Olympic Viewing: The wrong side of a miracle on ice for Americans

The Associated Press

Michelle Picard of the United States (23) skates back to the bench after Canada scored in overtime to win the women's gold medal ice hockey game 3-2 at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

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By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer

Highlights from television coverage of the Sochi Olympics:

HEARTBREAK: Now a U.S. hockey team knows what it's like to be on the wrong side of a miracle on ice. The women's excruciating 3-2 overtime loss to Canada in the gold medal game will take a long time for its members to get over, and will long be remembered by those who watched it. "Nothing but gold waits for the winner," NBC's Mike "Doc" Emrick said as the sudden death overtime began. He and NBC's team were like symphony conductors as the natural drama built, never getting in the way or calling attention to themselves. That's to be expected for them, but never taken for granted. What will most linger from this game are the images: a shot deflecting off an American player into the goal for a Canadian score; that puck skittering, skittering toward an empty net before hitting a post — when one inch to the right would have sealed an American victory; and, finally, the tears of those players upon realizing they'd lost a game they thought they had won.

STREAMS: That gold medal game was seen by an estimated 1.2 million people online, generating 35 million minutes of consumption, according to NBC. That beats an NBC Olympic record set the day before.

RATINGS: With the first night of women's figure skating and a gold medal run by Ted Ligety, NBC's prime-time telecast on Wednesday was seen by 20.2 million people, the Nielsen company said. That beats the corresponding nights for the last two Winter Olympics.

UPCOMING: The United States against Canada again in hockey, this time the men, in a semifinal game on Friday.

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David Bauder can be reached at dbauder@ap.org or on Twitter@dbauder. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/david-bauder.

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