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Canada Beats US in Men's Hockey

Canada's Shea Weber (R) celebrates with goalie Carey Price after Canada won their men's ice hockey semi-final game against Team USA at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, February 21, 2014.
Canada's Shea Weber (R) celebrates with goalie Carey Price after Canada won their men's ice hockey semi-final game against Team USA at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, February 21, 2014.
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Mike Richman
For the second straight day, a Canadian ice hockey team has spoiled any dreams of Olympic gold for its North American rivals.

In a semifinal game Friday in Sochi, the Canadian men beat the United States, 1-0, at the Bolshoi Ice Dome with a dominant performance that stifled the Americans' offensive attack.

Canada's Jamie Benn scored early in the second period, and teammate Carey Price, who was rarely challenged, stopped 31 shots.

Canada will now play in the gold medal game Sunday against Sweden, which crafted a 2-1 win over its own heated rival, Finland, in Friday's other semifinal.

On Thursday, the Canadian women overcame a late two-goal deficit and beat the United States in overtime to win the gold medal.
 
Four years ago, at the Vancouver Olympics, Canada's men's and women's hockey teams also eliminated the United States.

Canada Keeps on Winning

Friday also was a big day for Canadian athletes in other sports.  The men's curling team won gold for the third straight Olympics, defeating Britain, 9-3.  Canada's Marielle Thompson edged out teammate Kelsey Serwa for the women's ski cross title.  The two ski racers gave their country its third gold-and-silver-medal double in freestyle skiing events.

Thompson described her win as "huge."

"I can't even put [it] in words," she said.  "I am just overjoyed and so, so happy.  Especially to be out there with Kelsey, my teammate who, we race all the time together."

Elsewhere, Russian short track speed skater Viktor Ahn won the men's 500 meter final, becoming the first short track speed skater to capture five Olympic gold medals.  He won the 1,000 meter gold in Sochi last week.

The 28-year-old Ahn also won three gold medals at the 2006 Turin Olympics, when he competed for South Korea.  After he was not chosen for the Korean team at Vancouver in 2010, he switched allegiances to Russia and changed his name after being granted citizenship.

South Korea did collect a gold in the women's 1,000-meter final in Sochi, when Park Seung-hi skated to victory.

Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States made alpine skiing history by becoming the youngest athlete, male or female, to win an Olympic slalom gold medal.  The 18-year-old American showed impressive balance and agility on the Rosa Khotur course, beating Austrian veteran Marlies Schild by 53 seconds.

Ukraine edged out Russia to win gold in the women's team biathlon relay, an emotional victory that comes as Ukraine struggles with a political crisis and unrest.

The Latest Images from Sochi

  • Victor An of Russia reacts as he crosses the finish line ahead of Wu Dajing of China and Charle Cournoyer of Canada in the men's 500m short track speedskating final at the Iceberg Skating Palace, Feb. 21, 2014.
  • Canada forward Benn Jamie, right, shoots and scores against USA goaltender Jonathan Quick during the second period of a men's semifinal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 21, 2014.
  • Women's gold medalist, United States' Mikaela Shiffrin, leaves the podium after the flower ceremony for the women's slalom at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 21, 2014.
  • The team from the United States USA-1, piloted by Steven Holcomb, take a curve during the men's four-man bobsled training at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 21, 2014.
  • Austria's Katrin Ofner takes a jump during a women's ski cross seeding run at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 21, 2014.
  • France's Ophelie David, Canada's Kelsey Serwa, Canada's Marielle Thompson and Sweden's Anna Holmlund (L-R) compete during the women's freestyle skiing skicross semi-finals at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, Feb. 21, 2014.
  • Sweden's second Fredrik Lindberg is congratulated as skip Niklas Edin stands after winning their men's bronze medal curling game against China at the Ice Cube Curling Center, Feb. 21, 2014.
  • Laura Fortino of Canada (8) gets an elbow in her mask from Jocelyne Lamoureux of the United States (17) during the third period of the women's gold medal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 20, 2014.
  • Adelina Sotnikova of Russia competes in the women's free skate figure skating finals at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 20, 2014.
  • Li Zijun of China competes in the women's free skate figure skating finals at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 20, 2014.
  • Team Canada players pose with their gold medals during the presentation ceremony after Canada defeated Team USA in overtime in the women's ice hockey final game at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Feb. 20, 2014.

Positive Drug Tests

In other news Friday, athletes from Italy and Germany tested positive for drugs in the first announced doping cases of the 2014 Olympics and were told to leave Sochi.

Italy's Olympic committee said bobsledder William Frullani tested positive for a banned substance called dymethylpentylamine.  German sports officials said biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle tested positive for a stimulant sometimes found in nutritional supplements.

Frullani was in the four-man bobsled race, which begins Saturday.  Sachenbacher-Stehle, a five-time Olympic medalist, participated in five events in Sochi but did not win any medals.

The director general of Germany's Olympic committee, Michael Vesper, spoke to reporters about Sachenbacher-Stehle.
 
"Of course we were shocked by the news, and the mood in our Olympic team was clearly very bad," Vesper said.  "We are absolutely in favor of clean sport and against any kind of manipulation.  That is why before the Games and during the Games we took action."

Meanwhile, Russian coaches responded to criticism that Olympic figure skating judges unduly favored Russia's Adelina Sotnikova.  The 17-year-old won the women's figure skating gold Thursday, ahead of South Korea's Kim Yuna and Italy's Carolina Kostner, even though Sotnikova fell during her routine.

The coaches said Sotnikova deserved to win because she included difficult moves in her free skate performance to raise her score.

"We set a goal for the whole team to make challenging programs, but at the same time in such a way that they display the best of Adelina's abilities," said Russian figure staking choreographer Pyotr Chernyshov.  "She's got great potential, and the fact that she improved in the component scores so dramatically over the season proves that she advances in this department at really, really high speed."

With two days of competition left at the Sochi Games, the United States leads in the overall medal count with 27.  Russia has 26 and Canada 24, while Norway and the Netherlands are tied with 22 apiece.  In gold medals, Norway leads with 10.  Russia, Canada and the United States have nine, and Germany has eight.

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