Gold and Silver in Freeski Slopestyle, Heartbreak for Men’s Hockey and Women’s Curling | What You Missed
Team USA started the day out on fire with Alex Hall and Nick Goepper bringing home gold and silver in the Freeski Slopestyle. Unfortunately, it was downhill from there as the men’s hockey team lost in a shootout to Slovakia, Team Peterson lost their final two curling matches, and the men’s free ski aerials team stumbled on their finals jumps. All that and more on today’s edition of ‘What You Missed.’
- Good morning, USA. Americans were in contention for medals all across China. So let's get right to it with what you might have missed.
We start at the Genting Snow Park for the men's freeski slopestyle final. American Alex Hall put down an innovative run on his first trip down, earning a 90.01 and vaulting to the top spot. Fellow Team USA member Nick Goepper laid down an 86.48 on his second run to jump into the second spot. Colby Stevenson, the third American in the final, took the hill on his final run with a chance to compete for an All-American podium but bobbled on the rail section and finished in seventh.
Alex and Nick's early run scores were high enough to hold off all other competitors and they are coming home with gold and silver. This is the second event Team USA has finished one, two in after Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor did it on Sunday in the monobob.
Next, to the Capital Indoor Stadium, where Team USA's men's hockey team was scheduled to take on Slovakia in the quarterfinals. Slovakia jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, but American Nick Abruzzese answered with a goal just before the end of the first period. Sam Hentges gave the Americans a 2-1 lead midway through the second, a lead that would hold well into the third period.
It looked like Team USA was heading to the semifinals. But Slovakia fought until the final minute and finally snuck one past goalie Strauss Mann with 44 seconds to play. That sent the game to overtime, where both teams were unwilling to concede. Overtime ended without a goal, sending the game to a penalty shootout.
Slovak goalkeeper Patrik Rybar would not be denied, standing on his head to stop all five of the American shots in the shootout. Peter Cehlarik beat Strauss Mann on the fourth shot, and that's all it took to send the Slovaks to the semi-final. While the men's hockey team's chance at a medal is over, the women will take on Canada for a gold medal tonight in Beijing.
Over to the National Aquatic Center, where Team Peterson took on Canada and Japan in round robin play. After falling behind 6-3 to Canada, Team Peterson battled back to earn three points and tied the game heading into the 10th end. But Team Canada crushed the comeback, scoring one on the final throw to top the Americans 7-6.
In the match against Japan, Team Peterson fell behind big early again, but used a four-point seventh end to come back and tie the game. Unfortunately, the comeback attempt came up short, as Japan scored three unanswered points to close out the win. The loss drops Team Petersen out of contention for the playoff and their Olympic trip is now over.
And a pair of Americans advanced all the way to the final round of the freestyle skiing men's aerial competition. Justin Schoenefeld and Chris Lillis, who had previously won gold together in the mixed team aerials event, placed among the top six competitors to advance to the final round. However, neither one of them could stick the landing in their final jump and they both missed out on the podium. Qi Guangpu of China took home the gold for the host nation.
Americans were also in action in speed skating, cross-country skiing, and biathlon, but were not in contention for podium positions in any of those competitions.
Let's check in on the medal count. Team Norway has been dominant and holds down the top spot with 13 gold medals. Germany is the second team to double digit golds, with 10. Team USA sits in the third spot, with 8 golds and 19 total medals. China has hopped into the top five with seven golds, and Austria currently sits in fifth with six golds.
That's all for today, but we are in for more excitement tonight, as Team USA women's hockey goes for gold and Mikaela Shiffrin returns to the mountain. Check in with us again tomorrow for a full recap of all the action.