Daily Olympic Briefing: Chock/Bates, Hubbell/Donohue ready to 'dance' on Day 8

Madison Chock and Evan Bates skate during the pairs skating team event free skate - Credit: Getty Images

Madison Chock and Evan Bates skate during the pairs skating team event free skate – Credit: Getty Images

Each day of the 2022 Winter Games, NBC Olympics will run down every sport in action, highlighting the biggest athletes and marquee events. Every single event streams live on NBCOlympics.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock, and many are also on the TV networks of NBC. Visit the Olympic schedule page for listings sorted by sport and TV network.

On Day 8, the U.S. plays Canada in men’s hockey, ice dance begins and medalists Jessie Diggins and Lindsey Jacobellis return for team events.

All times listed below are Eastern Time on the night of Friday, February 11 or the morning of Saturday, February 12.

Hockey

Men’s & Women’s Hockey
All events also stream live on Peacock
Matchup Time (ET) How to Watch
Prelim: USA vs Canada (M) 11:00 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA
Quarterfinal: ROC vs Switzerland (W) 11:00 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, CNBC
Quarterfinal: Finland vs Japan (W) 3:30 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

A U.S. men’s hockey team eyes its first Olympic win over Canada without NHL players since 1960.

The last time the U.S. and Canada met at the Olympics outside of NHL participation was in 1994.

The U.S. has three wins over Canada in 18 Olympic games overall dating to 1920, when hockey was held during the Summer Games.

The last U.S. victory in the series sans NHL participation was a memorable one: in the six-team final round of the 1960 Winter Games.

The Americans prevailed 2-1 en route to the first U.S. Olympic hockey title, later dubbed in documentary titles “The First Miracle” and “The Forgotten Miracle” in comparison to the 1980 triumph.

Like in Lake Placid, the 1960 team was a decided underdog going into a home Olympics.

The Soviet Union, which won its first Olympic title in 1956, Canada and Czechoslovakia were the clear medal favorites.

U.S. head coach Jack Riley, then 11 seasons into a 36-year tenure as the head coach at Army, sent the national team to Moscow for a pre-Olympic test against the Soviets.

“They gave the Russians a great game. They only lost 13-0,” Riley said deadpan in a 2006 documentary. “So I knew we weren’t going to win.”

Canada was considered better than the Soviet Union in 1960, according to “USA Hockey: A Celebration of a Great Tradition,” a book by longtime USA Today hockey reporter Kevin Allen.

Canadian defenseman Harry Sinden said his team was probably favored by seven goals over the Americans, Allen wrote, even though both the U.S. and Canada were unbeaten heading into the showdown. The Canadians routed their first five opponents by a combined 40-3.

But the U.S. scored in each of the first two periods against Canada. Maskless U.S. goalie Jack McCartan, one of two men on the 17-player roster to later play in the NHL, stopped 39 of 40 shots, including 20 in the second period alone.

The play of McCartan, who was cut from the team and brought back, was Jim Craig-like.

“If we played the Canadians 10 games, they’d win nine,” Riley said after the game, according to the Canadian Press.

Herb Brooks, the famous last cut from the 1960 Olympic team, one week before those Games, nearly repeated the quote, swapping Canada for the Soviet Union, in his speech before the Miracle on Ice.

After upsetting Canada, the U.S. won its last two games over the Soviets (3-2) and the Czechs (9-4) to clinch gold.

Fast forward 62 years, and the U.S. is again an underdog against Canada. The American team is younger, mostly college players. Canada plucked 2010 Olympian Eric Staal, many pros in European leagues and the Nos. 1 and 3 picks from the 2021 NHL Draft.

The teams scrimmaged for two hours on Monday, though nobody kept score, according to USA Hockey.

Then on Thursday, the U.S. routed China, by far the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, 8-0. Canada more impressively beat 2018 silver medalist Germany 5-1 in the other Group A game.

The top team in each of the three groups, plus the highest-ranked second-place team, advance to the quarterfinals. The rest of the eight teams advance to a playoff round to determine the other four quarterfinalists.

Figure Skating

Figure Skating: Ice Dance
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Rhythm Dance 6:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA

France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, silver medalists in 2018 behind the since-retired Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, lost just once in this Olympic cycle. Russians Viktoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov beat the French in their last head-to-head, but that was way back in January 2020. This season, the French’s scores are better, Katsalapov has dealt with a back injury and the top U.S. couples outscored the Russians in the Olympic team event.

It’s likely that Madison Chock and Evan Bates or Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue will be on the podium after Monday’s free dance. That would make it five consecutive Olympics with an American ice dance couple earning a medal. With the Russian struggles, it could be two medals for the U.S.

Skeleton

Women’s Skeleton
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Run 3 7:15 a.m. NBCOlympics.com
Final Run
Skip to content