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Winter Olympics: U.S. Ties Norway for Medals Lead

Skeleton - Winter Olympics Day 7
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Team USA forged a tie with Norway for the overall medal lead, and Japan won its first Olympic gold medal in men’s figure skating at the Sochi Winter Olympics on Friday.

Here’s a recap of Friday’s action in Russia.

Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu Wins Figure Skating Gold

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 7
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Despite falling twice in his free skate program, Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan won his nation’s first Olympic gold medal in men’s figure skating on Friday. Hanyu, 19, earned the medal in part because he took a nearly four-point lead heading into the final skate.

Canada’s Patrick Chan had a chance to claim the gold, but he made several errors during his free skate program and settled for silver. Denis Ten of Kazakhstan won the bronze.

American Noelle Pikus-Pace Wins Silver In Skeleton

Skeleton - Winter Olympics Day 6
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American Noelle Pikus-Pace won the silver medal in the women’s skeleton in the final race of her career on Friday night. The U.S. slider from Eagle Mountain, Utah redeemed herself after narrowly missing a medal in Vancouver in 2010.

Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold won the gold, and Russia’s Elena Nikitina edged American Katie Uhlaender by .04 seconds for the bronze.

U.S. Struggles In Alpine Events

Alpine Skiing - Winter Olympics Day 7
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The United States continued to struggle in the Alpine skiing events, finishing out of the medals in the men’s super combined. Sandro Viletta of Switzerland won gold, Ivica Kostelic of Croatia claimed silver and Christof Innerhofer of Italy earned bronze.

Defending champion Bode Miller, of the U.S., finished sixth, going wide on his run and pushing himself out of medal contention. World champion Ted Ligety placed 12th for the Americans, who have just one Alpine medal at Sochi.

Canada’s Hockey Machine Rolls On

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 7 - Canada v Austria
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Jeff Carter had a hat trick in the second period alone, and Canada routed Austria 6-0 in men’s hockey at Sochi on Friday. Canadian goalie Roberto Luongo made 23 saves, as the defending Olympic champs continued playing very well in the men’s hockey tournament.

In other men’s hockey action, Finland beat Norway 6-1; Sweden topped Switzerland 1-0; and the Czech Republic stopped Latvia 4-2.

Medal Count

Skeleton - Winter Olympics Day 7
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Noelle Pikus-Pace’s silver medal in the women’s skeleton allowed the United States to pull into a tie with Norway atop the overall medal count with 13.

Norway (13)
4 gold; 3 silver; 6 bronze

United States (13)
4 gold; 3 silver; 6 bronze

Netherlands (12)
4 gold; 3 silver; 5 bronze

Russia (12)
2 gold; 5 silver; 5 bronze

Canada (11)
4 gold; 5 silver; 2 bronze

Overall Medal Table

Sources: Sochi Winter Olympics and NBC Olympics

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