Kendall Gretsch won Team USA’s first gold medal at the PyeongChang Paralympics on Friday night in the women’s biathlon 6 km – sitting event. It was a strong finish for Team USA, with Oksana Masters grabbing the silver medal. Next on the course, Dan Cnossen won the men’s biathlon 7.5 km – sitting event.
Andrew Kurka came to the PyeongChang slopes as the reigning Alpine downhill – sitting world champion. He won his first gold medal when no one could touch his time coming down the mountain. The U.S. won three gold medals at the entire Sochi Paralympics, a total they matched on Day 1 in PyeongChang.
Para Alpine skiing: Men’s and women’s downhill, all classes
Andrew Kurka won his first gold medal in PyeongChang after missing out on competition in Sochi four years ago. Kurka, the 2017 world champion, was untouchable in the sitting class.
Other U.S. medalists included Laurie Stephens, who took bronze in the women’s sitting class.
Women’s Downhill – Visually Impaired gold medalist: Henrieta Farkasova, Slovakia
- Team USA: Danelle Umstead did not finish her run
Women’s Downhill – Standing gold medalist: Marie Bochet, France
- Team USA: Melanie Schwartz finished seventh, Stephanie Jallen placed eighth, and Ally Kunkel did not finish.
Women’s Downhill – Sitting gold medalist: Anna Schaffelhuber, Germany
- Team USA: Laurie Stephens earned bronze.
Men’s Downhill – Visually Impaired gold medalist: Mac Marcoux, Canada
- Team USA: Kevin Burton finished seventh and Mark Bathum did not finish.
Men’s Downhill – Standing gold medalist: Theo Gmur, Switzerland
- Team USA: Andrew Haraghey finished 18th
Men’s Downhill – Sitting gold medalist: Andrew Kurka, USA
- Team USA: Stephen Lawler finished 18th.
Para Biathlon: Men’s 7.5 km and women’s 6 km – sitting; Men’s 7.5 km and women’s 6 km – standing
U.S. women finished strong as Kendall Gretsch captured the first gold medal for Team USA in the women’s 6 km sitting class. Teammate Oksana Masters earned the silver while another American, Joy Rondeau, finished 14th.
In the men’s 7.5 km sitting class, Dan Cnossen struck gold for Team USA.
Women’s 6 km – Sitting gold medalist: Kendall Gretsch, USA
- Team USA: Oksana Masters made it a 1-2 finish for the Americans, earning silver. Joy Rondeau placed 14th.
Men’s 7.5 km – Sitting gold medalist: Daniel Cnossen, Team USA
- Team USA: Andrew Soule finished eighth, Aaron Pike finished 12th, Jeremy Wagner finished 19th and Bryan Price finished 20th.
Women’s 6 km – Standing gold medalist: Ekaterina Rumtanyseva, Neutral Paralympic Athlete
- No Team USA athletes
Men’s 7.5 km – Standing gold medalist: Benjamin Daviet, France
- Team USA: Ruslan Reiter finished 16th.
Women’s 6 km – Visually Impaired gold medalist: Mikhailina Lysova, Neutral Paralympic Athlete
- No Team USA athletes
Men’s 7.5 km – Visually Impaired gold medalist: Vitaliy Lukyanenko, Ukraine
- No Team USA athletes
Sled hockey: Preliminary games
Norway vs. Italy round-robin game, group A
Final: Norway 2, Italy 3
The first sled hockey game of the PyeongChang Paralympic tournament needed an extra frame, plus a shootout to decide the winner. Norway and Italy were scoreless through the first period, but Sandro Kalegaris put one in the net for Italy at the 16:02 minute mark. Norway’s Morten Vaernes answered 10 minutes later to tie the score at 1-1.
Each team scored in the third period: Gianluigi Rosa for Italy and Audun Bakke for Norway, sending the game to overtime. Neither team could score the game winner in overtime, forcing a shootout. Italy’s Nils Larch was the only player to find the twine, giving Italy the win, 3-2, over Norway.
South Korea vs. Japan round-robin game, group B
Final: South Korea 4, Japan 1
South Korea picked up their first win of the Paralympic sled hockey tournament against Japan, 4-1. South Korea’s Jang Dong-Shin scored the game’s first goal in the second period. Jang’s three teammates, Jung Seung-Hwan, Cho Young-Jae and Lee Hae-Man netted a goal a piece in the first 10 minutes of the third period to give South Korea the 4-0 lead.
Japan’s Kazuhiro Takahashi spoiled the shutout for South Korean goalie Yu Man-Gyun, scoring the only goal of the game on the power play for the Japanese team. South Korea outshot Japan 24-7.
Canada vs. Sweden round-robin game, group A
Final: Canada 17, Sweden 0
Sweden was overmatched in their sled hockey opener against Canada, with the Canadians scoring 17 goals on 45 shots in the 17-0 blowout. Canada scored seven goals in the first period, with Tyler McGregor posting a hat trick less than 10 minutes into the game.
After Canada scored two more at the start of the second period, making it 9-0, both teams changed goalies, but Sweden couldn’t stop the bleeding. The Swedes allowed three more goals before the buzzer sounded.
Canada’s Bryan Sholomicki finalized his own hat trick in the third period after scoring two in the opening frame. In all, ten Canadian skaters contributed goals in their first game of the Paralympics in PyeongChang.
Wheelchair Curling: Preliminary matches
USA vs. South Korea round-robin
Final: USA 3, South Korea 7
Team USA scored two in the seventh end in their first match of the wheelchair curling tournament in PyeongChang, but it would not be enough. The U.S. team, led by skip Kirk Black, conceded to South Korea, dropping the match 3-7.
With control of the hammer, South Korea crowded the house to score four in the fifth end. They were able to tally one more point in the sixth, which would ultimately put the win out of reach for the U.S. curlers.