Spectacular start for USA in ice hockey

Paul Stastny scores twice during a six-goal barrage in the second period as the US beat Slovakia 7-1 in ice hockey.

    Paul Stastny (26) scored a double in the six-goal spree that helped USE get off to a flying start [Getty Images]
    Paul Stastny (26) scored a double in the six-goal spree that helped USE get off to a flying start [Getty Images]

    Paul Stastny scored twice during a six-goal barrage in the second period as USA got off to a spectacular start in the Olympic men's hockey with a 7-1 victory over Slovakia.

    Ryan Kesler, David Backes, Phil Kessel and Dustin Brown also scored as the Americans battered Slovakia for six consecutive goals in a 13:51 span.

    In other matches, Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist in a breathtaking start and the Russians went on to beat Slovenia 5-2 and Finland thrashed Austria 8-4.

    Slopestyle gold

    Joss Christensen led a United States podium sweep in brilliant style to win the first Olympic gold medal in men's freestyle skiing slopestyle at the Sochi Games.

    Sochi 2014 Medals  (Top 3)
    Country  G   S   B  Total
    Germany  6  1  1     8
    Canada  4  4  2   10
    Norway  4  3  6   13

    The 22-year-old led the way after qualifying and his 95.80 on his opening run in the final had already assured him of the title before his second run in the bright sunshine at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

    Gus Kenworthy took silver with a score of 93.60 on his second run after falling in his first, while teenager Nick Goepper, the pre-competition favourite, settled for bronze with 92.40.

    James Woods, who injured his hip in a training crash last week, skied manfully through the pain but was unable to deliver Britain their second Olympic medal on the snow and finished fifth.

    Elsewhere, Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk powered to an impressive victory in the women's cross-country skiing 10km classic with bright sunshine and temperatures reaching 13 degrees.

    Kowalczyk, who sat out of the sprint event to nurse a foot injury, got a strong start and clocked the best times at all three intermediate checkpoints to finish in 28 minutes, 17.8 seconds.

    Speedskating pile-up

    China's Li Jianrou avoided an early pile-up to coast to victory in the women's 500m short track speed skating.

    In a heart-thumping race, the 27-year-old first-time Olympian took the lead off the mark and eased home after her rivals collided on the second turn of the all-out sprint. Elise Christie of Britain crossed the line second but was disqualified for causing the crash. Italy's Arianna Fontana took silver and Park Seung-hi of South Korea bronze.

    Martin Fourcade earned his second Olympic biathlon gold medal by winning the 20km individual title.

    Fourcade, who won the 12.5km persuit on Monday, made one mistake on the shooting range but was too fast on the skis for his rivals.

    German Erik Lesser finished in second after shooting clean and the bronze went to Russia's Evgeniy Garanichev.

    Speed skating shock

    China's Zhang Hong ripped up the form book with a stunning upset to win the women's 1,000 metres speed skating title at a canter.

    Zhang clocked one minute, 14.02 seconds for her two-and-a-half laps, with women's 3,000 metre champion Ireen Wust of Netherlands claiming silver some 0.67 seconds back.

    Americans Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe were both tipped for the title but neither threatened and they finished seventh and eighth.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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