Photo Credit: ©Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports 2/21/2014

Red, White, and Gold - Canada Wins Gold Against Sweden

 

I had a choice to make – stay home and work, or go to the rink at 6:30am to be there for my son during his hockey game. It’s a dilemma that every hockey parent dreads. I made the right decision. I showered, changed into my hockey mom clothes, and I went to the rink with my son.

I avoided social media and I didn’t even open any messages on my phone in hopes of watching the game once I returned home. Someone was on my side this morning because, after my son took the ice and I sat smiling from behind the bench, one of the other hockey parents whispered in my ear, “they have the game on in the lobby.” I looked past the crowd of people in the rink area through the glass partition to the lobby, where, indeed, the game was on the tv. This was a hockey parents dream come true!

I made my way into the lobby and found a seat in front of the glass, where I could see my son’s game on one side and the gold medal game on the other side. As I got comfortable in front of the glass, I noticed some of the players on the ice also watching through the glass during the game. With each goal came the beautiful sound of national pride that hockey parents and players know very well.

When Jonathan Toews scored the first goal, a round of subdued applause came from the small group of people in the lobby. I think we all knew that one goal didn’t necessarily win a game, but we were proud, nonetheless.

When Sidney Crosby scored the second goal in the second period, we all broke out into cheers for the Golden Boy. In my opinion, he had worked too hard throughout the entire tournament to not get a goal and I was very happy he found the back of the net to celebrate in his work ethic. But, as we all know, a two-goal lead is always the hardest one to maintain. Team Canada’s work wasn’t done yet.

When Chris Kunitz scored the third goal early in the third period, I broke out into a fit of excitement, feeling that we were one step closer to a gold medal.

And then I had a flashback to the Canadian women’s gold medal game, when our ladies were down a pair of goal with not even four minutes left on the clock. They rallied at the end of the game to force overtime and win in the post-regulation period. It was proof that hockey isn’t over until it’s over.

Sweden was a tough opponent, in spite of missing Backstrom, and Zetterberg. Team Sweden has come far in the past few years to create a presence in the hockey world and I knew that the Canadian team couldn’t let up on their defense or Sweden would bite back and take the game in the last few minutes.

The game wasn’t flashy, there was nothing spectacular that happened to distinguish it from any other game. It was just a good, clean game of hockey as one country’s players played against another.

On one hand was Team Sweden, full of big bodies, powerful offense, and a determined defense. With the undeniable talents of Daniel Alfredsson, Erik Karlsson, Niklas Kronwall, and (King) Henrik Lundqvist, Sweden was a dominating force in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

On the other hand, I saw the defending gold medal champions. I saw a team full of players who knew their role and played their positions well. They were accountable to each other, played like a well-oiled machine, and they didn’t falter. They stayed focused, all working towards their main goal. They may not have started the tournament in the best form, but they kept getting better with each game. And, in the end, they came out victorious with a 3-0 win and a gold medal.

Ever talented, always assertive and strong, and a credible opponent, thank you Team Sweden for the talented and skilled players you bring to the hockey world. Congrats on winning silver!

Thank you, Team Canada, for the entertainment and for representing our country with respect, dignity, and pride. Congrats on winning the gold medal!

Sorry for posting so late – I was out with the hockey team, celebrating over a late breakfast due to my son’s goal and the three goals that Team Canada acquired for the gold medal win. My son may not have won a medal today, but his goal was just as valuable, if not more valuable to this hockey mommy’s heart, as the goals that Toews, Crosby, and Kunitz got.

To all the players in every league who scored goals, played their hearts out today, and continue to make our country proud – CONGRATULATIONS!

We are Team Canada!

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Tags: Olympic Hockey Opinion

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