FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 20th, 2014
2014 SOCHI WINTER GAMES – FEB. 20 NBCSN & CNBC HIGHLIGHTS
Men’s Hockey Semifinal Games LIVE Friday on NBCSN Highlighted by Coverage of Team USA vs. Canada in a 2010 Gold Medal Rematch at 11:30 a.m. ET
Men’s Curling Gold Medal Final Featuring Canada vs. Great Britain on CNBC at 5 p.m. ET
All Events Live Streamed on NBCOlympics.com and NBC Sports Live Extra Mobile & Tablet App
Stamford, Conn. – February 20, 2014 – Coming up on NBC Olympics’ coverage of the XXII Olympic Winter Games:
- Tonight at 8/7c on NBC, reigning U.S. champion Gracie Gold, 2010 Olympic gold medalist Yuna Kim of South Korea, 15-year old Yulia Lipnitskaya of Russia, and two-time U.S. national champion Ashley Wagner compete in the free skate of the ladies’ figure skating competition, which will determine the Olympic champion.
- Also highlighting primetime is the women’s ski halfpipe gold medal final, where the U.S. has a deep team of competitors, led by 20-year-old Maddie Bowman, while 2013 world bronze medalist John Teller will compete in the men’s ski cross gold medal final. For more information on tonight’s primetime program on NBC, click here.
- Tomorrow’s live coverage is highlighted by the men’s semifinal hockey game between Team USA and Canada at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN in a rematch of the 2010 gold medal final, and Finland faces Sweden with coverage beginning at 6:30 a.m. ET. In addition, NBCSN features the live bronze medal match in men’s curling with China vs. Sweden and the ski cross gold medal final in women’s freestyle skiing at 3 a.m. ET.
- CNBC hosts coverage of Canada vs. Great Britain at 5p.m. ET, with the winner taking home the gold medal in men’s curling.
FOLLOWING ARE HIGHLIGHTS FROM TODAY’S NBC DAYTIME, NBCSN & CNBC COVERAGE OF THE 2014 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES IN SOCHI:
Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick on Team USA women’s hockey captain Meghan Duggan: “Leading by example – it’s what the captain’s ‘C’ in hockey is all about, and that’s what Meghan Duggan has done.”
Natalie Darwitz on Team USA’s play late in the third period: “They got the two-goal lead…from that point on, they backed up. All they wanted to do was get the puck out of their own zone, and they were on their heels. Team Canada had pressure the whole time…their big players came to shine.”
Jeremy Roenick on Team USA’s play in final 10 minutes of third period, when Canada scored twice to tie the game: “You’ve got to play to win the game, don’t play not to lose – there is a big difference. In the second half of that [third period], Team USA played not to lose, and it cost them.”
MEN’S HOCKEY: TEAM USA’S DAVID BACKES & JOE PAVELSKI AND NHL COMMISSIONER GARY BETTMAN:
Team USA men’s hockey forward David Backes on playing Canada in the semifinal (tomorrow at 12 noon ET, 9 a.m. PT on NBCSN): “It just seems that we’re on a crash course to meet [Canada]. A little bit of opportunity for some revenge for what happened in Vancouver and two great teams playing – it should be a great game… I think [the rivalry] has been something growing. We have a few teammates during the regular season that are on those teams, but when we came over here, we said we’re going to put our country’s colors on and we’ll repair whatever relationships we need to afterwards. There’s going to be no holds barred, nothing held back and it’s going to be a great game. We’re due for a change in the pace here.”
Team USA men’s hockey forward Joe Pavelski on playing Canada tomorrow: “We’re pretty excited to have another shot at them.”
Backes on Team USA and St. Louis Blues teammate T.J. Oshie: “My teammate here, teammate in St. Louis and my roommate here, so he got back to the room [after the U.S.-Russia OT shootout game] and he said, ‘I think they’re blowing this a little out of proportion.’ I just don’t think he realized the magnitude of what he did, how many people were watching that and how much of a household name he became by 4 out of 6 [successful shots in the shootout] with that sort of pressure and time and time again over the boards. Pretty great performance by him under all the circumstances, and I think you’re pretty glad to have a guy like that on your team.”
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on the men’s hockey tournament: “It’s been a terrific tournament so far, the hockey has been good, it’s been fun, it’s been entertaining and I think we have two great semifinal matchups.”
Bettman on whether he was surprised by the outcome of Russia v. Finland yesterday: “Not shocked. There’s a reason we play the games, you never know what’s going to happen. You could feel the air come out of the [hockey arena], actually you could feel the air come out of the whole area here. I know that it’s terribly disappointing for the Russian players and for the entire country because they take great pride in the history that Russian hockey has.”
Bettman on whether a lack of coordination between the players, who have not had much time playing together, is to blame for Russia’s loss: “The remaining four teams don’t seem to be relying on that excuse. In the days of amateur hockey people tend to forget that the Russian team was completely professional. That’s what made the ‘Miracle on Ice’ such a miracle because you had a bunch of college kids who came together to defeat a professional team.”
Bettman on whether the NHL will have players in the Olympic Games in 2018: “I don’t know. There are mixed views among the owners. There are lots of quotes going in both directions…”
Al Michaels: “Because the season needs to be stopped for three weeks?”
Bettman: “It’s a real balancing act. Coming to the Olympics is a lot of fun when you’re here and the hockey is fun…not as good as Stanley Cup Playoffs but we can have that debate at a different time. But it requires us to shut the season down in the middle. It’s a break in momentum. It’s at a point in time when the NFL has stopped and it’s really our time and our teams come back in different shape. We’ve had five players who are already pretty banged up from this tournament, and some NHL teams have sent 10 players, and some have sent two. Some teams are going to come back more well-rested than others. In the final analysis, I have no idea. It’s not something we’ve looked at. We’re happy to be here, we’re enjoying the hockey, and from that standpoint it’s all good.”
Bettman on the international 100-ft wide rink vs. the NHL 85-ft wide rink: “I think our game is better, I think our game has more offensive intensity, particularly play around the net. There have been some people who have advocated that it’s a little safer, I don’t buy that either. In Vancouver, which by the way most people say is the best hockey tournament that has been in the Olympics, that was played on NHL ice and our injury factors seem to have been a lot less than it is here. Long winded way of saying that I’ve talked to a lot of our hockey people who are here, we’re not advocates of the bigger ice.”
Bettman on what he’s heard from players about their experience in Sochi: “They love it. First and foremost, you know from a young age our players take great pride in representing their countries. Some have played since they’ve been under sixteen representing their countries; they’re hockey players first and foremost. They love their countries, they love representing them. For them, this is a great experience and everything I’ve heard about the day-to-day existence of being here is that the facilities have been terrific.”
Bettman on if he’s neutral in the men’s hockey semifinal between U.S. and Canada: “First of all, just so I can clear up, I was at both games last night, when Canada was playing Latvia and the U.S. was playing Czech Republic, I went back and forth. In my heart, I am obviously an American, but when you look at all four teams that are left, three of the four teams are predominantly all NHL players. From wearing my NHL hat, it’s all good.”
Bettman on a potential women’s national hockey league: “We’ve actually had a consultant take a look at this for us and the overall development of women’s hockey from the grassroots level through the college level isn’t at a point where a professional league is viable. But we very much believe in the importance of the women’s game. In fact, I’m going to go to the gold medal game after I leave you here, but it’s going to take some more time and more development. We’re still trying to grow men’s hockey.”
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