SUN Hockey Pool

How Swede it is for Nilson

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:44 AM ET

Upon entering the Saddledome, Marcus Nilson gave his best Rocky impersonation.

Walking around with arms raised in celebration, the Flames forward refused to hide his joy over Sweden's Olympic gold-medal final victory over Finland yesterday.

"This should be bigger than 1994 because all the NHL guys are there," Nilson said. "Sweden had a couple of rough tournaments going into this one and it's been a lot of negativity back home, so it's good to get some positive back in hockey back home."

A couple of weeks ago, Nilson wasn't too disappointed about not going to Turin. That changed having seen his buddies celebrate.

"Now, it would have been nice to be on it," he said. "Before, it was nice to get a break. But they picked the right team, did a good job of it the whole management team and the players."

Kristian Huselius was in the same boat, not paying much attention until near the end.

"When it's the final game, you have to," he said.

"The preliminary round, I wasn't that interested but when the playoffs started, it was really exciting."

On the flip side was Finn Miikka Kiprusoff. Sure, he was disappointed his country came up just short but not at all despondent.

"It's a big thing. It's been good, the World Cup getting to the final and here again. It's exciting and good for Finnish hockey," Kiprusoff said. "It's not fun to have lost but overall it's pretty good."

Nor did he have any regrets about pulling out from the tournament.

"Everybody's been asking but the reason I didn't go was because I'm hurt and want to be good here," he said. "Why would that change, because they went to the final? It was good for me not to go and they did well. They had great goaltending there."

GIORDANO RETURNS: Defenceman Mark Giordano was recalled yesterday from AHL Omaha for his second NHL stint.

Though Bryan Marchment has been practising with the Flames, the promotion is likely a sign the veteran isn't quite ready to return from his knee injury.

STRIKE FOR KIDS: Rhett Warrener's charity bowling tournament raised $15,000 Saturday night for KidSport and the Flames Foundation.


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