Here's a look at the main events Friday and early Saturday morning.
WHILE WE SLEPT
There were plenty of events, but not many of the medal variety: The women's ski cross finals in the wee hours shaped up as a Swiss affair. (There were no American participants.) Check mercurynews.com/olympics for results.
FOR EARLY RISERS: HOCKEY SEMIS
The Scandinavian side of the hockey semifinals began at 4 a.m. (live on NBCSN) and should last until 6:30. Given the quality of goaltending for both Sweden and Finland, it would be mildly surprising if the teams combined for more than three or four goals. If you're awake, tune in to get a feel for what awaits the winner of the second semi ... Additionally this morning, the men's curling gold medal match (Canada vs. Great Britain) began at 5:30.
WOMEN'S SLALOM: SHIFFRIN iN spotlight
Mikaela Shiffrin (shown), the 18-year-old sensation from Vail, Colo., competes in her signature event -- she's the reigning world champion -- against a field that's not as talented as those in the speed disciplines. (Julia Mancuso, among others, is not participating.) The first slalom run is scheduled for 4:45 a.m., with the second (medal) run at 8:15. Neither will be shown live. Like Lindsey Vonn, Shiffrin is made for prime-time.
CLEAR THE CALENDAR, HOLD ALL CALLS
It's here, albeit one round earlier than expected: Team USA against Team Canada in the hockey semifinals (Kessel vs. Crosby, Kane vs. Toews, Pavelski vs. Marleau). Two weeks ago, our northern neighbors were considered the team to beat, but that's no longer the case after a string of first-class performances by the Americans ... The most-anticipated event of the Sochi Games for mainstream sports fans starts at 9 a.m. and will be televised live on NBCSN. If it's half as good as the 2010 gold medal game-for-the-ages -- Canada won in overtime -- we're in for a treat.
SPEED, SPEED AND MORE SPEED
The morning brings three finals on the short track in rapid-fire fashion beginning at 9:45. J.R. Celski leads the U.S. team in the 500 meters -- he holds the world record -- and the 5,000 meter relay. The women's 1,000 meters is also on the schedule and has two Americans in the field: Emily Scott and Jessica Smith. There won't be any live coverage: NBC needs something for prime time, after all.
Without figure skating as the anchor, NBC's lineup (8-11 p.m.) will bounce from ice to snow and back again: Watch for extensive coverage of the three short track finals, plus the women's slalom, with a heavy dose of Shiffrin's life story.
FOR NIGHT OWLS
Loads of overnight action on the slopes, although it's not the traditional alpine nature. The snowboard parallel slalom, with riders racing side-by-side, features four rounds of races for both men and women, with the finals at 2 a.m. (men) and 3 a.m. (women) ... The imploding U.S. speedskating team (long track) has a final chance to temper its misery with the team pursuit events beginning at 5:50 a.m.
WANT IT LIVE? GET THE APP
NBC and its family of networks will provide 1,539 hours of coverage, but the only place you can watch everything live is online. The choice events will be shown on TV only on a delayed basis as part of NBC's prepackaged prime time broadcast. The only way to have access to everything live is on your digital devices through the NBC Sports Live Extra app. It's free to download, but you'll need to be a cable or satellite subscriber in order to login. For more information, go to: http:// www.nbcolympics.com/ liveextra/help.