A night to remember

NELLY ELAYOUBI -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

Watching his son skate when he was just two years old, David Blunden never thought he'd see him take home a gold medal for Canada.

"Up until a few years ago, we would watch Canada. Deep down, you dream to play like this. (But) it's something else," the proud father said last night as he watched his son Michael score two goals in a 5-0 victory over Russia in the final of the world junior hockey championship in Vancouver.

The senior Blunden, who viewed the game on television from his living room chair in Orleans, was understandably impressed with Michael's performance.

"He played well," he said. "He scored two goals, he took a few hits. He stood tall in front of the net."

Dad celebrated quietly while taking swigs of beer and leaning forward in his chair. As the last seconds ticked down, he leaned forward even more, letting out a bewildered, "Wow!"

"Imagine that," he said. "Nineteen thousand fans."

Hockey has always been a huge part of this family. David played when he was younger and joked that he only played nowadays with a doctor on the team. His other two sons, Stephen, 16, and Sean, 15, were also away playing hockey -- Stephen in Sarnia with the OHL's Belleville Bulls, Sean in Gatineau with the Kiwanis Midget tourney.

"Hockey is Canada," he said.

Michael celebrated his 19th birthday on Dec. 15 while in Vancouver. At Christmas, he was missed at home. Today, when he arrives with his mother at the Ottawa Airport, his father, one brother and sister will greet him to take him home, where he'll open his Christmas and birthday presents.

But will any gift be better than the one he got last night?

"No, no," David said with a laugh. "I think he got his gift (last night)."


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