W2W4 on Thursday: Shiffrin vs. Vonn in Alpine combined, USA-Canada showdown in women's hockey final

Mikaela Shiffrin is looking for her second gold medal in Pyeongchang. AP Photo/Marco Trovati

It's a big day for Team USA in Pyeongchang. Mikaela Shiffrin, who won gold in giant slalom, will go up against teammate Lindsey Vonn in the Alpine combined event. Vonn is coming off a bronze medal in downhill and will be competing for the second straight day.

In snowboarding, two-time slopestyle gold medalist Jamie Anderson of the U.S. will compete for the first Olympic gold medal in big air.

The U.S. will look to end its 20-year gold-medal drought in women's hockey when the team takes on rival Canada.

With that, here are all the medal events you need to watch out for:


Women's big air final (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET/Thursday, 9:30 a.m. local time): Heavy winds created problems in the women's halfpipe final last week. To try to prevent similar problems, officials have pushed up the women's big air final, which was originally schedule to take place Friday in Pyeongchang. Slopestyle gold medalist Jamie Anderson, Julia Marino and Jessika Jenson of the U.S. qualified for the final. The favorite is Austria's Anna Gasser. She finished first in the qualifiers after landing a cab double cork 1080. Canada's Laurie Blouin, the slopestyle silver medalist, and Anderson landed the cab double cork 900s to safely advance to the final. With close finishes by Team USA, Canada and Austria, this will be a must-watch event.

Freestyle skiing

Men's halfpipe final (Wednesday, 9:30 p.m. ET/Thursday 11:30 a.m. local time): It was an all-American affair in the halfpipe qualifiers. Aaron Blunck led the pack with a qualifying score of 94.40, followed by teammates Alex Ferreira and Torin Yater-Wallace. Sochi Olympic gold medalist David Wise finished in the eighth spot. There is a good chance the U.S. skiers can sweep the podium in this event.

Canada's Mike Riddle and France's Kevin Rolland, who won silver and bronze, respectively, in Sochi, also qualified for the final.

Ice hockey

Women's ice hockey gold-medal game, U.S. vs Canada (Wednesday, 11:10 p.m. ET/Thursday, 1:10 p.m. local time): Since women's ice hockey was introduced in the Winter Olympics in 1998, the U.S. and Canada have met in the final four out of five times. The U.S. won in 1998, and Canada has taken home the gold in every Olympics since. In the semifinals, the U.S. beat Finland 5-0 and Canada routed the Olympic Athletes from Russia by the same score.

Alpine skiing

Men's slalom (Wednesday, 11:30 p.m. ET/Thursday, 1:30 p.m. local time): Before the Pyeongchang Olympics, Austria's Marcel Hirscher had never won an Olympic gold. He had won 55 World Cup races, six straight overall World Cup crowns and a slalom silver in Sochi. That changed when he won the combined and giant slalom golds at these Games, becoming the first man to win both events. And he is not done. He will be the heavy favorite in the slalom event.

Right behind Hirscher is Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen. They faced off against in the giant slalom on Sunday, with Kristoffersen taking the silver, his first Olympic medal.

Women's Alpine combined, slalom (Thursday, 1 a.m. ET/3 p.m. local time): The wait is over. Celebrated American skiers, Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin will finally go head-to-head in the combined event. The event was moved up a day because of an ominous weather forecast. Shiffrin, who won gold in giant slalom, skipped the downhill event to focus on the combined. This might put her in a better position; she's had more time to recover and prepare for the event. Meanwhile, Vonn competed a day ago in downhill, where she won the bronze medal (she won gold in Vancouver). Both Americans will be chasing a second medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics. If either of them wins, it would be her first Olympic medal in the event. The combined will bring both of their Pyeongchang journeys to an end. This will likely be Vonn's last Olympic race.

Italy's Sofia Goggia won downhill gold Tuesday, beating Vonn in the process.

Nordic combined

Men's team large hill (Thursday, 5 a.m. ET/7 p.m. local time): Johannes Rydzek led Germany to a clean sweep in the individual large hill event. Teammates Fabian Riessle and Eric Frenzel ended up with silver and bronze medals, respectively. Rydzek was a part of the German team that took home silver at the 2014 Sochi Olympics -- losing by 0.3 seconds to Norway.


Women's 4x6-kilometer relay (Thursday, 6:15 a.m. ET/8:15 p.m. local time): Germany's Laura Dahlmeier has already won three medals at the Pyeongchang Olympics -- gold in 7.5-kilometer sprint and 10-kilometer pursuit and bronze in 15-kilometer individual. She was a disappointing 16th in the 12-kilomter mass start event. But she has yet another shot at making history. On Thursday, she will try to become the first German woman (after unification) to win three gold medals at a single Olympics (Winter or Summer) and the fourth biathlete to achieve the feat. Germany is the heavy favorite to win this event, and France, led by Justine Braisaz, is expected to win silver. (Braisaz helped her team win the world championship bronze in the event in 2017.)

Short-track speedskating

Men's 500-meter final (Thursday, 6:18 a.m. ET/8:18 p.m. local time): China's Wu Dajing has not had a good Olympic journey so far. He finished off the podium in both the 1000-meter and 1500-meter events but will go into the 500-meter final as a heavy favorite. He won silver in the event in Sochi and has won every world championship since.

Women's 1,000-meter final (Thursday, 6:30 a.m. ET/8:30 p.m. local time): Heartbreaking. That's the only word that comes to mind when thinking about Elise Christie's Olympic journey. In three events in Sochi, she had three disqualifications. The three-time world champion from Great Britain, Christie was determined to medal this time in Pyeongchang. But history repeated itself with, you guessed it, three disqualifications in three events. The latest one was in the 1,000m qualifiers, where she was a strong medal contender. Now she will have to wait four more years.

South Korea's Choi Min-jeong has had a much better time in Pyeongchang. After winning gold in the 1,500 meters and the 3,000-meter relay, she will try to win her third Olympic event. Another medal contender is Canada's Kim Boutin, who won bronze in the 500 and 1,500 in Pyeongchang.)

Men's 5,000-meter relay final (Thursday, 7:03 a.m. ET/9:03 p.m. local time): South Korea reached the final of the 5,000 relay in emphatic fashion, setting an Olympic record of 6:34.51. Hungary, China and Canada are also competing.