*Spoiler Alert: The story below contains results**
(CNN) — There was heartbreak for the U.S. women’s ice hockey team as Canada snatched a dramatic 3-2 victory in extra time of the Olympic final at the Bolshoy Ice Dome on Thursday.
The Americans were on course to avenge their final defeat to Canada four years ago after Meghan Duggan opened the scoring midway through the second period, and Alex Carpenter doubled the advantage two minutes into the third.
But the defending champions refused to give up and were rewarded for their persistence with a goal from Brianne Jenner with three and a half minutes of normal time remaining.
The Canadians threw caution to the wind and pulled off goaltender Shannon Szabados, but had a lucky escape when a long-distance U.S. effort bounced safely off the post — and Marie-Philip Poulin stole in for a last-gasp equalizer with just 55 seconds left to send the match into overtime.
Poulin then popped up with the golden goal in the ninth extra minute to seal an incredible comeback and Canada’s fourth straight Olympic gold in women’s ice hockey.
In the bronze playoff match, Switzerland beat Sweden 4-3.
Sweden had also been leading 2-0 in their match but the Swiss rallied in the third to claim a first ever Olympic women’s hockey medal — the winner coming courtesy of 15-year-old Alina Muller.
Elsewhere on Day 13 in Sochi, the French claimed an historic first and there was ice dance drama as five other gold medals were decided.
Kim denied gold
Adelina Sotnikova skated into Olympic history at the Iceberg Skating Palace on Thursday as she claimed Russia’s historic first women’s Olympic figure skating gold.
The 17-year-old’s victory was controversial though after judges awarded her the evening’s best score despite an error in her routine.
“I smashed my season’s best. In fact, I smashed my highest score for my whole career and I did it at the Olympics. I didn’t think I could skate like I did today,” Sotnikova said.
“I found something totally different in myself today. I had a bit of nerves before I skated but just before I started I was completely calm. I just felt how much I love to skate. I think I found a new me.”
Defending champion Kim Yu-Na from South Korea produced an error-free performance but had to settle for silver after leading the standings following Wednesday’s short program.
Italy’s Carolina Kostner, who also put in a flawless routine, took the bronze.
“I just have faith that the judges made the right decision,” said Kostner, the 2012 world champion.
Sotnikova’s gold was Russia’s third in the ice skating after Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov won the pairs in the opening week following glory in the team competition.
Bowman remembers Burke
Up in the mountain cluster, Maddie Bowman took gold for the U.S. in the freestyle skiing halfpipe competition.
The 20-year-old Californian’s winning score of 89.00 was too good for France’s Marie Martinod, whose second run score of 85.40 meant she had to settle for silver.
Japan’s Ayana Onozuka took bronze with a second run score of 83.20 to keep reigning world champion Virginie Faivre from Switzerland off the podium in fourth place.
Afterwards, Bowman dedicated her victory to the late Sarah Burke — the Canadian freestyle skier who died in a training accident at Park City in Utah in 2012.
“Gosh, it means so much for us to be able to show the world what our sport is, what we do and what we are,” Bowman said.
“I think we’re here to make our parents proud, our friends proud and especially Sarah Burke proud, because she is here with us.
“I think her lasting legacy is just to go out, ski as hard as you can, love what you do and love life. Sarah did that.
“She was an amazing skier but she was an amazing person. I think every girl here would embody that and it takes all of us to put on her shoes.”
French sweep board in men’s ski cross
A thrilling skicross competition at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park ended with France taking a clean sweep of the podium.
Reigning world champion Jean-Frederic Chapuis added Olympic gold to his collection after beating compatriots Arnaud Bovolenta, who took silver, and third-placed Jonathan Midol. The result sealed France’s first 1-2-3 at a Winter Olympics.
Canada’s Brady Leman had to settle for fourth after falling before the penultimate jump.
“My goal was to make the podium,” said Chapuis.
“I worked really hard throughout the summer. I had a good start to the season, after I was a little bit tired and the rest was not so good. But I trained again, I came back here with good form and I made it,” the 24-year-old added.
“I’m better year after year. I make progress always. When I started ski cross my goal was the Olympic Games here in Sochi and I am happy with that.”
Russia’s Egor Korotkov finished fifth after crossing the line first in the small final.
Korotkov had earlier been involved in a memorable finish in the first quarterfinal heat. The 27-year-old crossed the line head first to claim second in a photo finish ahead of Sweden’s Victor Oehling Norberg and Jouni Pellinen of Finland. All three riders crashed on landing off the final jump leading to a mad seated scramble for the finish line.
Tenth gold for Norway
Norway consolidated its place as the overall gold-medal leader Thursday after edging out Germany to win the Nordic combined team relay competition.
The event — in which teams of four complete one jump each on the large hill before skiing a 4×5-kilometer relay — went down to the wire as Joergen Graabak finished a second ahead of Germany’s Fabian Riessle in a nailbiting climax. Austria finished third to take the bronze.
Graabak’s second gold of the Games — the 22-year-old won the 10 km sprint on Tuesday — capped another good day for Norway, which now has 10 gold medals after making a slow start in Sochi.
“It was like two days ago, about being first into the stadium,” Graabak said.
“I wasn’t planning on going first in the first lap, but I think the two guys behind me were a bit scared and didn’t want to go first, so I took it a bit easy and saved myself for the sprint at the end.
“I saw behind me that Riessle was throwing his foot forward, but I was confident that I was first.”
Curling gold for Canada’s ladies
Canada claimed its first Olympic women’s curling gold since the Nagano Games in 1998, as a 6-3 defeat of Sweden avenged a heart-breaking 7-6 loss to the Scandinavians four years ago in Vancouver.
The Swedes were gunning for a third successive gold in Sochi but had to settle for silver after the Canadian team led by skip Jennifer Jones produced a composed display in the Ice Cube Curling Center.
“It’s just crazy. It’s a dream come true. It’s just amazing. We just had the best week of our lives. We are gold medalists,” Jones said.
The Canadians, unbeaten throughout the tournament, also have the distinction of winning a medal at every Winter Games since curling was made an official sport in 1998.
In the third-place playoff, Great Britain beat Switzerland 6-5 to claim a bronze medal.