Knee deep in gold fever

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:20 AM ET

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- It didn't matter he wasn't on the ice when the goals went in.

When all was said and done, Jeremy Colliton was just as much a part of the gold-medal feeling.

"It's Team Canada winning a gold medal and we hadn't done it in seven years," said Colliton, the Prince Albert Raiders forward who hails from Blackie, Alta. "With everything that happened last year, it's something I'm really proud of. To be a part of it is something I can't say enough about."

This tournament was supposed to be about redemption for Colliton, who was part of last year's squad that lost to the U.S. in the final

Instead, he arrived with an injured knee suffered in training camp, missed the first game and re-injured himself early in Game 2.

"It just couldn't hold," he said. "I didn't know how bad and felt it would settle down and I could play, so I stayed on the bench because I thought it would be OK. But as the period went on, I knew it was done."

The end result is a second-degree MCL sprain that will keep him out a month.

Instead of playing in the gold-medal game, he watched with his parents Pat and Jo-Ann, brother Nick and sister Jordan before joining the celebration along with Cam Barker, the Medicine Hat defenceman whose tournament ended early because of mononucleosis.

"At least when you're playing you have some control over what's happening. Whether you win or lose, at least you're contributing," Colliton said.

"Here, the only thing you can do is be positive and be a good guy in the dressing room and let the guys take care of it on the ice."

Barker did everything he could to get into the Team Canada lineup last night but was forced to sit and watch until he collected his own gold medal.

"It's pretty heavy," Barker said, while celebrating with family members and teammates after the win. "I'm definitely not complaining. It doesn't get much better than this."

Barker,18, was sidelined after three games and sent home to convalesce. But as late as yesterday morning, he was trying to get back on the ice, arranging a doctor's appointment in Winnipeg to see if he'd recuperated enough to play.

"The doctor in Winnipeg said he was good to go," Barker's dad, Neil, said. "But the Team Canada doctor said no."


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