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    Medal roundup

    Canada takes home bronze in men’s hockey

    Chris Kelly (11), of Canada, waves a flag as he celebrate after beating the Czech Republic in the men's bronze medal hockey game at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
    Julio Cortez/AP
    Former Boston Bruin Chris Kelly waves a flag after helping the Canadians earn a bronze medal.

    As Tony Granato watched the clock wind down in overtime, he found it hard to believe that an elimination game at the Olympics had to go to a shootout.

    The Czech Republic knocked Granato’s United States team out in the quarterfinals in the same skills competition used in the NHL for the regular season but never playoff games. It took a shootout for the US women’s team to beat archrival Canada for the gold medal, and although Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson’s goal and Maddie Rooney’s saves provided theater, such a classic game going to a shootout felt wrong.

    ‘‘It’s hard when it’s all said and done to say that it gets decided by a bunch of breakaways, but that’s the rules,’’ Granato said.


    And it’s likely to stay the rule even after two important medal-round games at the PyeongChang Olympics ended in shootouts instead of teams continuing to play until someone scores like in the Stanley Cup playoffs. International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel said continuous sudden-death overtime is not possible in a tournament.

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    ‘‘You cannot let the team play the whole night,’’ Fasel said Saturday at a news conference in PyeongChang. ‘‘Yes, it’s a skills test, but it’s a game . . . I will never convince North Americans to accept that but it is like it is.’’

    Fasel added, ‘‘Maybe the Canadians can practice a little more the shootout,’’ and Granato was the first to admit that winning in a shootout doesn’t tarnish anything. US women’s hockey coach Robb Stauber knows it can go both ways.

    ‘‘Yesterday the men’s team lost in a shootout, and two of our coaches said, ‘God that’s a terrible way to lose,’ ’’ Stauber said. ‘‘And my first response was, ‘Unless you’re on the other end.’ ’’

    Men’s hockey — The Canadians aren’t going home from the Olympics empty-handed, even after missing out on a third straight gold medal.


    Andrew Ebbett, Chris Kelly, and Derek Roy each scored in the first period, and Canada took the bronze medal by beating the Czech Republic, 6-4.

    This was the third bronze for Canada to go along with nine gold medals for the country that created hockey, not that the Canadians seemed to mind too much when the buzzer sounded. They hugged in celebration at the net where Kevin Poulin made 30 saves in his second straight start in place of the injured Ben Scrivens.

    If not for the NHL choosing to sit out, Ebbett, who last played in the NHL in the 2014-15 season, likely wouldn’t have been at the Games. He scored twice and plans to cherish his bronze.

    ‘‘I can tell my kids and grandkids that I scored in the Olympic Games and got a bronze medal,’’ Ebbett said. ‘‘It’s pretty cool.’’

    Roman Cervenka scored twice in the final four minutes to make the finish more exciting. After a final flurry, the Czechs stood on the ice, propped on their sticks in disappointment at coming up short of their country’s first medal since winning bronze at the 2006 Turin Games.


    ‘‘We started bad,’’ Cervenka said. ‘‘For us, it was key first period, and we ... give them like many chances. And that was our problem.’’

    Martin Ruzicka and Jan Kovar also scored for the Czech Republic.

    When these teams met in pool play, the Czechs beat Canada 3-2 and had not lost until a 3-0 setback against the ‘‘Olympic Athletes from Russia’’ in Friday’s semifinals. Then Germany upset the Canadians 4-3 to keep them out of the gold medal game.

    With both teams coming off disappointing losses, they came out a bit slow with only three shots combined over the first seven minutes. Then Canada and the Czech Republic scored three goals in 31 seconds with the Canadians on top 2-1 after the flurry.

    Ruzicka went to the box for hooking, and Ebbett scored after a shot from Mat Robinson went off Vojtech Mozik’s stick and then Ebbett’s skate at 8:57 for the power-play goal. The Czechs answered 16 seconds later as Ruzicka scored off a pass by Cervenka with the puck going off Poulin’s right skate and in.

    The goal had barely been announced when Kelly redirected a long shot from Cody Goloubef at 9:28.

    Roy skated up the slot and beat Pavel Francouz with a backhander through the pads off a feed from Brandon Kozun at 15:57. That gave Canada three goals on its first eight shots, a reversal from the semifinal loss when the Canadians gave up three goals on nine shots in the first period in losing to Germany 4-3.

    Canada coach Willie Desjardins said he was really proud of his players after a tough game last night.

    ‘‘Lots of people thought maybe we wouldn’t bounce back on this one, but we really wanted it,’’ Desjardins said.

    Ebbett padded the lead at 5:50 of the third only to see the Czechs answer 46 seconds later. Kovar scored from the slot off a pass from Roman Horak. Kelly scored his second at 9:37 from the inside edge of the right circle for a 5-2 lead.

    The Czechs thought they pulled within 5-3 on a slap shot from captain Martin Erat only 62 seconds later. Canada won its challenge for goalie interference.

    Cervenka’s goal with 3:34 left was reviewed for a high stick but stood after a replay. His second with 2:05 left was the Czech’s last.

    Cross-country skiing mass start — Iivo Niskanen put on new skis with 10 kilometers left in the 50-kilometer race. Russian rival Alexander Bolshunov did not.

    The tactical decision proved to be the difference for Niskanen, who beat Bolshunov with a strong sprint to the finish and won Finland’s first gold medal of these Games.

    Niskanen ended a long drought for his country in cross-country, becoming the first skier to win a gold medal in an individual event at the Winter Games since Mika Myllyla at the 1998 Nagano Games.

    ‘‘It’s a big deal for us,’’ Niskanen said.

    Bolshunov took silver and Russian teammate Andrey Larkov won bronze, marking the first time in 11 cross-country races that Norway has failed to medal at these Games.

    Speedskating mass start — In the last speedskating event, Lee Seung-hoon delivered the Olympic host nation’s first gold medal in the sport.

    Lee won the inaugural men’s mass start, highlighting a strong showing for the South Korean team on the final night of speedskating competition.

    ‘‘It’s the first competition and at home,’’ Lee said after crying on the medal stand. ‘‘It’s been a long-time dream for me and unbelievable.’’

    Kim Bo-reum added a silver for South Korea in the women’s race. Kim was involved in a national scandal when she and another skater left their team pursuit teammate well behind in a qualifier earlier this week.

    ‘‘I have nothing else to say other than I am so sorry,’’ Kim said.

    On Saturday, Kim nearly matched the finishing kick of Nana Takagi, who earned her second gold medal of the Games. She was also part of the Japanese team that won gold in the pursuit.

    The Dutch collected a couple of bronze medals to dominate the medal standings again with seven gold and 16 overall. Still, it was much less than their extraordinary showing at the 2014 Sochi Games, when they won 23 medals.

    Bobsled — Francesco Friedrich drove to the four-man bobsledding gold medal, capping an absolutely dominant showing by the Germans on the sliding track.

    Friedrich and his team of Candy Bauer, Martin Grothkopp, and Thorsten Margis left no doubt, finishing their four runs in 3:15.85 to win by more than a half-second.

    The Korean sled driven by Won Yunjong and the German sled driven by Nico Walther shared the silver, the second sliding medal tie in these games after they finished in 3:16.38.

    Codie Bascue and his team of Evan Weinstock, Steve Langton and Sam McGuffie led the US with a ninth-place finish.

    Women’s curling — With King Carl XVI Gustaf in the stands, the Swedish women won the gold medal in the final match of a marathon curling festival in Gangneung, South Korea, beating South Korea, 8-3, in nine ends, leaving the hosts with a silver and their first Olympic medal in the sport.

    Men’s Big Air — Sebastien Toutant of Canada Toutant won in the Olympic debut of the event by scoring 174.25 points in the final.

    Kyle Mack of the United States took second with a score of 168.75, and Billy Morgan of Britain earned bronze.

    Red Gerard, who won the first gold medal for the US in PyeongChang in the slopestyle event two weeks ago, finished fifth.

    .   .   .

    The IOC upheld the ban of Russia because of doping, denying the 168 athletes competing here as ‘‘Olympic Athletes from Russia’’ the right to march in the closing ceremony under their country’s flag.

    The IOC’s full membership unanimously approved the recommendation of the executive board just hours before the final competition and the closing ceremony. Fifty-two of the IOC’s 100 members were present for the vote on the fallout from the massive Russian doping scandal.

    IOC president Thomas Bach said a condition for Russia’s reinstatement was no further positive drug tests at these Olympics. Two of the four athletes who tested positive in PyeongChang were Russian.