Price is pure gold for Team Canada
06.01.2007. Petrie, Michael. The Gazette
Chastised for much of this World Junior Hockey Championship, 22
of Canada's most promising young talents silenced even their harshest
critics yesterday with a 4-2 win over Russia in a performance worthy of
a three-time champion.
As is custom, Canada's players, coaches and support staff shared an
embrace after the emotional win, and delivered a wonderfully off- key
rendition of the national anthem. They piled on top of one another for
the team photo with their medals, did a lap with the trophy and even
snuck through the boards to exchange hugs and high- fives with their
"It's 22 brothers and we all stuck together throughout the tournament.
I can't even put it into words. It hasn't hit me yet. it's pretty
surreal," said Canadian goaltender Carey Price, who made 25 stops -
several of the jaw-dropping variety - and was named the tournament's
Criticized as a team that could not score, Canada responded with a
three-goal outburst in the first period before the Russians knew what
The dream started to take shape 15 minutes and 35 seconds into the
opening period when Andrew Cogliano scored his first goal of the
tournament on a beautiful feed from Ryan O'Marra, who was sprung by
defenceman Marc Staal.
In the next three minutes, Bryan Little found the net for his first time in Sweden, and Jonathan Toews gave Canada a
3-0 lead with the eventual winner.
"We got so much energy off Cogliano's goal and just kept going,"
O'Marra said. "Unfortunately, we let our foot off the gas pedal a
Six minutes into the second period, Canada went up 4-0 after Brad
Marchand benefited from a great shift by Toews, redirecting a pass
beyond Semen Varlamov.
The Russians answered with power-play goals from Pavel Valentenko and
Gennadi Churilov, and were starting to threaten before Price slammed
"When they went out and grabbed the momentum in the second period, they
came hard," said Price, a Canadiens prospect. "They played really well
and we don't take anything away from them. We knew they weren't going
to quit, but we came back in the third and stole it."
Captain Kristopher Letang was named to the tournament's all-star team.
The title was Canada's first earned on this side of the Atlantic since
1997 in Switzerland - a fact that was drilled into their heads since
last July's selection camp in Calgary.
"In this tournament, we have success because our kids care the most,"
Canadian head coach Craig Hartsburg said. "It's our willingness to play
for the team. As a group of 22 kids, they all sacrificed for the team."
Their determination to win abroad, and win in general, caused the
Canadians to take great lengths in order to build ideal team chemistry.
In fact, it might have been the moments away from the public eye during
the past four weeks that forged this championship team.
For hours on end, they played an arcade game called sewer ball. They
also melded by watching movies together, strumming guitar, touring
Stockholm's Old City, exchanging gag Christmas presents and racing from
a sauna into a chilly lake in Finland.
"When one guy went in, everyone went it," said forward Tom Pyatt,
referring to the lake and expanding that notion to their entire mindset.
Canada won all six games in the tournament, and have rattled off 18 in
a row dating to the round-robin opener in 2005. The win equalled their
team record that ran from Dec. 30, 1994 to Dec. 27, 1997.
Moments after the game, Prime Minister Stephen Harper congratulated the team on its monumental victory.
"Our players thoroughly dominated their opponents and demonstrated the
tenacity and determination that make Canada a hockey superpower," said
Harper, who watched the game from Ottawa.