Nordgren will once again compete in a biathlon event, this time the men's 12.5-kilometer pursuit. The Marine on St. Croix native confessed on Twitter after his race Saturday that he injured his back during his first Olympic race, but that he will be fine moving forward.
The race begins at 9 A.M. Minnesota time, and Nordgren will leave the starting line 45th, a scheduled one hour and 44 minutes after the official start of the event. It will air on NBC during their 2-4 p.m. block of replays Monday.
Curling kicks off (rolls off? Slides off?) Monday as well, with the preliminary round-robin matches on both the men's and women's sides throughout the day. The U.S. women have one representative from Minnesota on the squad, Allison Pottinger of Eden Prairie, who will have the task of helping the stars and stripes take down the Swiss at 4 A.M. Jessica Schultz, a native of Anchorage, Alaska, now curls for the St. Paul Curling Club, and will join Pottinger on the ice in hopes of coming away with a win. On the men's side, Jeff Isaacson, John Landsteiner, John Shuster, and Jared Zezel will all be in action for the first time at the Games. All Minnesota natives (also joined by Craig Brown of Wisconsin), the curling team faces Norway at 9 A.M. central time. Both the men's and women's matches are expected to be replayed Monday at 2 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.
Good luck to our Minnesotans on day three, we'll tell you how things went tomorrow afternoon.