U.S. dominates day 7, Canada strikes gold

Canada picked up its third gold of the Games thanks to London Ont., native Christine Nesbitt’s performance in women’s 1000 metre speed skating.

With the gold, Canada pushed its medal total to eight, leaving them in fourth place after day seven.

The Americans continued to ’rent the podium’ on Thursday as they brought home another four medals (1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze), giving them a commanding lead at the top of the standings with 18.

They could have made it five on the day, but medal favourite Lindsay Vonn fell on the second half of her run in the ladies super combined downhill event.

Perhaps the biggest upset of day seven came when American figure skater Evan Lysacek dethroned defending Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko, who finished in second place. Toronto native Patrick Chan ended up fifth.

Hockey was not far out of the limelight however, as the men’s team squeezed out a 3-2 shootout victory over underdog Switzerland.

Norway also had a successful day, finishing with two gold’s and a bronze, giving them eight total, good for third place in the overall medal standings.

The results of day seven are as follows:

Women’s 1,000 metre Long Track Speed Skating

Christine Nesbitt did not disappoint in her quest for gold, winning the women’s 1,000-metre race by only two-hundredths of a second.

Annette Gerritsen and Laurine van Niessen of the Netherlands captured silver and bronze respectively.

Kristina Groves was close in her medal pursuit, finishing in fourth place.

Men’s Hockey

Sidney Crosby scored the shootout winner and Martin Brodeur shut the door the rest of the way as Canada edged Switzerland 3-2 in Olympic hockey on Thursday.

Coming off an 8-0 victory over Norway on Tuesday, Canada was in tough against a gritty Swiss team who crawled back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game and rode an electrifying performance by Jonas Hiller only to fall short in the second round of the shootout.

Canada will take on the U.S. Sunday at Canada Hockey Place.

Slovakia defeated the powerhouse Russians in the shootout 2-1.

Goaltending stole the show as both Jaroslav Halak and Ilya Bryzgalov played phenomenally throughout regulation as well as in the shootout.

Pavol Demitra scored the shootout winner in the eighth round.

In the early game, Brian Rafalski scored two goals and five other Americans added two points apiece as Team USA cruised to a 6-1 victory over Norway.

Women’s Hockey

The United States continued its strong play in the Olympics, routing Norway 6-0 at UBC Thunderbird Arena.

China remains winless at the Olympics as they lost a tight game against Russia 2-1. The win marked Russia’s first of the tournament.

Men’s Figure Skating

Evan Lysachek of the U.S. put together a nearly flawless routine, as he was able to capture the gold with a total score of 257.67.

Defending Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko of Russia settled for the silver while Daisuke Takahasi of Japan won the bronze.

Canadian Patrick Chan improved on his first performance and was able to move up from seventh to fifth place.

Alpine Skiing- Ladies’ Super Combined Downhill

German skier Maria Riesch captured the gold medal in the ladies’ alpine skiing – super combine on Thursday at Cypress Mountain, finishing with a total time of two minutes and 9.14 seconds.

Medal favourite Lindsay Vonn was sitting in first place after the downhill section but fell during the slalom portion of the event, causing her to miss the podium.

American Julia Mancuso won her second silver medal of the Games with a total time of 2:10.08 while Anja Paerson of Sweden captured the bronze medal with a combined time of 2:10.19.

Canadian Shona Rubens, of Canmore, Alta., finished 12th, 3.44 seconds off the pace.

Snowboard- Ladies Halfpipe

Torah Bright won the first gold medal for Australia at the Vancouver Olympics while the Americans continued their medal pillage as Hanah Teter grabbed the silver while teammate Kelly Clark won bronze.

Canadian rider Mercedes Nicoll was sitting in third place after her first run, but fell on her second attempt, dropping her to sixth place.

Women’s 15 km Individual Biathlon

Norway’s Tora Berger won the gold medal in the 15-kilometre individual biathlon Thursday with a time of 40:52.8.

Elena Khrustaleva of Kazakhstan claimed the silver medal while Darya Domracheva of Belarus took home the bronze.

Megan Tandy was the highest placing Canadian, finishing 50th.

Men’s 20 km Individual Biathlon

Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway won gold in Men’s 20km Biathlon on Thursday with a time of 48:22.5 at Whistler Olympic Park.

Strangely enough, both Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway and Sergey Novikov of Belarus were awarded silver medals after posting identical times of 48:32.0.

Canadian Jean-Philippe Le Guellec finished a respectable 13th with a time of 50:47.1.

Men’s Curling

Kevin Martin remains unbeaten in Vancouver as Team Canada defeated Team Sweden 7-3 after nine ends at the Vancouver Olympic Centre Thursday afternoon.

Markus Eggler helped Switzerland improve their record to 3-0 after upsetting defending world champion David Murdoch of Great Britain 4-3.

Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud has won two straight and is back in the hunt, after defeating Germany’s Andy Kapp 7-4 in the early match and following it up with a great performance against the Swiss, once again winning 7-4.

Denmark’s Ulrik Schmidt narrowly defeated John Shuster’s American rink 7-6 in 11 ends in the battle of the two remaining winless teams.

Canada also hammered France 12-5 in the late match, improving their record to 4-0.

Murdoch rebounded in the late draw against Denmark as he made a great tap on his last rock to score three as Great Britain beat Denmark 9-6.

Sweden needed extra ends to pull out a 6-5 win over China, improving their record to 3-1.

Women’s Curling

Cheryl Bernard scored the final point in the 11th end as Canada held on to beat Germany 6-5 on Thursday, improving their record to 3-0.

In the other draws, Great Britain’s Eve Muirhead won her match over Russia in dominating fashion: 10-3 in just eight ends of work.

China’s Wang Bingju made up for her tournament opening loss by defeating Japan 9-5 while the U.S. fell to 0-4 after losing 7-6 to Denmark.

Women’s Skeleton

Canadian Mellisa Hollingsworth, the top-ranked skeleton athlete, currently sits in third place after two runs at the Whistler Sliding Centre.

Hollingsworth is 0.39 seconds off the pace set by Great Britain’s Amy Williams.

The final two runs will be held on Friday to determine the medals.

Men’s Skeleton

No. 1 ranked Martins Dukurs of Latvia set a track record at the Whistler Sliding Centre, finishing his first run in a total time of 52.32 seconds.

Canada’s Jon Montgomery is in second place, only 0.26 seconds back of Dukurs while teammates Mike Douglas and Jeff Pain finished their first two runs in sixth and tenth place respectively.

Two more runs will be held Friday to determine the medals.