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Daily Olympic Briefing: Chock/Bates, Hubbell/Donohue ready to 'dance' on Day 8

Daily Olympic Briefing: Chock/Bates, Hubbell/Donohue ready to 'dance' on Day 8
Posted at 2:20 PM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 21:12:30-05

Each day of the 2022 Winter Games, NBC Olympics will run down every sport in action, highlighting the biggest athletes and marquee events. Every single event streams live on NBCOlympics.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock, and many are also on the TV networks of NBC. Visit the Olympic schedule page for listings sorted by sport and TV network.

On Day 8, the U.S. plays Canada in men’s hockey, ice dance begins and medalists Jessie Diggins and Lindsey Jacobellis return for team events.

All times listed below are Eastern Time on the night of Friday, February 11 or the morning of Saturday, February 12.

Hockey

Men's & Women's Hockey
All events also stream live on Peacock
Matchup Time (ET) How to Watch
Prelim: USA vs Canada (M) 11:00 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA
Quarterfinal: ROC vs Switzerland (W) 11:00 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, CNBC
Quarterfinal: Finland vs Japan (W) 3:30 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

A U.S. men’s hockey team eyes its first Olympic win over Canada without NHL players since 1960.

The last time the U.S. and Canada met at the Olympics outside of NHL participation was in 1994.

The U.S. has three wins over Canada in 18 Olympic games overall dating to 1920, when hockey was held during the Summer Games.

The last U.S. victory in the series sans NHL participation was a memorable one: in the six-team final round of the 1960 Winter Games.

The Americans prevailed 2-1 en route to the first U.S. Olympic hockey title, later dubbed in documentary titles “The First Miracle” and “The Forgotten Miracle” in comparison to the 1980 triumph.

Like in Lake Placid, the 1960 team was a decided underdog going into a home Olympics.

The Soviet Union, which won its first Olympic title in 1956, Canada and Czechoslovakia were the clear medal favorites.

U.S. head coach Jack Riley, then 11 seasons into a 36-year tenure as the head coach at Army, sent the national team to Moscow for a pre-Olympic test against the Soviets.

“They gave the Russians a great game. They only lost 13-0,” Riley said deadpan in a 2006 documentary. “So I knew we weren’t going to win.”

Canada was considered better than the Soviet Union in 1960, according to “USA Hockey: A Celebration of a Great Tradition,” a book by longtime USA Today hockey reporter Kevin Allen.

Canadian defenseman Harry Sinden said his team was probably favored by seven goals over the Americans, Allen wrote, even though both the U.S. and Canada were unbeaten heading into the showdown. The Canadians routed their first five opponents by a combined 40-3.

But the U.S. scored in each of the first two periods against Canada. Maskless U.S. goalie Jack McCartan, one of two men on the 17-player roster to later play in the NHL, stopped 39 of 40 shots, including 20 in the second period alone.

The play of McCartan, who was cut from the team and brought back, was Jim Craig-like.

"If we played the Canadians 10 games, they'd win nine,” Riley said after the game, according to the Canadian Press.

Herb Brooks, the famous last cut from the 1960 Olympic team, one week before those Games, nearly repeated the quote, swapping Canada for the Soviet Union, in his speech before the Miracle on Ice.

After upsetting Canada, the U.S. won its last two games over the Soviets (3-2) and the Czechs (9-4) to clinch gold.

Fast forward 62 years, and the U.S. is again an underdog against Canada. The American team is younger, mostly college players. Canada plucked 2010 Olympian Eric Staal, many pros in European leagues and the Nos. 1 and 3 picks from the 2021 NHL Draft.

The teams scrimmaged for two hours on Monday, though nobody kept score, according to USA Hockey.

Then on Thursday, the U.S. routed China, by far the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, 8-0. Canada more impressively beat 2018 silver medalist Germany 5-1 in the other Group A game.

The top team in each of the three groups, plus the highest-ranked second-place team, advance to the quarterfinals. The rest of the eight teams advance to a playoff round to determine the other four quarterfinalists.

Figure Skating

Figure Skating: Ice Dance
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Rhythm Dance 6:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA

France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, silver medalists in 2018 behind the since-retired Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, lost just once in this Olympic cycle. Russians Viktoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov beat the French in their last head-to-head, but that was way back in January 2020. This season, the French’s scores are better, Katsalapov has dealt with a back injury and the top U.S. couples outscored the Russians in the Olympic team event.

It’s likely that Madison Chock and Evan Bates or Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue will be on the podium after Monday’s free dance. That would make it five consecutive Olympics with an American ice dance couple earning a medal. With the Russian struggles, it could be two medals for the U.S.

Skeleton

Women's Skeleton
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Run 3 7:15 a.m. NBCOlympics.com
Final Run 🏅 8:45 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

Australian Jaclyn Narracott is the surprise leader after the first two of four runs. Narracott, a 31-year-old former sprinter and bobsledder who turned to skeleton in 2012, had a best World Cup finish of seventh before winning the last event before the Olympics. Narracott's lead over German Hannah Neise is .21 seconds, significant but by no means safe. Neise, the world junior champion, is yet to make a World Cup podium. Another six sliders are within .32 seconds of Neise in the fight for medals, with American Katie Uhlaender at the end of that group.

Speed Skating

Speed Skating
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Women's Team Pursuit Quarterfinals 3:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com
Men's 500m 🏅 3:45 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

The men’s 500m has been the most unpredictable speed skating event for the last decade. That continued this season, with six different men combining to win the eight World Cups. The 2018 Olympic gold medalist Haavard Lorentzen of Norway last won internationally in November 2018 and has a top finish of eighth over the last three World Cup seasons. Canadian Laurent Dubreuil is the reigning world champion. Russian Pavel Kulizhnikov is the world-record holder. Jordan Stolz, 17, broke the American record in December and has a better medal shot in the 1000m.

Cross Country Skiing

Cross-Country Skiing
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Women's Relay 🏅 2:30 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA

U.S. women’s cross-country skiers have long coveted a relay medal, tangible proof that the program belongs with the European powers. The U.S. finished fourth or fifth at six of the seven Olympics and world championships from 2013 through 2021. On paper, the podium looks just out of reach again this time.

Therese Johaug, already a two-time gold medalist at these Games, will lead reigning Olympic and world champion Norway. Sweden, Finland and the Russian Olympic Committee each looked impressive in different races over the last week – more impressive than every Norwegian but Johaug.

Snowboarding

Snowboard Cross: Mixed Team Event
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Mixed Team 🏅 9:00 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, NBC

It’s the Olympic debut of mixed-gender team snowboard cross. One man and one woman per team compete relay style. The man goes first, and once he crosses the finish line, the start gate opens at the top of the course for the woman. The top two teams per four-team heat advance from quarterfinals into semifinals into a four-team medal final. Lindsey Jacobellis, who became the oldest Olympic snowboarding medalist by winning the women’s snowboard cross, is teamed with 40-year-old Nick Baumgartner, the oldest athlete on the entire U.S. Olympic team. The U.S. has a second team, Faye Gulini and Jake Vedder.

Biathlon

Biathlon
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Men's 10km 🏅 4:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA

The last three Olympic men’s sprints were won by biathletes who had zero World Cup victories that season. World champion Sebastian Samuelsson of Sweden and three-time World Cup overall champion Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway are the favorites (though they have World Cup victories this season). If Boe and/or Frenchman Quentin Fillon Maillet gets a medal here, they will have considerable chances to next week become the first athletes to win six medals at a single Winter Olympics. Norwegian Marte Olsbu Roiseland is already halfway there, but the sixth women’s event comes after the sixth men’s event.

Ski Jumping

Ski Jumping
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Men's Large Hill Final 🏅 5:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

Ryoyu Kobayashi already earned legend status in Japan’s most storied Winter Olympic sport by winning the normal hill last Sunday, 50 years to the day after Japan swept the medals at its home Olympics in Sapporo. In the large hill final, he can do something that no Japanese ski jumper has ever done, win a second individual Olympic title. Kobayashi was ninth in qualifying, but scores are wiped out for the two final rounds.

Curling

Men's & Women's Curling: Round Robin
All events also stream live on Peacock
Matchup Time (ET) How to Watch
USA vs Norway (M) 1:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com
USA vs Great Britain (W) 7:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

The U.S. is the early story of the women’s curling tournament with a 3-0 record, its best start ever. It next gets Great Britain, skipped by Eve Muirhead, who led a different British quartet to a fourth-place finish in 2018. The U.S. men are 2-1 and get Norway, whose team includes Torger Nergaard, a 2002 gold medalist who is the oldest male athlete at these Games at 47.