Team Canada Juniors doubled the Russian 6-3 in Buffalo to open their tournament, and unless you’re a Russian or maybe an American, this is a great result on this first day of play.
As we all know, the tournament picks up steam as it progresses, we get to know the players much better, and by the time the thing begins to reach its climax, most Canadian hockey fans are on the edge of their seats and longing for the day NHLers play with the passion of these young fellows.
Heartwarming is the story of Marcus Foligno, son of ex-pro Mike Foligno who toiled in the NHL from 1979 until 1994, playing for Detroit, Buffalo, and Toronto. Young Marcus, with US – Canadian dual citizenship, was told by his mom just before she passed away due to cancer in 2009 that he was going to have his choice on what team he would lace ’em up with – Canada or the US, but she reminded him that he is Canadian and left it at that.
Imagine how proud she’d be to see him wearing the Team Canada unform now.
Young Foligno is also a Sudbury, Ontario native which is special to me because I have a connection to Sudbury myself. I was a 21 year old bartender at the Holiday Inn there and watched, as they unfolded, all eight games of the 1972 Summit Series in this city.
Sudbury gets a bad rap because some of the rock landscape in the area that many compare to the moon. But in reality, it’s a fine place to live and I enjoyed it very much. Great people live in Sudbury.
Canada plays next on Tuesday against the Czech Republic. So far so good.