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Firsts are plentiful but snow is causing still more delays

A day of firsts - first medal, first world record, first snowstorm - was capped when the American women's ice hockey team made its successful Olympic debut and a Russian couple finished first in the pairs figure skating short program.

The U.S. women skaters beat China 5-0 to win their first Olympic contest, outshooting their overmatched opponents 31-10. Veteran forward Cammi Granato, the team captain, opened the scoring with a power play goal and knocked in a rebound for the last U.S. goal.The first session of the pairs figure skating ended with two-time Olympic medalist Artur Dmitriev of Russia and his new partner, Oksana Kazakova, in the lead. A pair of American teams stood fourth and sixth.

The Americans won none of the nine medals awarded Sunday, when Russian cross-country skier Olga Danilova captured the game's first gold medal, Dutch speedskater Gianni Romme set a world record in the 5,000-meter speedskating, and Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati won the first snowboard competition.

The men's downhill, with the debut of Austrian skiing sensation Herman Maier, was postponed three days to Wednesday by a wicked snowstorm that could dump up to 17 inches of snow on the Japanese Alps. Snow was still falling early Monday (Sunday night EST), with the men's combined slalom delayed.

In other action:

SKATING: A sloppy night of short program skating ended with Dmitriev and Kazakova setting the pace. Two-time American champions Kyoko Ina and Jason Dungjen stood fourth after the short, worth one-third of the total score. Jenni Meno and Todd Sand, the other U.S. pair, was sixth.

The pairs return to the ice Tuesday for the freestyle.

LUGE: When the action resumes Monday, two-time defending Olympic gold medalist Georg Hackl remains the man to beat. Hackl, who survived a snow delay and a U.S. protest over his boots, set a track record in claiming the top spot after the first two of four runs.

The best U.S. hope for a medal, Wendel Suckow of Marquette, Mich., was in sixth place after day one.

HOCKEY: Slovakia enhanced its chances of moving into the next round of the men's Olympic hockey tournament with a 4-3 victory over Italy, setting up a showdown with Kazakstan on Tuesday. The winner clinches its bracket and advances to face the NHL stars arriving for the next round.

Italy, with its second loss in as many games, was eliminated from advancing. Kazakstan and Austria tied 5-5 Sunday.