Some 48 hours after standing on the blue-line at GM Place and singing O Canada as a champion, Dustin Boyd was still feeling it.
In another country and on his old team, the Winnipegger suited up for the Western Hockey League's Moose Jaw Warriors in Spokane, Wash., during the weekend, the sensation of winning a gold medal in the World Junior Hockey Championship still pumping through his veins.
Oh, and that anthem, it takes on a whole new meaning these days.
"It's definitely a different song for me now," Boyd said, recalling the moment when he heard the song before facing the Chiefs on Saturday. "They were playing it, and I was remembering how happy I was singing it a couple nights before.
"It was pretty surreal."
Try unreal, as Boyd's life has been bombarded with phone calls and questions about the tournament since the 5-0 championship victory over Russia on Thursday.
"The gold medal kind of makes the year a success, no matter how we do in Moose Jaw this year," said Boyd, who picked up a goal, an assist and a cut on his nose in a 5-4 shootout loss to Spokane. "I'll always have that medal and the good friendships that I made there."
Finally with a chance to exhale, the 19-year-old forward arrived back home yesterday, taking a much deserved break from the ice to be with friends and family before rejoining his Moose Jaw mates for a game in Brandon on Friday.
Unless you've been trapped under a big screen TV, you know Boyd was a key contributor on the gold-medal club, picking up six points in the six Canuck victories during the tournament.
What many people forget, though, is that representing Canada is a long, arduous process, both physically and mentally draining as the games become more meaningful.
Having been practising, playing and training hard since the tryout camp roster was announced Dec. 11, the Calgary Flames draft choice (98th overall in the 2004 NHL entry draft) has one thing on his mind this week.
"A lot of rest, that's for sure," Boyd said. "I'll have to recharge the batteries. It's been a tough grind."
Following his vocal performance in Vancouver on Thursday, Boyd caught a flight to Seattle, where he watched the Warriors take on the Thunderbirds.
He also brought a little show and tell for the dressing room.
"(My teammates) all wanted to see it," he said of the shiny new addition to the Boyd trophy case. "The guys were in awe, and all talked about how bad they wanted to win one, too. I'm sure some of them will have a chance to in the future."