Normally, there's a lot of stuff going on at the Olympics and they are all equal—all events are great, every event matters. But today, there's really only one event that matters: the gold medal match between the American and the Canadian women's hockey teams.
Since women's hockey first began at the Olympics in 1998, the U.S. and Canada have met in the final game four out of the five times. Both teams are pretty evenly matched, so if you work in an office in North America, expect to hear some yelling and a lot of muffled yelps coming from odd corners some time after noon.
funny slidey stones curling tournament also ends today with a gold medal match between Canada and Sweden. The last two golds have gone to the Swedes. Will it be a three-peat?
3:05 p.m.: We end the day as always with an updated medal count. See you tomorrow:
2:55 p.m.: RESULT: After a bizarre overtime that featured three penalties, a 3-on-3, and a should-have-been penalty shot that wasn't, Canada's Marie-Philip Poulin scores on a 5-on-4 power play to give her team their fourth consecutive Gold medal. Now the two countries will face off again in men's hockey tomorrow.
2:23 p.m.: Canada scores two goals in the final 4 minutes, including one after pulling the goalie with a minute left. The gold medal hockey game is headed to a 20-minute sudden death overtime, followed by (if necessary) a shootout. The game is on NBC and online, so find it.Also: This is how close the U.S. was to winning the game outright.
2:06 a.m.: RESULTS: Two other events we missed earlier: Maddie Bowman of the U.S. wins the Women's Ski Halfpipe, with Marie Martinod of France and Ayana Onozuka of Japan in third. In case you missed it, Canada beat Sweden in Women's Curling to take the gold their. But their women's hockey team is in trouble against the Americans, down 2-1 in the third period. You can watch the final minutes online or on NBC (the main broadcast channel.)
1:53 a.m.: RESULTS: In a big upset at the Ladies' Figure Skating Free Skate, Adelina Sotnikova of Russia blew past leader and defending champion Yuna Kim to take Gold on home ice and give her country a signature win in Sochi. Carolina Kostner of Italy wins the bronze. Gracie Gold of the U.S. was fourth and Ashley Wagner finished 7th.
7:14 a.m.: RESULTS: It is a light day of events at the Olympics, but from here on out, most events will end with someone wearing a medal. In the final Nordic Combined event of 2014, Norway (who else?) won Gold today in the 4-person team event. Germany and Austria took Silver and Bronze.
In Men's Freestyle, the Ski Cross finals was a French sweep. Jean Frederic Chapuis took Gold, Amaud Bovolenta took Silver, and their countryman Jonathan Midol took Bronze.
There are two sports with separate Bronze medal matches today. Great Britain beat Switzerland in Women's Curling, to take third place. Sweden will meet Canada at 8:30 a.m. ET for the Gold. Meanwhile, Sweden's women's hockey team is playing Switzerland as we speak, in the third place match. Canada-USA meet at noon for the big one.
The only other events of any kind today? The Women's Ski Halfpipe event and the actual marquee event of the day (if not the whole Olympic Games), the Women's Figure Skating Free Skate. That begins at 1:00 a.m.
4:00 a.m.: Medal count at the start of day 13. The U.S. has the most medals overall, but not the most golds, which if we're being honest, are the only ones that count.
Thursday's Schedule of Events (All listed times are Eastern):
Nordic Combined Men's Team Large Hill: 3 a.m.
Freestyle Skiing Men's Ski Cross Qualifying: 2:45 a.m.
Freestyle Skiing Men's Ski Cross Final: 4:30 a.m.
Women's Curling, Switzerland vs. Great Britain (bronze medal match): 3:30 a.m.
Women's Ice Hockey, Switzerland vs. Sweden (bronze medal game): 7 a.m.
Women's Curling, Canada vs. Sweden (gold medal match): 8:30 a.m.
Freestyle Skiing Women's Halfpipe Qualifying: 9:30 a.m.
Freestyle Skiing Women's Halfpipe Final: 12:30 p.m.
Figure Skating Women's Free Skate: 10 a.m.
Women's Ice Hockey, United States vs. Canada (gold medal game): 12 p.m.