LEKSAND, Sweden -- When Carey Price's mother says her son took a long road to the 2007 world junior championship, she's not kidding.
Of Canada's 22 players, none hail from a smaller town than Price, who has emerged as Canada's No. 1 goaltender. Price calls Anahim Lake, B.C., population 319, home.
"Carey is running down a dream that he has had since he was a child," Lynda Price, one of many parents of Canadian players who have made the trip here, said. "The first thing I do is I thank the Lord that he is realizing his dream."
Price became a goalie as a young boy because, as his mother puts it, the net is where the older boys in primary school put him. Price's story has a slice of Canadiana to which some can relate.
When he became old enough to play organized hockey, his parents would load up the car for the drive to Williams Lake, B.C. -- 320 kilometres one way -- on weekends so he could play.
"My parents gave up a lot so I could play," the 6-foot-2, 217-pound Price said. "It's something I never forget and I will always be thankful for."
Price takes as much pride in his heritage as his mother does in him. Lynda Price is the chief of the Ulkatcho First Nation in B.C. His father, Jerry, who often was behind the wheel for those long drives, also was a goalie and was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1978, but he didn't play an NHL game.
And one of Carey Price's cousins is Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan.
Carey was the fifth pick overall in 2005 by the Montreal Canadiens.
"I'm proud of who I am and where I came from, and being from such a small community," Carey Price said.
Price, whose regular hockey job is tending goal for the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League, has become a positive example for First Nations people in his province.
"All of the First Nations are very proud of Carey," Lynda Price said. "We have 203 First Nations communities and when the chiefs assemble, they always come to tell me what a great role model he is. We are thankful he has been able to achieve some of the goals he set as a young person."