Day 14 preview: Canada faces U.S. in women’s hockey final, Rochette skates for gold

With the Vancouver Winter Games heading into the final stretch, Thursday will feature a total of 11 events, six of them for medals.

Canada will have at least one shot at gold when the women’s hockey team faces off against the United States.

Women’s Hockey

As expected coming into Vancouver, the gold medal game is once again a Canada vs. U.S. showdown.

The Canadians are the defending two-time gold medal champions while the Americans will be looking for retribution after missing the finals in 2006.

Puck drop is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. PST.

Bronze-medal game:

Another geographical rivalry will be featured in the bronze-medal game as Finland takes on Sweden.

Sweden won the silver medal in Turin in 2006 but Finland has played well behind goaltender Noora Räty who has been a standout player in Vancouver.

The game is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. PST.

Women’s Curling

Day 14 kicks off with women’s curling, featuring semi-final games between Canada and Switzerland as well as China versus Sweden.

Cheryl Bernard led Canada to an 8-1 record in round-robin play and will look to take out the reigning back-to-back Olympic silver medalists in a rematch of the Turin semi-finals.

Sweden beat China 6-4 in their round-robin match and will be looking to advance to the finals to defend their Olympic gold medal on Friday.

Women’s curling will begin at 9:00 a.m. PST.

Men’s Curling

Semi-final action will be underway starting at 2:00 p.m. PST, as Canada takes on Sweden while Norway faces Switzerland.

Kevin Martin has been perfect thus far for Canada and will look to push his undefeated streak one game further against the underdog Swedish rink, who upset Great Britain in a tiebreaking match on Wednesday.

Canada beat Sweden 7-3 in their round-robin match while Norway defeated Switzerland 7-4.

Men’s curling is set to start at 2:00 p.m. PST.

Ladies’ Freeskate

Joannie Rochette will be back on the ice on day 14 as she looks to follow up her emotional skate on Tuesday with another impressive performance in the long program.

Rochette is currently sitting in third after the short program, trailing only Mao Asada of Japan and gold medal favourite Kim Yu-Na of South Korea.

Canadian Cynthia Phaneuf will also be competing and is currently in 14th place.

Competition is set to begin at 5:00 p.m. PST.

Men’s Aerials

Aerials provide another opportunity for Canada to reach the podium, as Steve Omischl, Warren Shouldice and Kyle Nissen will be amongst the final 12 skiers.

Jia Zongyang of China is currently sitting in first place after qualifications while American Ryan St. Onge is a close second.

Aerials are scheduled to take place at 6:00 p.m. PST at Cypress Mountain.

Cross-Country Skiing – Ladies’ 4×5 km Relay

Norway and Sweden have been dominant in ladies cross-country skiing at these Games, having won a combined seven medals.

The Russians and Germans are potential dark-horse teams while Canada is not expected to be much of a factor in this race.

Skiing will begin at 11:00 a.m. PST.

Nordic Combined

The United States will look to continue their success in the Nordic Combined at these Games after winning silver in the relay and normal hill competitions.

They will be in tough against conventional nordic combined front-runners France, Austria, Germany and Finland.

Ski jumping will commence at 10:00 a.m. PST and will be followed up by the 10 km race at 1:00 p.m. PST.