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Crosby 7:40

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Contributor:
Scott Newman
Scott Newman

"So what does the GOLD medal mean to the men & women hockey teams in CANADA?" Well, I can tell you that it means EVERYTHING! Living the Olympic gold medal dream in Canada was the most important reality to surface for this amazing country.

Firstly, the women's Winter Olympic competition was arguably a two horse race the whole way through with the Canadian & States teams looking gloringly obvious the favourites. The Canadian women finished on top over the quick puck moving Americans in a shut out to end the tourney. There were a lot of dominant scores in this uneven world event but it was excellent exposure to the ever growing hockey world.

Now on to the men's.  There had been a lot of banter that the Canada men were not going to make it past the Quarter finals because of the intriguing loss between Canada and USA in the round robin tournament. The result of this match made an early match up with the number one IIHF team in the world, RUSSIA. The world watched as Canada dismantled the Russian scoring machine in an emphatic match that will go down in history as a huge shalacking! There was a lot of bad press in the Russian papers disgusted by the countries early bow out.

It looked as though there was going to be another match up with the States (like in Salt Lake 2002) but this time with an injured Ryan Miller (Goaltender - glove side) and a youthful roster including experienced game winners like Jamie Langenbrunner, Chris Drury and Brian Rafalski.

I kept thinking throughout the game "who wants to win this the most?" as it was such a great, tight and hard fought encounter between these two teams who have so much passion for the sports it was undeniable to feel how appropriate this match up really was! I was thoroughly impressed by the management of both camps as they are distinctly the brains of championship winning organisations in the NHL. My heart went out to Brian Burke (America) as he lost his son in a tragic accident just before the games started.

The hockey of the Winter Olympics was exceptional quality with the addition of the NHL stars and unique exposure to the great game of hockey across the world. So it seems very fitting to have the local darby ensue as the final.

The biggest prayers went to GOD from all across CANADA (including me) after Zach Parise (USA forward) buried the puck with extra man advantage with Miller Pulled in the dying seconds of the third period to draw even at 2-2. Canada could not afford to be complacent in holding the lead as there was desire all over the ice. You cannot deny the enthusiasm the Americans showed throughtout the entire tourney! Our prayers were that Canada would score early in overtime to win the illustrious GOLD medal!

7:40 in OT SIDNEY CROSBY (fittingly the best Canadian player in the modern game) answered all the prayers by releasing a quick shot on net and ending the anxious fans of team Canada from the heart attack across the land. It was one of the best games that I have seen here in Canada and an important one for this hockey crazed nation. I feel at home here as Hockey (& Rugby) are my favourite sports. I celebrated like a Canadian that day and shared the special feeling inside that the right thing happened.

What a great tournament. The Americans should be proud and it is quite funny that both the men's and women finished 1st - CANADA 2nd - USA 3rd - FINLAND. I am happy that Teemu Selanne (Finland) gets a medal in his last years. Now back to the NHL!

Oh and an honourable mention to Slovakia and Switzerland who excelled expectations at the games too. They were also fun to be around at whistler as they are very proud people.

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