By Dave Zarum, Sportsnet
1. Last one on the hill: The final alpine skiing event goes in the books today, with the men’s slalom races, in which a whopping 117 skiers will take to the mountain. Canada’s best hope for a medal falls on North Vancouver’s Canadian Cowboy, Michael Janyk, who is the first Canadian male to ever win a medal in the slalom at the world championships, which he did in 2009. However, all eyes will be on 24-year-old Austrian Marcel Hirscher, who currently sits atop the FIS Alpine slalom, giant slalom, and overall leaderboard this season. 7:45 a.m. EST
2. Four-man gets started: The Canada 2 four-man team of Lyndon Rush, Lascelles Brown, David Bissett, and Neville Wright took home bronze in this event in Vancouver, although Canada’s best bet for a medal in Sochi may just be the Canada 1 team of Chris Spring, Timothy Randall, James McNaughton, and Bryan Barnett. Barnett, along with Canada 3 team member Justin Kripps, put in Canada’s best result in men’s bobsled thus far, finishing fourth in two of the heats in the two-man event. The Germany 1 team is a favourite, along with USA 1 featuring 2010 gold medallists Steve Holcomb and Curt Tomasevicz. 11:30 a.m. EST
3. Battle for bronze: After both teams had difficulty finding the back of the net in their respective semifinal games, Finland and USA will have an opportunity to end the Games on a better note in today’s bronze medal matchup. Finnish goalie Tuukka Rask missed the semis due to illness, and while his replacement, Kari Lehtonen, wasn’t the reason Finland lost to Sweden, it will be a big boost to Finland if Rask comes back. Finland has won bronze in three of the last five Olympics. 10 a.m. EST
4. More slalom: Both the men’s and women’s snowboard parallel slalom events go down today, with three Canadian women—Ariane Lavigne, Caroline Calvé, and Marianne Leeson—and men—Matthew Morison, Michael Lambert, and Jasey-Jay Anderson—set to compete. Anderson is the defending champ having won gold in this event in Vancouver, while Calvé took home gold at a world cup event in Italy this past December. 12:15 a.m. EST
5. One more, Denny!: Denny Morrison will look to continue his strong effort in Sochi by bringing his total medal count to three in today’s men’s relay final. Joining Morrison on Team Canada is Vincent De Haitre, Mathieu Giroux, and Lucas Makowsky. This group won the gold in Vancouver, and are the last hope to add to Canada’s medal count in the race to first overall before Sunday’s final event, the hockey gold medal game.
Dave Zarum writes for Sportsnet.
Friday, February 21, 2014