U.S. hockey team GM dies as Olympics approach

Jim Johannson, a longtime USA Hockey executive and U.S. Olympic men’s hockey general manager, died unexpectedly Sunday at age 53, shocking the sport less than three weeks before the start of the Games.

Johannson died in his sleep at his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His death came in the midst of the most high-profile role in his career: putting together the U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team without NHL players going to South Korea, a position he relished after doing it at several world junior and world championships.

“He had a couple of the greatest days of his life at USA Hockey recently, to be able to call all these guys that never thought in their lives they’d play on a U.S. Olympic hockey team, and he got to tell them they realized a dream,” said Pat Kelleher, the USA Hockey executive director. “I think that meant as much to Jimmy as it did to any of the players.”

SKIING

WORLD CUP: Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway finally won his first World Cup slalom of the season, ending Marcel Hirscher’s five-race winning streak with a victory at Kitzbuehel, Austria.

Carrying a 1.05-second lead over his Austrian rival from the opening run, Kristoffersen lost only 0.08 of his advantage in a wild second run in dense snowfall to claim his first victory of the season and 16th overall.

• Lara Gut of Switzerland won the final super-G before the Olympics, signaling a return to form after knee surgery with a victory at Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy.

GOLF

PGA: Jon Rahm beat Andrew Landry with a 12-foot birdie putt on the fourth hole of a playoff in the CareerBuilder Challenge at La Quinta, California.

In fading light, Rahm finished off Landry for his second PGA Tour title and fourth worldwide victory in a year. Rahm will jump from third to second in the world ranking.

EUROPEAN: Tommy Fleetwood successfully defended his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, coming from five shots behind with nine holes remaining to win by two shots with a final-round 65 in the United Arab Emirates.

SINGAPORE OPEN: Sergio Garcia began his 20th year as a pro by closing with a 3-under 68 for a five-shot victory.

SOCCER

PREMIER LEAGUE: Harry Kane scored his league-leading 21st goal of the season in a frustrating 1-1 draw for Tottenham at Southampton.

Kane has scored 99 league goals overall.

• Watford’s rapid turnover of coaches produced the ninth change in less than six years when Javi Gracia replaced Marco Silva. Watford has fallen to 10th place after winning only one of its last 11 games.

U.S. WOMEN: Mallory Pugh scored a pair of second-half goals, and the U.S. women opened the year with a 5-1 victory against Denmark in a friendly at San Diego. Alex Morgan, Julie Ertz and Crystal Dunn also scored for the top-ranked United States.

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

UFC: Stipe Miocic set the heavyweight record with his third straight successful title defense, turning the anticipated slugfest against Francis Ngannou into a methodical ground-and-pound bout, winning 50-44 on all three scorecards in Boston.

In the co-main event, Daniel Cormier defended his 205-pound title with a second-round victory over Volkan Oezdemir.

– Staff and news service report

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