Dreams do come true

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:44 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Your name is Dustin Boyd and last year you were one of those kids who had his phone ring at 6 a.m.

You're a kid from Winnipeg where Canada's World Junior camp was held last year, and the message was to be down at the lobby where the media would interview you about being a final cut of Team Canada.

You're Dustin Boyd and now it's a year later. You've scored Canada's first goal of the eighth World Junior Championship on Canadian ice and added another goal in a 5-1 win over Finland in the lid-lifter.

"Last year was pretty tough getting cut, but this was pretty amazing,'' he said of being the first star of the first game of the tournament.

For a dozen days this event is bigger than the NHL games these young players' idols play, and it basically has been since a 16-year-old Wayne Gretzky scored 17 points in the first championship on Canadian ice at the Montreal Forum in 1978.

"I never played U-18. I wanted to play in this tournament and wear this uniform since I was little. I dreamed of this day. To step out there and feel the crowd ...

"I was really happy to just get that first goal to get the monkey off my back early,'' continued Boyd, a kid who scored 26 goals all of last year and had that many by the time he left the Moose Jaw Warriors to come to camp this time.

HIGHLIGHT-REEL GOAL

You're Blake Comeau of Meadow Lake, Sask., and you potted the first highlight-reel goal of the tournament. You jumped on a turnover at the blue-line and scored on a breakaway to make it 2-0, sending Canada on its way.

"That was a pretty good way to start off. Boyd scores first and then I get one. We are the two 19-year-olds on the team and we knew we had to do that.''

That said, he's not sure he felt different than any of the, er, kids.

"I watched the tournament growing up and to me it was just a thrill getting the chance to try out, let alone having a day like today.''

You're Kyle Chipchura from Vimy, Alberta, and last year at this time you were missing most of a season with the Prince Albert Raiders with a ruptured Achilles tendon. Now you're Captain Canada and the media wants you in the mixed zone after every game as team spokesman.

"Unbelievable,'' he said of the experience. "For the first few shifts, you just wanted to pinch yourself,'' added the captain who scored the goal that made it 5-1 late.

"I didn't keep the puck. It was 5-1,'' he said. "Maybe I should have, though. Hopefully there will be a bigger one.''

SEVERAL GOOD PLAYS

You're Andrew Cogliano of Vaughn, Ont., a draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers, who made several good plays, including the feed to Chipchura. And you're glad this is the year you're on Team Canada.

"I think the guys who played away always wish they were on one of the teams to have this experience,'' he said.

You're Justin Pogge, the Fort McMurray-born member of the Calgary Hitmen who wasn't even invited to Brett Sutter's summer training camp.

"When I didn't get picked to go to that camp, I was told that the important camp was the one in the winter,'' he said.

Pogge earned an invitation to the main camp as a result of back-to-back wins against Sutter's Red Deer Rebels to open the WHL season and a 4-0 record against Sutter's Rebels so far.

"It was just a thrill to put on that jersey today. It was amazing to feel the energy in the building,'' he continued.

You're Brett Sutter and you've got past the first test of the tournament after going 6-0 last year to become one of only three Canadian coaches to run the table and win Canadian gold.

"We were pretty nervous early, but after the first 10 minutes we settled down,'' said Sutter, who with a win against Switzerland tomorrow will break Don Hay's record of consecutive wins coaching Team Canada at the world juniors.

"We only have one returning player from last year. It doesn't matter what country the game is being played in. All and all, I thought our kids handled it well.''


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