U.S. men's hockey team off to hottest start at worlds in 92 years (2023)

By OlympicTalkMay 20, 2023, 7:40 AM EDT

U.S. men's hockey team off to hottest start at worlds in 92 years (1)



The U.S. men’s hockey team won its first five games in regulation at a world championship for the first time since 1931, cruising into Thursday’s quarterfinals in a tournament co-hosted by Finland and Latvia.

The Americans won in group play over Finland (4-1), Hungary (7-1), Germany (3-2), Austria (4-1) and Denmark (3-0 on Saturday).

Cutter Gauthier, a rising Boston College sophomore who was the fifth overall 2022 NHL Draft pick, Buffalo Sabres forward Alex Tuch and AHL player Rocco Grimaldi scored in the third period Saturday. Casey DeSmith, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ No. 2 goalie, got the shutout with 22 saves.

The Americans have group games left with France (Sunday) and Sweden (Tuesday, likely to decide the group winner), but already clinched one of the top four spots in its eight-team group to advance to the quarterfinals. The other group includes Canada, Czechia (formerly the Czech Republic) and Switzerland.

The U.S. most recently won its first five games at a worlds in 2018 (when it won its first six) and in 1933, but both times needed at least one overtime. The 1933 five-game run was capped by an overtime final win over Canada, the last time the U.S. won the title at a standalone worlds.

While the NHL didn’t participate in the last two Olympics, some NHL players annually play at the world championship, which takes place during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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This year’s U.S. team, which includes three 2022 Olympians, has zero players with NHL All-Star experience for the first time at worlds since 2010. In most years, there have been one or two players with All-Star experience while most choose rest after a seven-month NHL campaign or are still playing in the NHL playoffs.

The U.S. head coach is San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn, who also coached the U.S. at the 2022 Olympics (quarterfinals) and 2022 Worlds (fourth place).

Last year, the U.S. men lost a world championship semifinal for an 11th consecutive time, again missing out on a first gold or silver finish since 1950.

The U.S. has lost all 11 of its semifinals at worlds since the IIHF reinstituted a bracketed playoff round in 1992.

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French Open: Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk says crowd ‘should be embarrassed’ for booing her

Associated PressMay 28, 2023, 8:55 AM EDT

U.S. men's hockey team off to hottest start at worlds in 92 years (5)

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus (left) and Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine before their French Open first round match./Getty


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At first, Aryna Sabalenka thought the boos and derisive whistles coming from the French Open crowd were directed at her after a first-round victory Sunday. Instead, the negative reaction was aimed at her opponent, Marta Kostyuk, for not participating in the usual post-match handshake up at the net.

Kostyuk, who is from Ukraine, avoided so much as any eye contact with Sabalenka, who is from Belarus, after the match, instead walking directly over to acknowledge the chair umpire. Sabalenka walked toward the net as if expecting some sort of exchange.

“What happened today, I have to say I didn’t expect it,” Kostyuk said of the crowd. “I did not, but I have no reaction to it. People should be honestly embarrassed, but this is not my call.

“I want to see people react to it in 10 years when the war is over. I think they will not feel really nice about what they did.”

But this is something Kostyuk has been doing whenever she has faced any opponent from Russia or Belarus since her country was invaded by Russia, with help from Belarus, in February 2022.

Perhaps the fans on hand at Court Philippe Chatrier did not know the backstory and figured Kostyuk simply failed to follow tennis etiquette by congratulating the winner after the lopsided result: Sabalenka grabbed six games in a row during one stretch and came out on top 6-3, 6-2.

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“It was a very tough match — I would say tough emotionally,” said the No. 2-seeded Sabalenka, who won her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January.

During an on-court interview in the main stadium, Sabalenka told the spectators she was sure their jeering “was against me, so I was a little surprised, but then I felt your support.”

Before play began on Day 1 of the clay-court tournament, the players did not pose together for the standard photos up at the net after the coin toss to determine who would serve first.

Kostyuk, a 20-year-old who is ranked 39th, won her first WTA title in March at Austin, Texas, by beating a Russian opponent and neither player went to the net afterward that day.

During her pre-tournament news conference on Friday, Sabalenka was asked about the likelihood there would be no handshake on Sunday.

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“If she hates me, OK. I can’t do anything about that. There is going to be people who loves me; there is going to be people who hates me,” Sabalenka said then. “If she hates me, I don’t feel anything like that (toward) her.”

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Ryan Crouser breaks world record in shot put at Los Angeles Grand Prix U.S. men’s hockey team stunned by Germany in world championship semifinals Carlos Alcaraz’s ‘dream’ to play Olympic doubles with Rafael...

Ryan Crouser breaks world record in shot put at Los Angeles Grand Prix

By OlympicTalkMay 27, 2023, 5:56 PM EDT


Two-time Olympic championRyan Crouserregistered one of the greatest performances in track and field history, breaking his world record and throwing three of the six farthest shot puts of all time at the Los Angeles Grand Prix on Saturday.

Crouser unleashed throws of 23.56 meters, 23.31 and 23.23 at UCLA’s Drake Stadium. His previous world record from the Tokyo Olympic Trials was 23.37. He now owns the top four throws in history, and the 23.23 is tied for the fifth-best throw in history.

“The best thing is I’m still on high volume [training], heavy throws in the ring and heavy weights in the weight room, so we’re just starting to work in some speed,” the 6-foot-7 Crouser, who is perfecting a new technique coined the “Crouser slide,” told Lewis Johnsonon NBC.

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Sha’Carri Richardsonwon her 100m heat in 10.90 seconds into a slight headwind, then did not start the final about 90 minutes later due to cramping, Johnson said. Richardson is ranked No. 1 in the world in the 100m in 2023 (10.76) and No. 2 in the 200m (22.07).

Jamaican Ackeem Blake won the men’s 100m in a personal best 9.89 seconds. He now ranks third in the world this year behind Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala and American Fred Kerley, who meet in the Diamond League in Rabat, Morocco on Sunday (2-4 p.m. ET, CNBC, NBCSports.com/live, the NBC Sports app and Peacock).

The next major meet is the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in early July, when the top three in most individual events qualify for August’s world championships.

Richardson will bid to make her first global championships team, two years after having her Olympic Trials win stripped for testing positive for marijuana and one year after being eliminated in the first round of the 100m at USATF Outdoors.

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Also Saturday, Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinnof Puerto Rico won the 100m hurdles in 12.31, the fastest time ever this early in a year. Nigerian Tobi Amusan, who at last July’s worlds lowered the world record to 12.12, was eighth in the eight-woman field in 12.69.

Maggie Ewen upset world champion Chase Ealey in the shot put by throwing 20.45 meters, upping her personal best by more than three feet. Ewen went from 12th-best in American history to third behind 2016 Olympic championMichelle Carterand Ealey.

Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic ran the fastest women’s 400m since the Tokyo Olympics, clocking 48.98 seconds. Paulino is the Olympic and world silver medalist. Olympic and world championShaunae Miller-Uiboof the Bahamas is on a maternity break.

Rio Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy won the 800m in 1:44.75, beating a field that included most of the top Americans in the event. Notably absent was 2019 World champion Donovan Brazier, who hasn’t raced since July 20 of last year amid foot problems.

CJ Allenwon the 400m hurdles in a personal best 47.91, consolidating his argument as the second-best American in the event behind Olympic and world silver medalist Rai Benjamin, who withdrew from the meet earlier this week.

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