Monday, March 1, 2010

Congratualtions, Canada

I missed the men’s hockey final between the U.S. and Canada — I was doing something that took me away from the TV for the afternoon — so it looks like I missed some excitement.

He waited until the final moment – with Canada teetering on the brink of a national panic attack – before Sidney Crosby put his mark on this game, this gold medal, this emerging legacy.

Timing as they say is everything.

In a game for the ages, it was Crosby – the leader of Canada’s Generation Next – who scored the golden goal 7:40 into overtime, leading Canada’s men’s Olympic hockey team to a thrill-a-minute 3-2 victory over their arch rivals from the United States.

Crosby, who was 14 and watching Canada’s 2002 Olympic championships on television, played give-and-go with one of the key players on that team, Jarome Iginla, to score the winning goal and salvage a game that was hanging in the balance.

On the play, Crosby gave the puck to Iginla deep in the U.S. zone and then drove hard to the net. Iginla – with U.S. defenceman Ryan Suter draped across his back – heard Crosby call out ‘Iggy’ and passed it back. Crosby shot the puck without looking. Magically, it found its way between the pads of goaltender Ryan Miller, ending the tense drama and sending the capacity crowd at Canada Hockey Place into paroxysms of joy.

Afterwards, Crosby said he didn’t even see the puck enter the net. He only knew it was in when he heard the crowd roar.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Crosby. “To have a chance to score in overtime, here in Canada, it doesn’t get much better than that.”

So, I wonder how my friend Michael J.W. Stickings at The Reaction took the news:

A friend of mine e-mailed me a while ago calling this the defining sports moment/event of our generation. In terms of international competition, and from a hockey perspective — and, more significantly, in terms of what it means for this country — it probably is. It’s our ’72 Summit Series win, our Canada Cup ’87 win. It seems so much more meaningful than our win over the U.S. in Salt Lake City eight years ago. That was fantastic, of course, but this is transcendent.

Congratulations to my friends in the True North.