USA Hockey

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USA Hockey president Jim Smith facing investigations

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Hockey president Jim Smith is the subject of two investigations surrounding his tenure as the president of Amateur Hockey Association Illinois.

USA Hockey spokesman Dave Fischer confirmed Friday that the organization has hired an independent investigator to look into Smith’s business dealings with AHAI. Fischer also said the US Center for SafeSport is investigating allegations that Smith was aware of sexual misconduct by a coach and didn’t take action against him during Smith’s tenure with AHAI.

The Athletic first reported on the two investigations.

Fischer said the US Center for SafeSport’s investigation is regarding allegations that were made against Thomas Adrahtas, a youth hockey coach. The Athletic reported in February that multiple players said Adrahtas had abused them.

The US Center for SafeSport said in a statement that ”consistent with best practices and federal law, the Center does not discuss matters to protect the integrity of the process and the privacy of the parties and any potential witnesses.”

Smith couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. He told The Athletic through a spokesperson earlier this month that ”in my time as president of AHAI, there were no reports alleging misconduct by Tom Adrahtas.”

Founded in 1937, USA Hockey is an organization focused on the support and development of grass-roots hockey programs. Smith was unanimously elected as president by the organization’s board of directors in 2015. He was unanimously re-elected in 2018.

Feaster 1st woman coach on U.S. junior national hockey team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Theresa Feaster of Providence is the first woman on the coaching staff for the U.S. national junior team as video coach, a move announced Wednesday by USA Hockey.

She joins Ted Donato, Kris Mayotte and Steve Miller assisting Nate Leaman, who is also the head coach at Providence. That’s where where Feaster is heading into her ninth season and fifth as director of men’s hockey operations. She started as a graduate assistant, then became one of two women working full time for a Division I men’s hockey team in 2016.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have an experienced coaching and support staff in place,” said John Vanbiesbrouck, general manager of the national junior team and assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. “It’s a group that brings varied experience and perspective along with a winning pedigree.”

WATCH LIVE: 2018 Olympic women’s gold medal game – U.S. vs. Canada

NBC Sports will continue its presentation of Team USA Olympic hockey matchups on NBC throughout the month of May, with the 2018 Olympic women’s hockey gold medal game between the U.S. and Canada this Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.

Team USA and Canada faced off in the gold medal game at the PyeongChang Olympics in 2018. Behind the game-winning shootout goal by Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, the Americans won, 3-2, to claim their second-ever Olympic gold medal. The win also snapped the Canadians’ streak of four straight Olympic titles.

Kenny Albert, AJ Mleczko and Pierre McGuire called the gold medal game in PyeongChang.

The historic matchup, which will air on Mother’s Day, will have numerous new elements during the broadcast, including NBC Sports’ Kathryn Tappen interviewing Team USA captain Meghan Duggan on her memories about the gold medal game and celebrating Mother’s Day as both a mother and as a daughter. NBC’s broadcast will also feature a Mother’s Day tribute essay penned by seven-time Emmy Award-winner Mike Emrick, as well as a profile on American star Hilary Knight.

You can watch the live stream here.

Sunday, May 10
2018 Olympics Women’s Gold Medal game: USA vs. Canada – 3 p.m. ET on NBC

Sunday, May 17
2014 Olympics Men’s preliminary round: USA vs. Russia – 3 p.m. ET on NBC (Live stream)

Programming will also stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Remembering the ‘Oops, I Did It Again’ gold medal-winning goal

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NBC Sports will continue its presentation of Team USA Olympic hockey matchups on NBC throughout the month of May, with the 2018 Olympic women’s hockey gold medal game between the U.S. and Canada this Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC (live stream).

The historic matchup, which will air on Mother’s Day, will have numerous new elements during the broadcast, including NBC Sports’ Kathryn Tappen interviewing Team USA captain Meghan Duggan on her memories about the gold medal game and celebrating Mother’s Day as both a mother and as a daughter. NBC’s broadcast will also feature a Mother’s Day tribute essay penned by seven-time Emmy Award-winner Mike Emrick, as well as a profile on American star Hilary Knight.

When Shannon Szabados denied Hilary Knight’s shootout attempt, it pushed the 2018 Olympic gold medal game into a sixth round.

It was another chapter in the epic, long-standing rivalry between the U.S. and Canadian women. Entering the PyeongChang Games, it was Canada owning Olympic success as they were eyeing a fifth straight gold medal since women’s hockey was added as an event in 1998.

The first shooter in the extra round was Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson. The North Dakota product was about to attempt a move she’d practiced thousands of times — one she also successfully pulled off earlier in the 2018 tournament.

It was former North Dakota associate coach Peter Elander’s drill that inspired the “Oops, I Did It Again” move that Lamoureux-Davidson turned into a legendary moment in American hockey history. As he told The Grand Forks Herald’s Brad Schlossman in 2018, the name was taken from the popular Britney Spears song and he began using it with his teams when he was coaching in Sweden in the early 2000s.

Many hours were put into the drill, which focuses on weight transfer to transition the puck smoothly. Lamoureux-Davidson was up for the challenge of perfecting it.

“In this generation, young people who don’t know how to do things correctly, they don’t want to do it,” Elander told Schlossman. “If it takes a long time to perfect something, they don’t have the patience to do it. The Lamoureux sisters are outliers in that group. If they see something hard, they see it as a challenge to improve it. To be able to be not good at something, then work yourself into perfection at it, is almost a lost quality in today’s society.”

Lamoureux-Davidson picked up the puck and skated right, then left slowly before coming down through the faceoff circles. She faked forehand at the hashmarks, quickly transferred the puck to her backhand before shifting back to forehand leaving Szabados off balance and desperate to get her glove on it. 

The rest is history, and a moment American hockey fans will not forget.

“On Her Turf: Inspiring Greatness” airs at 8 pm ET this Sunday on NBCSN and on the NBC Sports app. And, if you haven’t yet, be sure to follow “On Her Turf” on Instagram.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

U.S., Canada men, women in same groups for 2022 Olympics

We don’t know if the NHL and NHLPA will agree to participate in the 2022 Olympics, but we do know the groups that will make up the tournament.

The U.S. and Canada will share a group in both the men’s and women’s tournaments after the IIHF released the latest world rankings and tournament seedings. The seedings and groups are based off the world rankings, which remain the same from 2019 due to the cancelation of the 2020 World Championship.

Group A: Canada (1), USA (6), Germany (7), China (12)
Group B: Russia (2), Czech Republic (5), Switzerland (8), Qualifier 3 (11)
Group C: Finland (3), Sweden (4), Qualifier 1 (9), Qualifier 2 (10)

The final three qualifier spots (winner from each group) are still scheduled to be decided in late August.

Group D: Slovakia (host), Belarus, Austria, Poland
Group E: Latvia (host), France, Italy, Hungary
Group F: Norway (host), Denmark, Korea, Slovenia

This is the first time since the 2010 Olympics that the U.S. and Canada will share a group in the men’s tournament.

As far as NHL participating in 2022, there’s been little progress on that end.

“At this point in time, we continue to believe that the negatives outweigh the positives,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in February.

Said NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr: “I can’t figure out why anybody would not want to go and take advantage of this opportunity because it doesn’t come around every day.”

The 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics were the first without NHL participating since 1994.

On the women’s side, with only two international tournaments held this year, the rankings saw little change. The U.S. and Canada remain the top two teams in the world and will meet in Group A as the Americans try to repeat as gold medal winners.

Group A: USA (1), Canada (2), Finland (3), Russia (4), Switzerland (5)
Group B: Japan (6), Qualifier 1 (7), Qualifier 2 (8), Qualifier 3 (9), China (10)

The three qualifier places will be determined in February 2021 and the format will be decided when all participating teams have entered. Czech Republic, Germany and Sweden all have the right to host a qualification group.

MORE:
IOC postpones 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics
Gretzky: NHL players in Olympics ‘much better for everyone’

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.