MERIBEL, FRANCE — Top-seeded Sweden out; Czechs win
Victors earn spot in hockey final four
MERIBEL, France -- Czechoslovakia filled out the Olympic hockey semifinal field yesterday, as Otakar Janecky broke a 1-1 tie with 6 minutes, 55 seconds left in a 3-1 victory over previously unbeaten Sweden.
"Our older players, they were really motivated for this tournament because it could be the last chance for them to get a gold medal," Swedish assistant coach Curt Lundmark said. "We were here as the favorites and we knew it. I think our older players are the most disappointed."
Czechoslovakia (5-1) faces Canada (5-1) in tomorrow night's semifinal. The United States (5-0-1) meets the Unified Team (5-1) in the other semifinal at 11 a.m.
Sweden (3-1-2) plays for fifth place tonight against Finland (3-2-1), which lost to the Unified Team 6-1 earlier yesterday.
With the score 1-1, Czech goalie Petr Briza got the puck to Janecky along the left boards. Janecky fired a slap shot from the top of the left circle that went under defenseman Borje Salming, who went down to block it.
The puck hit goalie Tommy Soderstrom's pads, but it trickled through.
Janecky nearly gave Czechoslovakia the lead 38 seconds into the third period, but his shot bounced off the right post.
Patrick Augusta got the final goal with 2:17 left when he lifted a short backhander over Soderstrom.
Czechoslovakia, whose last medal was a silver in 1984, can finish no worse than fourth. Sweden's string of three consecutive bronze medals was broken.
Sweden, which won the world championship last spring, entered the tournament as a co-favorite with the Unified Team. The Swedes had several NHL veterans, including Salming, Mats Naslund, Hakan Loob and Bengt Gustafsson.
Misersky wins gold for Germany in 15K
LES SAISIES, France
Antje Misersky's legs and arms felt heavy. Myriam Bedard was tense.
But both overcame their pre-race jitters to win medals in the women's 15-kilometer biathlon.
Misersky, a 24-year-old German, took the gold medal, while Bedard gave Canada its third medal of the Games by clinching the bronze.
Svetlana Pecherskaia of the Unified Team squeezed in between to win the silver.
Misersky's career began as cross country skier in East Germany, and her experience on the trail allowed her to take some time on the shooting range. She shot better than most of her rivals and took her third medal of the Games. She also had a silver in the 7.5K event and another silver with the German relay team.
"I was very happy with the two silver medals, but this is the crowning of a good performance," Misersky said. "I was pessimistic before the race. I had heavy legs and heavy arms. But in the end it all turned out well."
The best American was Nancy Johnstone-Bell, of Stowe, Vt., who finished 34th, more than six minutes behind Misersky. She had a five-minute penalty.
Canada, Norway teams win elimination games
The Norwegian men and the Canadian men and women won their curling matches again to preserve their unbeaten records in the elimination round of the demonstration Olympic event.
But the Norwegian women suffered their first defeat, bowing to Germany, 7-3. British women had an easy time with Japan, winning, 10-3.
Matches between teams with the poorest records begin play today to settle fifth through eighth place. The semifinals start tomorrow.
In men's competition, Norway blasted Australia, 11-1, and Canada beat Sweden, 10-5. Switzerland edged Britain, 6-5, and the United States triumphed over France, 6-4.