Mid-Summer Hockey Fix – Crosby Style

By HOWARD BERGER

TORONTO (Aug. 12) – With the recent gathering of Canadian juniors in Lake Placid, and NHL training camps opening in roughly one month, I thought I’d post a little hockey reminder – one that is sure to warm the hearts of people in this country.

It certainly re-kindles a Top 5 memory from my radio career at The FAN-590. It also turned into my swan-song at Canada’s first all-sports station.

Coincidentally, it was 3½ years ago tonight – Friday, Feb. 12, 2010 – that I broadcast the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver Winter Olympics across our country with colleagues Dan Dunleavy and Doug Farraway. Dan has gone on to bigger and better – first, as mid-week radio voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs; now as heir apparent to the Hall of Famer Rick Jenneret in Buffalo. I haven’t heard from Doug since November 2011 when he emailed asking me to remove him from my blog mailing list, saying he hit “delete” before reading them. C’est la vie.

Doug did a terrific job coordinating our massive radio coverage of the Vancouver Games. I had the privilege of following our Canadian men’s hockey team in what I considered the second-biggest international tournament on native soil; nothing, in my life, will ever top the 1972 Canada-Russia summit. Beginning with an 8-0  rout of Norway on Feb. 16 – and ending with Sidney Crosby’s “golden goal” against the United States 12 days later – I covered Team Canada practices and games for The FAN radio consortium while providing sound for, and hosting, intermissions on our broadcasts with Dan; Hall of Fame play caller Peter Maher, and the redoubtable John Garrett. It was a wonderful crew.

FRONT PAGE OF MAR. 1, 2010 VANCOUVER SUN MORNING AFTER THE GOLDEN GOAL.

Six months from now – at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia – the onus will be on executive director Steve Yzerman and head coach Mike Babcock to repeat our country’s hockey triumph. If it happens, people across the land will rejoice once again. In no way, however, can it be as “big” as 2010, with the allure of home ice and the dramatic ending in overtime of the gold medal match.

The first time for anything happens only once.

While in Vancouver – and as I’m wont to do – I made sure to collect local newspapers each day of the Games. Here, then, is a look back at the most important moments for Team Canada in the men’s hockey tournament, with images from the Vancouver Province; Vancouver Sun, and our country’s two national newspapers: the Globe and Mail and National Post. At the end, is an American view from the New York Times.

Remember… and enjoy.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED’S PREVIEW ISSUE EERILY FORESHADOWED THE OUTCOME.

          

AFTER A NARROW SHOOT-OUT WIN OVER SWITZERLAND AND A TWO-GOAL LOSS TO THE AMERICANS (ABOVE AND BELOW), THERE WAS PLENTY OF CONCERN AMONG CANADIAN HOCKEY FANS… AND ENOUGH CONCERN WITHIN THE RANKS FOR TEAM CANADA TO SWITCH GOALIES: FROM MARTIN BRODEUR TO ROBERTO LUONGO.

IT WAS NO CONTEST IN CANADA’S FIRST ELIMINATION GAME – A SIX-GOAL MAULING OF GERMANY THAT SET UP YET ANOTHER HISTORIC SHOWDOWN.

I’VE SAID IT BEFORE AND I’LL SAY IT AGAIN: THE MOST INTENSE, RAUCOUS ATMOSPHERE FOR ANY HOCKEY GAME I’VE ATTENDED PREVAILED BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE CANADA-RUSSIA QUARTERFINAL AT THE VANCOUVER OLYMPICS. IT WAS PURE BEDLAM AS OUR TEAM DISMANTLED OVIE AND CO.

          

SLOVAKIA PROVIDED QUITE A SCARE IN THE SEMIFINALS – CANADA EKING OUT A 3-2 TRIUMPH. IN THE OTHER SEMI, THE UNITED STATES CRUSHED FINLAND, 6-1, SETTING UP AN ALL-NORTH AMERICAN GOLD MEDAL MATCH, WHICH BECAME AN… 

AFTER A QUIET TOURNAMENT, SID THE KID ARRIVED IN THE NICK OF TIME.

FROM SOUTH OF THE 49TH…

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