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Sochi Day 9: Five things to watch

1) Ricker returns: Maelle Ricker can remember the first time snowboarding was an Olympic sport at the Nagano Games in ’98. That’s because she was there, competing in the halfpipe event. Now? Ricker is one of the best snowboard cross racers on Earth. She’s been competing in the sport since she was a kid; it wasn’t included as an Olympic sport until 2006. In Vancouver in 2010, Ricker took home gold, and despite suffering a wrist injury in training just before the Games kicked off, she, along with former X Games gold medallist Dominique Maltais, remain serious medal threats. 2 a.m. EST. UPDATE: Maltais won silver in the event.

2) Canada-Finland: Austria and Norway provided the men’s hockey team a good warmup, but now the real test starts as the final matchup in Group B round-robin action gets underway versus Finland. Both undefeated and eyeing a spot in the quarterfinals, the Fins boast arguably the most dangerous goaltender in the tournament in Tuukka Rask (to say nothing of backups Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi), but this team still managed to allow four goals to Austria, the same team the Canadians and Roberto Luongo shut out in their second game on Friday. So who gets the nod as the pressure intensifies—Luongo or Carey Price, who allowed a fluke goal in the opening win versus Norway? Keep in mind since NHLers were allowed to compete in the Olympic tournament, history suggests the Canadian goalie who starts game one usually isn’t between the pipes come the knockout round. Noon EST

3) Men’s super G: Canada’s Olympic struggles in alpine skiing have continued in Sochi, where Eric Guay’s 10th place finish in the men’s downhill stands as the best finish. That could all change in today’s Super G race, where fellow Canadian Cowboy, Jan Hudec, is the third-ranked skier worldwide in this event. 2 a.m. EST. UPDATE: Hudec won bronze in the event.

4) Encore, encore: The pairs ice dance short program kicks off at the Iceberg Skating Palace, where 2010 gold medallists, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, will look to repeat as champs. In the team competition earlier in the Games, Virtue and Moir finished second in the ice dance behind Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White. 10 a.m. EST

5) Biathlon medal event: The men’s 15-km mass-start event runs today in this medal event, where Jean-Philippe Le Guellec, who had the best finish of any Canadian in Vancouver (sure, he finished 30th overall, but a record is a record!) is our best hope at reaching the podium. 10 a.m. EST. UPDATE: This event has been rescheduled to Monday at 10 a.m. EST.