Canada won gold tonight by taking it to Sweden, 5-1 in Ottawa. But they won more than that. They won our hearts too.
It’s a shame that it has to end. Such emotion, such excitement, such noise from a usually quieter crowd in Ottawa for Senators games. But it’s the juniors, for goodness sakes. You can’t help but get worked up when you see what these young guns can do.
It’s not about money, or agents, or one-way contracts with these kids. It’s about doing it for their country, for their coach, Pat Quinn, for their friends and families, for themselves, and for you and me. And in the process, they show us how beautiful the sport of hockey can be when it’s played in its purest state.
Even those who say they hate hockey may have even sneaked a few peaks from their newspapers that they were pretending to read.
A few weeks ago I wrote that I couldn’t understand how some of the other countries who host this tournament don’t embrace this magical event. I don’t know why they don’t. I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t. The World Junior Championship rates with any major sporting event in the world.
This is the fifth gold medal in a row for Canada, and of course, the future of hockey is in great shape in this country.
I’m as proud as can be of these kids. And they in turn make me proud to be Canadian.
I’m sure the Habs were watching this somewhere. And I’m sure they see how it can be done, what it takes, and how it must feel when it’s done.
The teenagers are teaching all of us tonight.
Russia takes the bronze medal after beating Slovakia 5-2 in the earlier game.