Hayley Wickenheiser, Hilary Knight
Canada rallied to beat the United States 3-2 in overtime to win its fourth straight Olympic gold in a thrilling women's hockey final Thursday.
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The U.S. led 2-0 with three minutes left before Canada scored and later pulled their goalie. The Americans were inches away from a game-winning goal on an empty net, but the puck bounced off the goal post. Marie-Philip Poulin then scored with 55 seconds left to send the game into overtime. Poulin, who scored both of Canada's goals in the 2010 final, played hero again in overtime, scoring the game winner in a five-on-three power play.
Canada has not lost in Olympic play since the U.S. beat them for the first women's hockey gold medal in 1998. Since then, the archrivals have played three more Olympic finals, all going the way of the Canucks. (Canada beat Sweden, which upset the U.S., in the 2006 final.) Canada also beat the U.S. last week in group play after the Americans prevailed over them in four straight friendlies in the lead-up to Sochi.
Switzerland defeated Sweden 4-3 for the bronze.
In figure skating, 17-year-old Adelina Sotnikova upset defending champ Yuna Kim of South Korea to win Russia's first gold in ladies' figure skating. Though she was just 0.28 points behind Kim after the short program Wednesday, Sotnikova won by more than five points — 224.59 vs. 219.11 — after the free skate, topping Kim in the technical marks. Kim was vying to become the first figure skater to win back-to-back golds since Katarina Witt in 1988. Italy's Carolina Kostner took bronze (216.73), winning her country's first figure skating medal ever.
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Americans Gracie Gold, Ashley Wagner and Polina Edmunds finished fourth, seventh and ninth, respectively. With Jason Brown and Jeremy Abbott placing ninth and 12th on the men's side, this marks the first time since 1936 that an American has not medaled in men's or women's figure skating.
Vancouver silver medalist Mao Asada of Japan, who was 16th after falling on a triple Axel in the short program, nailed her free skate to rise to sixth place. Russia's Yulia Lipnitskaya stumbled again Thursday and finished fifth.
American Maddie Bowman, a two-time reigning Winter X Games champ, won the inaugural ski halfpipe competition with 89.00 points over France's Marie Martinod (85.40) and Japan's Ayana Onozuka (83.20). Bowman's win gives the U.S. five golds in the six new action sports events.
France swept the men's ski cross podium with Jean Frederic Chapuis, Arnaud Bovolenta and Jonathan Midol.
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Norway won the Nordic combined team large hill / 4x5-kilometer, followed by Germany and Austria.
In women's curling, Canada topped Sweden 6-3, and Great Britain edged Switzerland 6-5 for the bronze.
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