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