Canada rallied to beat the U.S. 3-2 in overtime of the women’s ice hockey final at the Sochi Winter Games as Russian teenager Adelina Sotnikova upset defending champion Kim Yuna in women’s figure-skating.
The four-time defending champion Canadians got two goals in the final four minutes of the third period to tie the hockey game. Marie-Philip Poulin, who had sent the game into overtime on a goal with 55 seconds remaining, scored last night’s winner on a power play 8:10 into the extra period.
The Americans, who won the first Olympic title in the event at the 1998 Nagano Games, now have lost to the Canadians in the championship match three of the past four Games.
“It was a hard game, we came back, we never quit, and we believed in ourselves,” Canadian forward Hayley Wickenheiser told reporters. “We had great strategy, and we had the fitness and the composure to pull it off in the end.”
Canada extended its gold-medal dominance to 16 years as forwards Jayna Hefford, 36, Wickenheiser, 35, and Caroline Ouellette, 34, joined former U.S. basketball player Lisa Leslie as the only women to win gold in the same event in four straight Olympics. Switzerland won the bronze medal by coming from two goals down to defeat Sweden 4-3.
The U.S. is atop the standings with 25 medals after also winning in women’s ski halfpipe. Russia, with the gold in figure skating, is second with 23, and the Netherlands has 22, one more than Norway. The Canadians have 20.
Today, there are seven gold medals awarded, including three short-track speed skating events and the women’s slalom, with snow forecast for the morning on the mountain. The U.S. and Canadian men’s hockey teams will meet in one of the semifinals, with Finland and Sweden playing in the other.
Yesterday in the figure skating, Sotnikova, 17, scored 224.59 points, to the South Korean Kim’s 219.11, while Carolina Kostner was third with 216.73, taking Italy’s first Olympic figure skating medal in singles.
The Russian 17-year-old ran through the corridors of the Iceberg arena hugging coaches and friends after the results were announced. She finished ninth at the 2013 World Championships and was second in the European Championships the past two years. She dethroned Kim, a 23-year-old Olympic and two-time world champion who returned from a foot injury in December.
“I smashed my highest score for my whole career,” Sotnikova told reporters. “I didn’t think I could skate like I did today. The atmosphere was wonderful. I felt something amazing coming from the crowd. I could hear shouts and screams the whole time of ’keep going Adelina’, and ’you can do it’. I just couldn’t skate badly.”
Kim, who has said this is her last Olympics, started the session with a lead coming out of the short program. She was the last to skate and needed 149.68 to win.
Yulia Lipnitskaya, a 15-year-old who became a crowd favorite, fell in both programs and finished fifth, behind Gracie Gold of the U.S.
Norway picked up its first team Nordic combined gold in 16 years by outsprinting Germany in the cross-country race, while France swept the medals in men’s ski cross.
Joergen Graabak was able to hold off Germany’s Fabian Riessle in the final sprint of the Nordic combined to win by 0.3 seconds, with Austria taking bronze. Graabak won the large hill-10 kilometer event earlier in the Games. Norway’s first skier, Magnus Hovdal Moan, made up a 25-second deficit from the ski jumping phase to catch Germany and Austria, and the team took the gold, its first since the Nagano Games in 1998.
Austria’s Mario Stecher, 36, became the oldest person to win an Olympic medal in Nordic combined as part of the bronze medal team.
In the men’s ski cross, France’s Jean Frederic Chapuis won followed by teammates Arnaud Bovolenta and Jonathan Midol. Canada’s Brady Leman fell during the four-man final run and finished last.
Chapuis is also the world champion, winning the title in Norway last year.
“With the two other French guys, it’s like a dream,” he said after the race. “I was joking with the guys saying that all three on the podium would be good and it happened. It’s perfect. We are friends off the slopes, but on the slopes we are enemies, so I tried to make my best.”
France picked up another medal, a silver, in women’s ski halfpipe. Maddie Bowman of the U.S. won the event, with France’s Marie Martinod second and Japan’s Ayana Onozuka third.
The 20-year-old American had a top score of 89 points, with Martinod, 29, finishing her two runs with a best of 85.4 and Onozuka, 25, with a best of 83.20.
Canada beat Sweden 6-3 in the women’s curling final, after Britain won the women’s bronze medal by defeating Switzerland.