Whoops of jubilation could be heard ringing out from behind the closed doors of the Maple Leafs dressing room at Lakeshore Lions Arena yesterday afternoon.
Canada had just defeated the U.S. in a shootout during a semi-final at the world junior hockey championship in Sweden, and it was quite evident which country the majority of Leafs were supporting.
"All the Canadians in there were watching, and we're all pretty excited," defenceman Bryan McCabe said. "Besides, (Americans) care more about college basketball and high school basketball than world junior stuff."
McCabe was part of Canada's world junior championship teams in 1994 and '95.
"Both of the (gold) medals are on the wall at my parent's house," he said. "They keep them there for me. Those are some of my greatest memories, and I keep them close to the heart."
To no one's surprise, McCabe is picking Canada to come out ahead against Russia in the final tomorrow.
He'll be joined by, among others, forward Matt Stajan, who represented Canada at the 2003 world juniors in Halifax.
"It was an exciting shootout," Stajan said. "But Canada came through, so the bragging rights are there for a couple of more days."
While McCabe, Stajan and co. were celebrating, they also were ribbing teammate John Pohl, an American.
"I thought we fought hard," Pohl said of Team USA, adding that "I don't really want to talk about it right now."