Final salute for fans with huge flag

, Last Updated: 7:22 AM ET

Ever wonder how big one of those Canadian flags at the local Husky station is?

Team Canada forward Riley Holzapfel's family can tell you after hauling one overseas from Regina, draping it across the upper deck at the CEZ Arena and creating the most inspiring image of the world juniors.

"Forty feet by 18 feet, and 45 pounds," Cody Holzapfel, Riley's 23-year-old brother, said. "We got extra luggage just for this."

The fact Holzapfel's dad manages a Husky made it easier to get, but not easier to haul to the arena every game.

"The Doughtys rented a car, so they bring it in from Prague every day," Cody explained, referring to defenceman Drew Doughty's parents. "I carry it in with a big bear hug."

After yesterday's dramatic, gold-medal victory over Sweden, the flag wound up piled on the ice, where Team Canada players unfurled it to a huge cheer from the crowd.

"It's awesome," Riley Holzapfel said. "Canadian fans are great, all over the world. That helped us out a lot. It felt like our home games. I've never felt anything like this before in my life. It's the biggest thing I've ever won. I've always dreamed about doing this."

WHAT WILL GRANDPA SAY?: After losing a semifinal to Sweden in overtime, the Russians won bronze with a 4-2 win over the United States.

But Viktor Tikhonov, grandson of former Russian national team coach of the same name, is pretty sure how his grandfather will react.

"Of course he'd want more," Tikhonov, named best forward of the tournament, said, smiling. "It's going to be an interesting conversation."

The undrafted Tikhonov, 19, scored five goals in the tournament and made a few highlight reel rushes.

AROUND THE WJHC: Canada's Drew Doughty was named the tournament's top defenceman, Canada's Steve Mason the best goalie and tournament MVP ... The media all-stars were: Tikhonov, Sweden's Patrik Berglund and James van Riemsdyk of the U.S. up front, Doughty and Swede Victor Hedman on defence and Mason in goal ... New York Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov finished with a flourish, getting a goal and two assists in the bronze game.


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