Canucks 'whipped' into a real frenzy

PAUL FRIESEN

, Last Updated: 7:52 AM ET

PARDUBICE, Czech Republic -- Even gold-medal celebrations, it turns out, are sometimes planned well in advance.

Take Team Canada hero Brad Marchand, who began yesterday's pre-game preparation by raiding the refrigerator at the team hotel.

"I was walking out of the hotel, and we've got a big fridge of water, with two cans of whipped cream in there," Marchand said. "So I grabbed one and threw it in my pocket, just in case."

The plan was to attack teammate Stefan Legein if Canada beat Sweden for the gold medal. Sure enough, Legein, who left early in the 3-2 overtime win with a shoulder injury, showed up for post-game interviews with his face covered in the stuff.

But so was Marchand's, courtesy of defenceman Drew Doughty.

"When I wasn't looking, Drew got me in the face," Marchand explained. "It kind of backfired."

And so it went for a team that wasn't the most skilled Canada has sent to a world junior championship, but has to be right up there in the most important ingredient in the Canadian mixing bowl: Character.

"We're the hardest-working team," Doughty said. "We want it the most."

"They have the passion for it," head coach Craig Hartsburg said. "Besides the Stanley Cup, this is probably the biggest dream of a Canadian kid, is to win this gold medal."

The gold medal appeared unlikely several times over the past 11 days, most recently when the Swedes came back from a 2-0 deficit to force overtime with 38 seconds left yesterday.

"It's the Canadian way. We find a way," Hartsburg said.


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