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Canada in gold medal final


Canada reached the hockey final for the second straight Olympics, ruining Finland's perfect record with a 5-3 upset Friday night. Finland had allowed just five goals in its other six games. But it gave up that many in a span of 18:20 after taking a 2-0 second-period lead. Until Friday, it had never trailed in the tournament. Sunday, Canada faces Sweden (5-1-1), which dealt the final blow to Russian hockey dominance with a 4-3 victory in Lillehammer.


1st sweep to Norway

Norway broke into noisy celebration as Lasse Kjus, Kjetil Andre Aamodt and Harald Christian Strand Nilsen scored the third Alpine sweep in Olympic history _ and the first of these Games _ finishing 1-2-3 in the combined slalom.

Kjus' time was 3:17.53, 1.02 better than Aamodt and 1.61 ahead of Nilsen.

Aamodt's finish brings his Alpine medal total to five _ an Olympic first _ with two silvers and a bronze at these Olympics, and a bronze and a super-G gold at the 1992 Albertville Games.

Organizers estimated the crowd at 35,000, packed into an area intended to hold 22,000.


Russia passes Germany

Simone Greiner-Petter-Memm, who moved from cross-country skiing to biathlon only two years ago, missed six targets in the women's 30K relay.

With the favored Germans leading Russia by 1:12.2 after the second of four legs, Greiner-Petter-Memm had to ski a 150-meter penalty loop for each miss.

"I've never shot so badly in my life. I'm ashamed of myself," she said. The Russians coasted to an easy victory in 1:47:19.5. Germany had to settle for the silver, 3:57 behind, while defending champion France took the bronze, 5:08.8 back.


A German surprise

German Claudia Pechstein, 22, slashed more than 19 seconds off her personal best to surprise countrywoman Gunda Niemann, the world record-holder, and win the women's 5,000 meters.

"After all that has happened, I am happy with what I did," said Niemann, a double-gold medalist in Albertville who finished the Olympics with a bronze in the 1,500 to go with the silver at 5,000.

Pechstein gasped in astonishment when she saw her time of 7:14.37 _ .51 faster than Niemann would skate and 19.21 seconds faster than her best time. Hiromi Yamamoto of Japan took the bronze.


"Eagle' flies for win

Espen Bredesen got the gold medal and erased the stigma. If he could only get rid of the nickname.

Bredesen redeemed himself after an Olympic fiasco two years ago by soaring to the gold medal on the 90-meter hill and leading the first Norwegian 1-2 ski jumping finish since the 1952 Games in Oslo.

Bredesen, 26, flew 341 feet, 2 inches in the second round, after 329-8 in the first, for 282 points in difficult, windy conditions. He finished last on the 90-meter hill at the 1992 Games, with only 10 days of training in the new V style. He was dubbed "The Eagle" after hapless British jumper Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards.

"The meaning may be different now, but I didn't like it then and I don't like it now," Bredesen said.

Lasse Ottesen grabbed the silver medal with 268 points. German Dieter Thoma clinched the bronze with 260.5.


U.S. to rent runners

Brian Shimer of Naples has agreed to rent the runners of driver Bruce Rosselli for this weekend's four-man competition _ even though Rosselli accused Shimer of stealing another sledder's runners before pre-Olympic trials.

Rosselli, who failed to make the team, will rent his runners _ believed to be better for course conditions _ for about $300.