He's the Gass in their tank

PABLO FERNANDEZ -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:52 AM ET

Canada's junior hockey squad has determined the road to world supremacy runs partly through their stomachs.

So they've brought along their own Calgary chef to Sweden.

Andrew Gass can't put the puck between the posts or check any better than any other of the youngsters on the team, but he's swift with a whisk and clever with a cleaver.

Gass, the 28-year-old head chef at the Metropolitan Grill, is in Sweden as Team Canada's first official chef.

"It's been excellent ... it's turned out to be a great opportunity for both of us," said Gass, who returns with the team tomorrow. "The guys have had a steady diet of what they need and are loving the food, and it's been great for me to be a part of this, contributing in whatever capacity I can."

Gass' main purpose is to serve the team a taste of Canada -- yesterday he gave the players and coaches 12- and 14-oz. chunks of beef tenderloin, with stuffed baked potatoes and vegetables, along with a variety of salads.

The gig has him working around the clock, preparing three meals a day and snacks in between -- and Gass said he loves it.

"It's been unbelievable ... anything I can do to help is an opportunity of a lifetime," he said.

But considering he's making history and the nutritional well-being of the nation's gold medal hopes are solidly on his shoulders, the thing foremost on his mind is not what the next meal will be, but that the boys bring home the hardware.

"(Wednesday's) game was probably the most stressful thing I've ever had to go through," said Gass of Canada's game against the U.S.

Jeff Hanna, owner of the Metropolitan Grill, said the restaurant is proud to have Gass serving Team Canada.

"He's the chef for all of Canada ... it's a pretty neat feeling for everybody in the building."

The gold-medal game will be broadcast today on TSN at 11:30 a.m.


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