This is a Sunshade Report - meaning an event that I wasn't physically there, but I am reporting to MY audience
On the morning of February 16th at about 11:30, mum got a call from D-Guy at work. He called mum about these,
D-Guy's co-worker had connections that got him some last minute tickets to Canada's first Men's Hockey Game at these Olympics.
Canada VS. Norway
Without hesitation, mum said she was abandoning me & STINKY and GOOOOOOINGGG to the hockey game... Can you believe it??
I thought Olympics was all about being sporty, being outdoors? But I gotta say, I have spent more time at home and in MY yard in the two weeks than I have ever had in a lonnnnng lonnnnnnnnnng time... She's either GLUED to the TV or out... sigh... poor poor me...the perfect me....
You're required to arrive 2 hours before the schedules starting time for all venues because of security checks. Instead of driving the DaleMOBILE downtown, mum took a bus. (Why would you drive the DaleMOBILE when you're NOT carrying any DALES right??)
(mum: with the road closures associated to the Olympics, parking downtown is next to impossible. Public transit system is much more convenient especially the fare is free for Olympic event holders.)
Walking with the crowd. Robson Street in downtown Vancouver has been closed since the opening ceremony.
An earlier game between USA and Switzerland had just ended.
Final score: USA 3 - SWITZERLAND 1 (Good job both teams!!!)
They walked towards Canada Hockey Place (aka. General Motors Place),
Red and white and maple leaf's everywhere!
Going through security, x-ray machine, body scans, almost like the airport,
Once they got through the security gates, there was a sea of hoomans,
They still had to wait before getting in, so mum got a hockey program to the 2010 games,
They lined up outside the Canada Hockey Place,
This connection that D-Guy's co-worker had got us in a suite instead of seats,
Finally, they were allowed into the Canada Hockey Place Building. Mum recorded the walk to the suite,
There were fooooooooood (WHY WASN'T I THERE????) and wine!!!
Balcony with seats,
Media people were set up not far down from their suite, all set and ready to go,
Team Norway's pre-game warm up,
Norwegian goalie, Andre Lysenstoen
Team Canada took the ice for their pre-game warm up,
The ROAAAAAAARRRR from the spectators was just unbelievable when Team Canada took the ice. Take a look at this picture, you would think there was a RED & WHITE dress code coming into the stadium!
The top teams from this tournament (USA/Sweden/Finland/Czech/Slovakia) are made up of mostly talents from the NHL teams.
Team Canada was no different. Here you see:
- #19 Joe Thornton, #11 Patrick Marleau, #22 Dan Boyle of the San Jose Sharks
- #21 Eric Stall of the Carolina Hurricanes (2005-2006 Stanley Cup Winner)
- #6 Shae Weber of the Nashville Predators
- #10 Brendon Morrow of the Dallas Stars
- #8 Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings
- #37 Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins
- Young #2 Duncan Keith, #7 Brent Seabrook of the Chicago Blackhawks
- #15 Dany Heatley of the San Jose Sharks
- #61 Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets (the other famous "Nash" in Canada!)
- #87 Sidney Crosby, young Captain of the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins
This young man, #87 Sidney Crosby is a 22 year old SuperTALENT. He wears the "A" (assistant captain) for Team Canada at this tournament.
As the youngest captain in the history for Pittsburgh Penguins, he led the team to the Stanley Cup Victory last season at the age of 21.
Sidney Crosby is often being compared to Canada's Great One - Wayne Gretzky who lit the Olympic Cauldron in the opening Ceremony.
Many people think Sid The Kid will be the next great one!
Our starting goalie, #30 Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils,
He is one of the top goalies of all times with size, smarts, great puckhandling ability, a sharp glove, quickness from side to side, sound positioning skills, durability, and most importantly, proven playoff success.
He has led the New Jersey Devils to 3 Stanley Cup Victories.
Marty Brodeur was also the goalie who took Team Canada to 2002's Olympic Gold Victory in Salt Lake City!
Our backup goalie is #1 Roberto Luongo of the .... VANCOUVER CANUCKS!
He is also one of the top goalies in the NHL. Bearing the big "C" for the Vancouver Canucks, he has done tremendously for the team.
Since this was the first game for the Canadian Men's Hockey Team, the head coach decided to have #1 Luongo in net because this was "home ice" to Luongo! He has an excellent track record for home games in the NHL.
For those of you that have watched games where Luongo was in net, you may have been confused about the "BOOOOOO-ing" by the spectators whenever he touched the puck.
Why would we BOOOOO our own goaltender whenever he makes a save right??
To clarify things up, what sounded like "BOOOOOOO's" were actually the "LUUUUUUUUUUUU" chants. For the Vancouver Canucks fans, its a tradition to chant "LUUUUUUUUUU" whenever Luongo makes a save. Since these Olympics were in Vancouver, most of the spectators were also die heart fans of the Vancouver Canucks.
Canadian bench with head coach Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings,
Opening Faceoff between Sid the Kid, and Forsberg of Norway,
Canadian defencemans working hard in front of their own net,
Lots of traffic in front of the Norwegian net,
#18 Mike Richards of the Philadelphia Flyers, and #51 Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks battling hard in front of the Norwegian net,
The most experienced member of Team Canada who is also the captain for Team Canada, #27 Scott Niedermayer of the Anaheim Ducks taking a shot,
This is an action shot of #12 Jarome Iginla,
Iginla is the captain of the Calgary Flames,
He scored 3 goals, aka a "hat-trick" in this game. So hats were flying onto the ice (noo, we weren't being a bad sport to our players when they score... LOL)
#15 Dany Heatley of the San Jose Sharks had two goals in the game,
Here is a video that summarizes the Canada VS. Norway game,
After game handshake between Team Canada and Team Norway,
Canadian and Norwegian goalies shake hands,
Our players salute the crowd before leaving the ice,
The Canadian flag flew high after this game,
outside Canada Hockey Place,
After defeating Norway, Team Canada went on to play a nail biting game against the Swiss that ended in a shootout victory.
Game three, Team Canada was out played by the also very talented Team USA. The American player that scored the 4th, empty net goal was *ahem* Ryan Kesler of the VANCOUVER CANUCKS..... (many of the Canucks fans thought he should have saved that for the NHL...LOL!)
Since Canada finished 6th overall after the preliminary round, they needed to go into qualification games to fight for a spot in the quarter-finals. USA, Sweden, Finland, and Russia all advanced to the quarter-finals without needing to play qualification games.
Canada played Germany in the qualification round and defeated them to advance to the quater-finals.
Canada faced Russia in the quarter-finals. Russia is a very strong team led by #8 Alexander Ovetchikin of the Washington Capitals. Many were looking forward to this match up because throughout the last few years, a big NHL rivalry had built up between two exceptional young hockey talents; #87 Sidney Crosby of Canada, and #8 Alexander Ovetchikin of Russia. Many had picked Russia as one of the favourites for gold as they had won the last two World Championships. It was this game that Team Canada showed their true strength and defeated Russia, first time in 50 years in the Olympics. Team Russia eliminated, Team Canada advanced to the semi-finals.
They faced the Slovaks, the upset winner from the Sweden vs Slovakia quarter-finals. Sweden was the defending Olympic Champions, and expected to go far in this tournament. Team Canada played their game and had a comfortable 3-0 lead going into third period. The Slovaks came back strong in the last period scoring 2 goals. They fought until the dying seconds of that game, and Pavol Dimetra of Slovakia almost scored on Canadian goalie Ruberto Luongo. Pavol Dimetra plays alongside Ruberto Luongo for the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL (they had a good chuckle at the after game handshake..LOL)
CANADA will face USA, the only team that's beaten them in this tournament, for Olympic GOLD medal!!! We expect a tight but exciting game between Canada and USA, our neighbour across the border.
(mum: SUNSHADE!!!!!!!!!!! *looking for SPCA phone number*)
I was born in the US!! You guys are all cheering for Canada, so I'll cheer for USA to keep things fair.
(mum: hmmm...rejected by the Canadian SPCA..... *looking for American SPCA phone number*)
Ok ok, I'll cheer for both countries ok?? I live in Canada, so of course I want them to do well too.
"If there is a sport than can define Canada, HOCKEY would be it, so it'd be heartbreaking for Canada if they lose gold on homeland......" (said mum, I quote)
ps. I just heard on TV that for $138,000 CDN, you can get a suite (like the one mum was in for the Norway game) for tomorrow's Gold Medal Game! Anyone with $138,000 to spare??? Or if you don't have that much, you can always just buy ONE ticket for only $10,000 (if you are lucky) up to $60,000!!!
pps. Hi Ellen, unfortunately, STINKY was not named after the most popular hot dog stand in downtown Vancouver. The hot dog stand is called "Japa Dogs", created by the Japanese. It is VERY VERY yummy! I don't think STINKY would taste that good... do you??? Hmmm..... *getting ideas*...