Weekend Recap: Shiffrin wins, USA-CAN women’s hockey rivalry, and more

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Alpine Skiing: Shiffrin opens World Cup season with giant slalom win

On Saturday, Mikaela Shiffrin kicked off the 2021-22 World Cup season with a giant slalom win on the Rettenbach glacier in Soelden, Austria. (Video of Shiffrin’s win is embedded above.)

Shiffrin, who trailed Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami by two one-hundredths of a second after the first run, skied a near flawless second run to win the season opener. Gut-Behrami placed second (0.14 seconds behind), while reigning overall World Cup champion Petra Vlhova of Slovakia finished third (1.30 seconds back).

Fellow American Nina O’Brien recorded a career-best ninth place result.

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The win marked the 70th World Cup victory of Shiffrin’s career. Only two other skiers have previously achieved the 70-win feat: Ingemar Stenmark (86 wins) and Lindsey Vonn (82 wins).

Gymnastics: Olympic vault champ Rebeca Andrade follows up with world title

At the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year, Rebeca Andrade became the first Brazilian woman to win an Olympic gymnastics medal, claiming silver in the individual all-around and gold on vault.

The 22-year-old continued her breakout season by competing at the 2021 World Championships, which were held in Kitakyushu, Japan. (The World Gymnastics Championships aren’t normally held in the Olympic year, but with the Tokyo Games postponed from 2020 to 2021, this year’s competition broke that tradition.)

In Kitakyushu, Andrade won another two medals: gold on vault and silver on uneven bars.

Andrade wins vault gold at the 2021 World Gymnastics Championships:

The U.S. women closed out the 2021 World Gymnastics Championships with three medals. Leanne Wong and Kayla DiCello finished second and third, respectively, in the individual all-around (recap and video here), and Wong added a bronze medal in the floor final.

Figure Skating: Aleksandra Trusova wins Skate America with watered down program

Russia’s Aleksandra Trusova attempted only one quadruple jump, a lutz, in her free skate at Skate America, but the 17-year-old still won by more than 15 points. Trusova opted to water down her program due to an unspecified foot injury. “It was like a day of rest,” Trusova said. “We wanted to skate here with three quads but couldn’t. With the injury, I lost a lot of practice time.”

Prior to Skate America, Truskova had attempted at least three quads in every international event she entered since the fall of 2018, earning herself the nickname “Quad Queen.”

Trusova’s countrywoman, 15-year-old Daria Usacheva, placed second at Skate America, while 17-year-old You Young of South Korea finished third.

The U.S. women were led by Amber Glenn, who finished sixth.

Soccer: NWSL playoff picture becomes clearer

The bracket for the 2021 NWSL Playoffs is almost final. Last week, the Portland Thorns clinched the NWSL Shield (awarded to the team with the best regular season record), earning the team a first-round bye.

The OL Reign and Washington Spirit have also clinched a spot in the six-team playoffs.

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Four teams – Chicago Red Stars, NY/NJ Gotham FC, Houston Dash, and the North Carolina Courage – are currently in the running for the three remaining playoff spots.

While the NWSL regular season nears its end, the U.S. women’s national soccer team (USWNT) is in the middle of a two-game series against South Korea. On Thursday night, they played to a 1-1 draw (recap here).

The two teams will meet again on Tuesday night in what will be the last national team game of Carli Lloyd’s career.

Hockey: Canada defeats U.S. 3-1 in first game of “My Why” Tour

It remains one of the best rivalries in sports: the U.S. and Canada in women’s hockey. In the lead-up to the Winter Olympics in February, the two teams are facing off at least seven times as part of the “My Why” Tour.

On Friday, Canada won the first game of the tour 3-1, with goals from Sarah Fillier and Emily Clark.

Hayley Scamurra recorded the U.S. team’s lone goal.

The U.S. and Canada meet again tonight in Hartford, Connecticut (7pm ET, NHL Network).

Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC