PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — The United States will play for a gold medal in women’s hockey for the third straight Olympics.
The Americans are back in the title game after a 5-0 victory over Finland on Monday in the semifinals. They’ll play the winner of the other semifinal game between Canada and the Russians on Thursday.
Also on Monday at the Pyeongchang Games, Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir broke their own record in the ice dancing short program with 83.67 points. The French pair of Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron overcame a wardrobe malfunction to place second. Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue are in third, two-hundredths of a point ahead of their compatriots, Maia and Alex Shibutani.
The free skate will be on Tuesday.
In women’s hockey, the United States will be trying to win its first gold medal since 1998. Canada — which is heavily favored to advance — has won the last four gold medals.
“It’s honestly a dream come true,” U.S. forward Hilary Knight said. “This is the world’s biggest stage. This is the game that you want. This is the game we’ve been dreaming of and to have another opportunity to get back here, it’s huge.”
Dani Cameranesi scored two goals and added an assist to push the Americans to their big win over Finland. The 22-year-old Cameranesi is playing in her first Olympics.
Knight is one of six Americans who will get a third opportunity to win the gold. The others are captain Meghan Duggan, Gigi Marvin, Kacey Bellamy and twin sisters Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson.
“We’re super excited to be in this position again,” Lamoureux-Davidson said. “We worked four years to put ourselves in position to compete for a gold medal and we’ll enjoy this for a little bit, but we know that this isn’t what we came here for. We’re ready to go to battle in a couple days.”
Finland remains winless in eight games against the United States at the Olympics. The Finns will try to win bronze for the first time since 2010.
There will be three medal events later Monday in men’s 500-meter speedskating, men’s team ski jumping and the two-man bobsled.
Virtue and Moir had a dazzling performance to music by the Rolling Stones, Eagles and Santana. The veteran pair won Olympic gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games and then silver four years later in Sochi.
The crowd roared as the three-time world champions skated off to await their scores and roared again when the record numbers were read.
The Americans had a strong showing with three pairs in the top seven, including Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who are in seventh place and still in medal contention despite an injury Chock aggravated during warmups.
“This is a testament to how strong ice dancing is,” Hubbell said. “We didn’t expect it to be any different. You have to be at your best to be close with this many great skaters.”
A doping charge against curling bronze medalist Alexander Krushelnitsky could keep Russia from being reinstated before the end of the Winter Olympics.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams confirmed the positive test and said it could have “consequences” in evaluating the behavior of the Russian team.
Russian athletes are participating as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.” The IOC suspended the Russian Olympic Committee last year in connection with a massive doping scheme at the 2014 Sochi Olympics but allowed 168 athletes to compete under neutral uniforms and without the national flag.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport said in a statement Monday that it has “initiated a procedure involving” Krushelnitsky, who finished third in mixed doubles with his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova.
Big Air debuts
The high-flying world of big air snowboarding made its Olympics debut to rave reviews.
Competitors took advantage of good weather to put on quite a show . It was a sharp contrast to the games’ previous slopestyle competition, which was held in treacherous conditions .
“Everyone showed their absolute best,” said Anna Gasser of Austria, who won the qualifying round and will jump last of the 12 riders in Friday’s finals. “And that’s what we all needed after slopestyle.”
Twenty-six of the world’s best female riders made two jumps each — speeding down a 160-foot-long (50-meter) ramp to vault off a huge kicker and travel up to 100 feet (30 meters) below for the landing.