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What you missed at the Olympics: USA notches 1st men's hockey win over Canada in 12 years

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An Olympic men's hockey team is an unknown when you enter the Games with a team of college kids and NHL cast-offs brought in on short notice, but so far, so good for the United States.

Team USA took a commanding lead in its group on Saturday with an impressive 4-2 win over Canada, the Americans' first win over their northern rivals since the Vancouver Games in 2010. With a dominant win over China already in hand, a win over Germany would give the U.S. a group win and put them straight in the quarterfinals.

Four different skaters provided the goals for Team USA, and their respective backgrounds underscore what kind of team we're dealing with.

First to score was Andy Miele, quickly equalizing the game after a Canadian goal in the first two minutes. Miele, the team's 33-year-old captain, has 15 career games of NHL experience and most recently played in Russia's NHL. The next goal came from Ben Meyers, a 23-year-old who was All-Big Ten honorable mention last season.

Next up, 29-year-old Kenny Agostino, once an AHL All-Star who played between one and 36 NHL games for six different teams. The final goal came from Brendan Brisson, the second-youngest member of the team at 20 who is currently in his sophomore year at Michigan.

That in total is what Team USA for these Olympics, and the result was a surprisingly fun, aggressive game that showed they can still contend for a medal.

Of course, we all know how the last time the Americans beating Canada in the Olympics worked out. Canada beat them back, in the gold medal game. It is very possible another date with Canada remains, not to mention betting favorite Russia (Olympic Committee).

BEIJING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 12: Captain Andy Miele #51 of Team United States celebrate his goal with teammatte during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A match between Team Canada and Team United States on Day 8 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Indoor Stadium on February 12, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty images)
Team USA is off to a good start in men's hockey. (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty images)

Here's what else went down in Beijing on Saturday:

Lindsey Jacobellis gets another gold, while Nick Baumgartner makes Olympic history

The men's hockey team may be a mix of young and old, but its champion mixed snowboard cross team is pure veteran.

Nick Baumgartner, 40, and Lindsey Jacobellis, 36, have a combined nine Olympic appearances and that experience clearly helped them on their way to a gold medal in the first ever Olympic running of the event. The win made Baumgartner the oldest person to ever medal in a snowboard event at the Olympics.

The win continues a campaign of catharsis for Jacobellis, who won gold in the women's event on Wednesday. The wait between her first and second Olympic medals: 5,836 days. The wait between her second and third: 3 days.

Mikaela Shiffrin feeling 'strong and solid' for downhill

Her first few races may not have gone according to plan, but Mikaela Shiffrin stil hopes to race the downhill after the first of three scheduled training runs.

Shiffrin had not even trained in the downhill since a 38th place finish at a World Cup event on Dec. 4 per the Associated Press, so there's more than a little rust to shake out. She said the training run feel a little more positive about her chances of competing, per the AP:

“It felt strong and solid. And I was in a good position,” said Shiffrin. “It was never scary at any point and just a little bit of that exhilarating feeling.”

Shiffrin also has the combined event to look forward, in which she won silver at the 2018 Olympics and gold in the 2021 world championship.

Men's curling team suffers close loss

Any hope of repeating Team USA's gold medal win in men's curling is going to require getting out of the round-robin, and that's not a certainty after Saturday.

The John Shuster-led team fell 7-6 to Norway to knock their record down to 2-2. It was a close match, with Norway only leading 6-5 after the seventh end, but the Norwegians didn't leave much room for a comeback.

Now, Team USA sits in a five-way tie for fourth place in an event in which only the top four advance to bracket play. Next up is one of their biggest matches, a date with the also 2-2 Canada on Sunday.