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Olympic sports news and notes

men's hockey

Defending champ Sweden opens with win

VANCOUVER — Sweden started slow. Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist wasn't surprised. "At the beginning of the game, we were nervous and anxious," said the Rangers' Lundqvist, who made 21 saves and got enough offense from the Lightning's Mattias Ohlund (above right, checking Kai Hospelt) and the Stars' Loui Eriksson in a 2-0 win over Germany. "But we didn't panic."

The defending champions didn't have a shot on goal until midway through the scoreless first period in their opener.

"I think everything worked for us," said German coach Uwe Krupp, a two-time Stanley Cup winner. "But we were faced with a very, very good team and didn't have the necessary luck."

Finland 5, Belarus 1: The Flames' Niklas Hagman scored twice for the Finns in their opener. "There are a few guys that this might be the last Olympics, so we're trying to play as well as we can to help them," he said. Finland's all-veteran line had a hand in the opening goal, scored 3:24 in. The Rangers' Olli Jokinen, parked in front, converted a pass from the Ducks' Saku Koivu. The Ducks' Teemu Selanne had the second assist, which allowed him to match an Olympic record with his 36th career point.

women's hockey

Canada buries Sweden to head into semis

VANCOUVER — Even Sweden and its Olympic-hero goalie were barely a rut in the ice on mighty Canada's path into the semifinals.

Meghan Agosta had three goals and two assists, Hayley Wicken­heiser became the leading goal-scorer in Olympic history, and Canada routed the toughest opponent in its preliminary-round group, beating Sweden 13-1.

Wickenheiser got her 16th Olympic goal among her five points as the Canadians cruised into medal play with three victories by a combined 41-2.

Yet Canadian coach Melody Davidson again saw ambivalence in her players' eyes when they went ahead by another gaping margin. The team has been criticized in the Canadian media and in e-mails to Davidson for its one-sided results, which suggest everything from poor sportsmanship to a sport unfit for Olympic competition.

"They're still conflicted, but we have a job to do," Davidson said. "We worked hard to make sure we were in this position. I do worry about (the perception of women's hockey), but that's not my job to worry about it. The Swedes have a real good team, but they didn't have their 'A' game going."

Sweden won the silver in 2006 behind goalie Kim Martin.

Short-track speed skating

Ohno moves on in 1,000 meters

VANCOUVER — Apolo Anton Ohno easily advanced through the preliminaries of 1,000 meters, staying on course to surpass Bonnie Blair as the most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian. Ohno also helped the United States advance to the 5,000 relay final with a second-place finish in its semifinal heat. Ohno, who won his sixth career medal in the 1,500 Saturday, joined J.R. Celski, Simon Cho and Travis Jayner in qualifying for the relay final Saturday.

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snowboard

White wins another gold in halfpipe

WEST VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Putting on a show when he didn't even have to, Shaun White capped his gold-medal night on the halfpipe with his signature trick, the dangerous, spiraling Double McTwist 1260 during a victory lap that will go down as nothing short of epic.

White scored 48.4 points on the final run, even though he was already assured of defending his Olympic title with a score of 46.8 on his first trip.

Getting ready to close the night, he debated with his coaches for a minute, then made the decision to go for it. Because this is supposed to be about fun.

And he did, jerking his body around to milk the last half of the 31/2 twists he crams into two head-over-heels flips.

"That's what Shaun does," said American Louie Vito, the Dancing With the Stars star who finished fifth.

"He can go up there and lay down a run and take care of business. That's why he is who he is."

White easily outdistanced Finland's Peetu Piiroinen for the gold. American Scotty Lago took bronze to give the United States multiple medals on the halfpipe for the past three Olympics.

speed skating

Davis does record repeat in 1,000 meters

RICHMOND, British Columbia — With a furious kick on the final lap, Shani Davis stuck his skate across the line and won his second straight gold in the 1,000 meters. Four years ago at Turin, he became the first African-American athlete to win an individual gold at the Winter Games. This time, he wanted to be known for his skating. Period.

"When you're a world champion or an Olympic champion, you get this little thing on your back called a target," said Davis, the first male skater to win this event a second time. His winning time was 1 minute, 8.94 seconds.

American Chad Hedrick, who won three medals at the 2006 Games, took a surprising bronze after struggling to regain his motivation after Italy.

South Korea's Mo Tae-bum, who won gold in the 500 two days ago, settled for silver this time, 18-hundreths behind Davis. Hedrick was next in 1:09.32.

Olympic sports news and notes 02/17/10 [Last modified: Thursday, February 18, 2010 12:39am]

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