Sochi Watch: Day 6
By Jonathan Rumley
It’s day six of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi but it’s the first day Canada’s men’s ice hockey team will defend their gold medal supremacy.
Canada will face off against Norway with puck drop at noon EST. Carey Price will be between the pipes for today’s match-up.
The first line for Canada will feature Sidney Crosby, his Penguins teammate Chris Kunitz, and Kings sniper Jeff Carter. Head coach Mike Babcock told USA Today on Monday that he expects to see Carter shoot the puck.
“If he’s giving it back to Sid, he can’t play with him,” Babcock said.
Crosby scored Canada’s game-winning goal four years ago in Vancouver’s Winter Games. The goal has been dubbed the golden goal and will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Canadians.
Yesterday, the Canadian women’s hockey team played against their biggest rival: the United States.
The three-time defending champions from Canada stunned the U.S. with a thrilling 3-2 come from behind win. Third period goals from captain Hayley Wickenheiser and a pair from Meghan Agosta-Marciano helped propel the Canadians to victory.
Based on world rankings and previous Winter Games, odds are these two teams are due to have another encounter. They played each other for gold four years ago in Vancouver in an emotional game that saw Canada emerge victorious shutting out the Americans 2-0.
Figure Skating – Men’s Short Program
The men’s figure skating short program is also ongoing in Sochi. Canada had more competitors than any other country in the event with three skaters including 2011 Lou Marsh award winner and three-time World Champion Patrick Chan.
Russian star and four-time Olympian Evgeni Plushenko was forced to withdraw from the competition for medical reasons. The injury-plagued figure skater announced his retirement from the Olympics after dealing with serious back pain.
“It was like a knife in the back,” he told The Globe and Mail.
Cross-Country Skiing – Women’s Classic
Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk won gold in the women’s cross country class event. Kowalczyk battled through the tough course with a broken foot and still won by more than 18 seconds. Sweden’s Charlotte Katta finished second and Norway’s Therese Johaug came in third.
Curling – Women’s Qualification
Women’s curling action saw Canada defeat Denmark 8-5. Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones led her rink to their fourth straight victory as Canada remains the only undefeated team in the tournament. Great Britain narrowly got by China by a score of 8-7. Sweden also emerged with a win defeating the Swiss 9-8.
Speed Skating – Women’s
In the short track ladies 500 metres, China’s Jianrou Li took first place with a time of 45.263. Arianna Fontana of Italy finished second to earn silver. South Korea’s Seunghi Park will go home with bronze.
China continued to dominate the speed skating oval with Hong Zhang winning gold in the 1,000m race. The Netherlands’ Irene Wust finished more than half a second behind to take silver. Wust’s Dutch teammate, Margot Boer, rounded out the podium as the third skater to finish their time under 1:15.
Skeleton – Women’s
After two of four runs in women’s skeleton, Elizabeth Yarnold of Great Britain is in the lead. 31-year-old American Noelle Pikus-Pace currently sits in second place with Russia’s Elena Nikitina is in third after a lackluster second run.
Luge – Team Relay
The luge team relay is set to start at 11:15 a.m. EST. The inaugural event features the heavily favoured Germans who won the men’s luge doubles on Wednesday. Germany already has three gold medals in luge along with one silver. Canada is still searching for their first medal in the discipline.
Freestyle Skiing – Men’s Slopestyle
The United States took all three medals at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. The U.S. became the second team to sweep the podium in Sochi. This is the first time the event was held at the Winter Games.
American Joss Christensen won gold with teammates Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper taking home silver and bronze, respectively. 19-year-old Canadian Alex Beaulieu-Marchand finished 12th after failing to finish a clean run on the slopes.
Biathlon – Men’s Individual
As of 11:20 a.m. EST, the men’s biathlon has France’s Martin Foucade in first place. Canada’s Brandon Green currently sits in 21st after racking up two penalties for misses. Green is over two and a half minutes behind the leader.