Minnesotans showing strong performance at Olympics

A goal tender holds up a glove, preparing to catch the puck.
USA's goaltender Madeline Rooney eyes the puck during the game between USA and Canada, at the Wukesong Sports Centre in Beijing on Tuesday.
Anthony Wallace | AFP via Getty Images

It’s been a busy 24 hours for Minnesota athletes at the Beijing Winter Games. KARE 11 sports anchor Dave Schwartz joined Cathy Wurzer to talk about how the games have been shaping up so far. Here’s a look at the results and standings.

Listen to the conversation with the audio player above.

Jessie Diggins competes in the women's 10km classic event Thursday.
Tobias Schwarz | AFP via Getty Images

Jessie Diggins finishes 8th in 10k race

After Jessie Diggins competed in the sprint freestyle race on Tuesday, she finished eighth in the 10-kilometer race Thursday. Dave Schwartz, KARE 11’s sports anchor, said that even Diggins expected that kind of result.

“She even said that this is my worst race. This is the race I’m not very good at. She still finished eighth. So that just tells you how talented she is and how realistic she is with her own expectations,” Schwartz said.

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A hockey player skates as three other players surround him.
USA's Brock Faber (center) vies with China's Wang Taile (left), Zhang Zesen (top) and Ye Jinguang during their men's preliminary round group A match of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Antony Wallace | AFP via Getty Images

Men’s hockey starts strong with win over China

With seven players connected to Minnesota, the U.S. started strong with an 8-0 starting game against China. Ben Meyers of Delano, Minn., had one goal and two assists, and Noah Cates of Stillwater scored a goal. Brock Faber of Maple Grove and Drew Helleson of Farmington each had an assist.

Schwartz said the makeup of this year’s team is a bit different than in 2018.

“It seems like the strategy this time was to get players who are faster, get players who will be very good professionals one day and see if we can kind of catch lightning in the bottle with some really good youth,” Schwartz said.

Three women deliver a curling stone on the ice
Becca Hamilton, Tabitha Peterson and Tara Peterson of Team USA compete against Team Denmark during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Justin Setterfield | Getty Images

Women’s curling remains undefeated

The women’s curling team, with Tabitha Peterson as the skip (or team captain) had a sound victory over the ROC with a 9-3 win.

“Tabitha Peterson and company really capitalized on a couple mistakes,” said Schwartz. “They were very smooth and came up with a really good dominating win to start the round-robin tournament.”

They followed up the success with the next round, with a close game against Denmark that ended 7-5. Their next match will be against China at 12:05 a.m. Friday.

Curling - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 5
John Landsteiner (left), Chris Plys and Matt Hamilton of Team USA compete against Team ROC at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Lintao Zhang | Getty Images

Men’s curling stand 1-1 with loss to Sweden, win over ROC

After a close opening match against the Russian Olympic Committee that went into an extra end, the men’s U.S. curling team faced a tough battle against Sweden, the same team that John Shuster and his teammates upset in 2018 to win the gold medal.

“As usual, John Shuster and his team — the pressure doesn’t really bother them,” said Dave Schwartz, KARE 11’s sports anchor. “It’s their M.O. at this point.”

Yet no rest for the men’s team. They’ll face a tough challenge against Great Britain on Friday at 7 p.m.

Women’s hockey plays Friday in quarterfinal match

The quarterfinals begin on Friday, with Team USA facing off against the Czech Republic starting at 10 p.m. It’s set to air both on KARE 11 and USA Network.

With only one loss in the preliminary round to rival team Canada, the women’s hockey team may likely face Canada again in the semifinals if both teams advance.