US, Canada Both Out of Men’s Hockey

The latest on the Beijing Winter Olympics:

The United States is out of the men's hockey tournament at the Olympics in stunning fashion after blowing a late lead.

Slovakia beat the U.S. 3-2 in a shootout Wednesday to knock the top-seeded Americans out in the quarterfinals. Canada exited hours after the U.S. with a 2-0 loss to Sweden.

It's the first Olympic semifinals without the U.S. and Canada since 2006.

The U.S. led for almost half the game before the tying goal when Slovakia pulled its goaltender for an extra attacker to play 6-on-5. Slovakia forward Juraj Slafkovsky scored his tournament-leading fifth goal of the tournament.

The Russians and Finland also moved on to the semifinals.


The Associated Press has learned IOC president Thomas Bach offered U.S. figure skaters Olympic torches as holdover gifts while they await a resolution of the Russian doping case that is preventing them from receiving their silver medals.

Two people familiar with the events told AP late Wednesday that Bach, in a private meeting with the skaters in Beijing, reiterated the IOC stance that no medals ceremonies would be held for events involving Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva. The people did not want their names used because the meeting was confidential.

Officials from the International Olympic Committee did not immediately respond to an email query from AP.

Men's champion Nathan Chen and the U.S. finished runner-up to Russia in the team event last week, but the outcome was quickly thrown into chaos when reports surfaced that Valieva had used a banned medication.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Valieva was still eligible to compete in this week's women's event while her case wound through the anti-doping system. That case will ultimately determine the status of the medals. Valieva led the women's contest after the short program.


The U.S. women's curling team is out of the Olympics. The men have one more chance to advance to the playoffs at the Beijing Games.

Tabitha Peterson's foursome lost 10-7 to Japan on Wednesday night in its round-robin finale. That dropped the Americans to 4-5 at the Winter Games.

Switzerland (7-1) had already qualified, and reigning gold medalist Sweden (6-2) joined them with an 8-5 victory over Russia. There are five teams fighting for the remaining two spots: 2018 bronze medalist Japan (5-3) and '18 silver medalist South Korea (4-4) along with Canada (4-4), Britain (4-4) and China (4-5).

The U.S. men will have a chance to repeat as gold medalists — as long as they beat Denmark in the final round-robin session on Thursday morning.

After eight of nine matches played, the Americans are 4-4 and in fourth place in the race for the four spots in the Beijing Olympics semifinals. Britain and Sweden are already in at 7-1, and Canada also clinched a berth with an 8-6 victory over Russia on Wednesday.

John Shuster's foursome would reach the playoffs with a victory over last-place Denmark. They could also advance if they lose, but they would need help.


The International Testing Agency says cross-country skier Valnetyna Kaminska has tested positive for doping with a steroid and a banned stimulant.

Valentyna Kaminska already competed in all her three events at the Beijing Olympics and did not come close to the medals.

The 34-year-old athlete is competing for Ukraine now after representing Belarus at the Winter Games in 2014 and 2018.

The ITA says Kaminska's sample taken last Thursday tested positive for mesterolone and heptaminol.

She's now provisionally suspended from all competitions pending a prosecution of her doping case.

It's the second doping sample taken at the Beijing Olympics to test positive. The first involved Alpine skier Hossein Saveh Shemshaki of Iran. The contentious case of Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva involves a test taken before the Olympics.


Susanna Tapani scored her team-leading sixth goal, Anni Keisala stopped 15 shots and Finland claimed its fourth Olympic women's hockey bronze medal with a 4-0 win over Switzerland.

Wednesday night's victory earned Finland a bronze medal in consecutive Olympics.

Viivi Vainikka and Nelli Laitinen also scored in a rematch of last year's world championship bronze medal game, which Finland won 3-1. The Finns bounced back from a 3-2 loss to the Swiss in the preliminary round.

Switzerland's Andrea Braendli stopped 34 of the first 35 she faced, and 43 overall in a game the Finns pulled away by scoring three times in the third period. The Swiss fell short in an attempt to match their best finish at the 2014 Sochi Games, when they beat Sweden to win the bronze medal.

Vainikka opened the scoring 11:38 into the first period by driving to the front of the net and slipping in a loose puck after Braendli stopped a shot from Noora Tulus. Tapani scored on a shorthanded 2-on-1 break 3:24 into the third period. Laitinen and Karvinen sealed the win with power-play goals in the final 5:36.

Keisala finished the tournament stopping 173 of 189 shots, while appearing in all seven games. Her best save against Switzerland came midway through the second period, when she got her glove up to stop Lena Marie Lutz's shot on a breakaway.

On Thursday, the defending Olympic champion United States and Canada meet in the gold-medal game for the sixth time in seven tournaments.


Choi Minjeong of South Korea has successfully defended her Olympic title in 1,500-meter short track speedskating.

She won in 2 minutes, 17.789 seconds, extending the tradition of an Asian woman winning the event.

Arianna Fontana of Italy took silver by two-thousandths of a second over Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands.

It was Fontana's 11th career Olympic medal and third in Beijing. The most decorated short track skater in history also won the 500 and took silver in the mixed team relay.

Schulting earned her fourth medal in Beijing. She finished second in the 500, won the 1,000 and won the 3,000 relay.

Canada has won the 5,000-meter relay in short track speedskating.

The team of Charles Hamelin, Steven Dubois, Jordan Pierre-Gilles and Pascal Dion skated cleanly Wednesday night to take their nation's eighth gold medal in the 45-lap race with a time of 6 minutes, 41.257 seconds.

At age 37, Hamelin broke his own record as the oldest male short track skater to win an Olympic medal. It was his sixth career medal, making him Canada's most decorated male Olympian.

South Korea earned silver. Italy claimed bronze.

Dubois won his third medal in Beijing. He finished second in the 1,500 and third in the 500.

China crashed later in the race, much to the dismay of the fans at Capital Indoor Stadium, who waved the host country's flag.

Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands has advanced to the final of 1,500-meter short track speedskating.

She won her semifinal in a bid to earn her fourth Olympic medal in Beijing. No non-Asian woman has ever won this event.

Defending Olympic champion Choi Minjeong of South Korea rallied from sixth using a big move on the outside to take the lead with two laps remaining in her semifinal. She set an Olympic record of 2 minutes, 16.831 seconds.

Also making the A final are Arianna Fontana of Italy, Lee Yubin of South Korea, Hanne Desmet of Belgium, Xandra Velzeboer of the Netherlands and Han Yutong of China.

The B final includes such big names as Kim Boutin and Courtney Sarault of Canada and Kim A Lang of South Korea. American Kristen Santos was advanced when another skater was penalized.

U.S. skaters Corinne Stoddard and Julie Letai were eliminated.


Elvira Oeberg anchored the Swedish team to Olympic gold in the four-person biathlon relay, skiing fast and shooting clean to win her third medal of the Beijing Games.

Oeberg, who also won silver in the sprint and pursuit races in her Olympic debut, put the Swedes across the line in 1 hour, 11 minutes, 3.9 seconds.

Russian biathlete Uliana Nigmatullina trailed Oeberg by about 24 seconds after the final shooting range and ended up finishing 12 seconds behind for silver. Denise Herrmann finished third to give Germany bronze, 37.4 seconds behind Oeberg. Herrmann also won gold in the individual race.

Germany, Sweden and Italy went out front early in the 4x6-kilometer race and the teams shuffled positions several times, but the Swedes had the most consistent shooting.

Norway finished fourth, 50.7 seconds behind.

Source: Voice of America