Monday, February 25, 2002

Paul Kariya and Canadian Gold

I'll admit it. I rooted for the Canadian hockey team for Sunday's Olympic gold medal match against the United States. The Canadian's won 5-2.

I rooted for Canada for one reason: Paul Kariya. This stellar hockey star is plying his trade for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. It's not clear to me that he'll win a Stanley Cup with this team. I like to think that the Olympic Gold Medal would be a cherished hockey victory for him. During the telecast, the announcers said that Kariya was the fateful last shooter in the penalty shoot-out between Canada and Sweden in 1994. For the record, he was stopped (by goalie Tommy Salo).

I watched Paul Kariya way back in his college hockey days (early 1990s), playing for the University of Maine. One night, at Northeastern's Matthew's Arena, I watched as he buzzed up and down the ice with frightening ease. His slapper was hard and fast, and it was easy to see that he would be an NHL player. Alas, the Ducks haven't amounted to anything, but Paul is loyal (or biding his time). I'm glad he won with Canada at the Olympics.

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