Olympic Preview: February 16

Olympics: Ice Hockey-Men Group A - USA-CHN
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Hockey and curling take center stage on Day 13 with the quarterfinals in men’s hockey, the bronze medal game in women’s hockey, and key round robin games in men’s and women’s curling.

In men’s hockey, the United States play Slovakia in the first of four quarterfinals (Tuesday evening, 11 p.m. ET). Montreal Canadiens prospect Sean Farrell of Hopkinton, Massachusetts leads the United States in scoring with six points (three goals and three assists). He is also second in the tournament in points, and one back of Adam Tambellini of Team Canada, who has seven points. One must realize that Canada has played one extra game than the United States, and the Canadians have been able to feast on China, not just once but twice.

The other quarterfinals have Denmark versus the Russian Olympic Committee (Wednesday, 1 a.m. ET), Finland versus Switzerland (Wednesday, 3:40 a.m. ET), and Canada versus Sweden (Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. ET). Meanwhile, Finland will also play Switzerland in women’s hockey in the bronze medal game (Wednesday, 3:40 a.m. ET). At the 2021 Women’s World Hockey Championship in Calgary, Finland beat Switzerland 3-1.

In curling, there are two massive games for the United States in women’s action. First they play Canada (Tuesday evening, 8 p.m. ET). The United States, skipped by Tabitha Peterson of Burnsville, Minnesota, are in a third place tie with Great Britain and Japan at four wins and three losses. Team Canada, skipped by 2014 Olympic champion Jennifer Jones, is at three wins and three losses. After playing Canada, Peterson plays Japan (Wednesday morning, 7 a.m. ET). The top four teams out of 10 reach the semifinals.

The United States best chance for a medal could come from Alex Hall of Fairbanks, Alaska in men’s slopestyle skiing (Tuesday evening, 8:30 p.m. ET). Hall won the bronze medal in men’s slopestyle skiing at the 2021 World Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding Championships in Aspen, is the 2019 Winter X Games gold medalist, and won the gold medal in a men’s freestyle skiing World Cup in Mammoth Mountain, Colorado on January 9.

The United States have another chance for a medal in cross country skiing, as the American team of Jessie Diggins of Saint Paul, Minnesota and Rosie Brennan of Salt Lake City, Utah are serious medal contenders. We are in fact predicting them to win bronze. At the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, Diggins won the gold medal in the women’s team sprint alongside Kikkan Randall of Salt Lake City. Diggins has already won one medal at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. It was a bronze medal in the women’s individual sprint. Our gold medal favourite in the women’s team sprint is not Norway, but Sweden (-225). The semifinals will be at 2:15 a.m. ET and the finals will be at 4:15 a.m. ET.

Our other gold medal favourites on Wednesday are Lucas Braathen of Norway (+1000) in men’s slalom (Tuesday, 9:15 a.m. ET), Norway (+225) in the women’s 4×6 kilometre biathlon team relay (Wednesday, 2:45 a.m. ET), Italy (+2500) in the men’s cross country skiing team sprint (Wednesday, 4:45 a.m. ET), Canada in the men’s 5000 metre short track speed skating relay (Wednesday, 7:44 a.m. ET), and Yu-Bin Lee of South Korea (+275) in the women’s 1500 metre short track speed skating (Wednesday, 8:18 a.m. ET). The other Olympic event is men’s aerials (Wednesday, 7 a.m. ET). We had predicted Maxim Burov of the Russian Olympic Committee to win gold, but he did not qualify for the finals.

 

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