Olympic host Great Britain gets first gold

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Olympic host Great Britain gets first gold

From Comcast SportsNet
WINDSOR, England (AP) -- Britain captured its first gold medal of the London Olympics on Wednesday when Helen Glover and Heather Stanning won the final of the women's pair at the rowing regatta. Under intense pressure, the favorites established a big lead early in the race and were never threatened. They crossed the line in 7 minutes, 27.13 seconds. With Princes William and Harry watching, Stanning leaned back into the lap of Glover and punched the air after they sealed the win. They cupped their mouths in disbelief. Australia finished fast, closing within a length of Britain to snatch the silver medal from world champion New Zealand, which just clipped the United States for the bronze. It's the first Olympic gold won by a British women's boat and should usher in an unprecedented medal rush for the host nation at Dorney Lake across four days of finals. Glover, a former gym teacher, and Stanning, a captain in the British army, are unbeaten this year and set an Olympic-best time in the heats. They were 3.42 seconds ahead after 1,000 meters, and more than five seconds ahead of New Zealand at the 1,500-meter mark. As they raced along packed grandstands in the final 300 meters, they visibly tired but were too far ahead to be caught. Britain waited until the fifth day of the Olympics to celebrate its first gold medalists. Gold-medal hopes Mark Cavendish and Lizzie Armitstead in cycling and the diving pair of Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield failed to top the podium.

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Five Things from Blackhawks-Canucks: Corey Crawford rebounds

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The Blackhawks’ starts have been all over the map this season but their finishes have usually been strong. That was the case again on Sunday night as the Blackhawks took a lead, lost a lead and regained a lead for good in their 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

This one featured a little bit of everything. So let’s just get to the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ victory over Vancouver.

1. Jonathan Toews breaks through. If the Blackhawks captain’s confidence was a little shaken with his lack of scoring this season, it should’ve gotten a boost with his Sunday outing. Toews’ goal and three assists were as big for him as they were the Blackhawks, who needed every bit of it late against the Canucks. In his last 12 games Toews has three goals and eight assists. He’s getting there. Said coach Joel Quenneville, “it seems like he was around the puck way more and when he does that, usually good things happen.”

2. Great start. This hasn’t been written very often but it was more than evident on Sunday night. If this wasn’t the Blackhawks’ best opening period of the season it was pretty close, as they broke out to a 2-0 lead against the Canucks. The Blackhawks, outside of a 3 ½-minute sequence without a shot on goal, were tenacious and ready to shoot, taking an 18-9 shots-on-goal edge in that first.

3. Corey Crawford rebounds. Quenneville considered Scott Darling for this game, an understandable thought with Darling coming off a 30-stop shutout. But he wanted Crawford to get back to where he was prior to his appendectomy, and Crawford took a step in that direction on Sunday night. In stopping 26 of 28 shots Crawford got his 18th victory of the season and 200th of his career. Quenneville said Crawford “looked like he was in control.”

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4. Michal Kempny’s tough stretch. When Kempny has been good this season he’s been very good. When he’s been bad... The defenseman was in the penalty box when the Canucks scored their first goal and he was beaten by Bo Horvat on the Canucks’ second goal. Kempny didn’t play the final 14 minutes of the game. Quenneville, who liked what Kempny brought on the team’s road trip, said Kempny just has to work through some things. “Coverage with awareness and knowing sometimes it’s man coverage, sometimes it’s playing the puck and clearing the loose stuff,” Quenneville said. “Defenseman is a tough position as you’re growing and learning it, but the more you play the better you play and I still think he’s making progress.”

5. Brian Campbell gets to keep No. 500 this time. Campbell thought he had his 500th point against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night but it was taken away. Well he got it back on Sunday night, setting up Richard Panik’s 11th goal of the season in the first period.