The great Gabby!

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:06 AM ET

INNSBRUCK, Austria -- Gaber Glavic lived to tell the tale. Sixty-three seconds into the game he wasn't so sure it would work out that way.

That's when he was introduced to Joe Thornton. The six-foot-four Canadian came at him on a breakaway from his own blue-line.

Glavic made the first save. And the second.

"One, two, three," said Gabby Glavic of Thornton whacking away at his rebounds.

"I think, 'This is not happening in our country'," said the national netminder of Slovenia after holding Canada to an eight-is-enough 8-0 result.

HOW-DO-YOU-DO?

Thornton not only said how-do-you-do with the goal, he finally rammed into the net at 1:03 but gave Canada a 2-0 lead at 5:08.

Glavic was asked of his impression of specific other Canadian NHL players after Thornton.

"I didn't have time," he said.

At one point, he thought the sky was falling.

It turned out to be a wire service camera which had been attached to the roof.

It landed only a few metres in front of him on a rare occasion when there weren't 11 players in the immediate vicinity. "That was bad for the organization."

He said he didn't know what the camera was at first, but found himself laughing.

"When it happened, I remember one thing our coach told our players. 'When a guy comes to an empty net, take as strong a shot as you have because maybe the roof will come down.' "

The camera incident was the highlight of the game. The second highlight was two Canadian photographers caught on TV on a catwalk, with one shooting the game below as he walked into a low beam and went down, stunned.

The third highlight was when the videoboard camera found an inebriated Slovenian fan in the stands, passed out.

The videoboard camera stayed on the drunk as play went on, his head flopping up and down and from side to side as his friends tried to wake him so he could see himself on the big screen.

Eventually they succeeded. Glavic didn't see that, but he wants to get the video of the game.

"I want to see it. Even the goals," he said.

"I don't feel like a hero after eight goals," he said. "I would have liked it to be four or five."

The game, other than back-to-back saves by Roberto Luongo on 17-year-old sensation Anze Kopitar and one player who dyed his hair red and had "D. Rodman" stitched on the back of his sweater (turned out to be David, not Dennis), was played mostly on Glavic's doorstep.

"It took a lot of energy," said Glavic. "I was not happy at the end. I was too tired.

"It was really hot out there tonight."

He also heard that Canada was going into the game to try to better the USA 7-0 win over the nation which has 103 registered senior hockey players (or 88 or 80 if you listen to the team leader who kept reducing the number with each succeeding interview).

"I'd heard they wanted to score more than the U.S. But I went to the game without this in my mind. I did my best. Our players did their best.

"Slovenia has never played Canada. Never before. It was special. It was not just another game."

It was, of course, just another early tournament game against an up-from-relegation team.

DIFFICULT GAME

Canada beat Japan 6-0 in 2000 and Norway 7-0 in 1997. You have to go back to 1994 and an 8-0 win over Great Britain. The year before Canada beat Austria 11-0.

"It's a difficult game to play," said coach Marc Habscheid, who also got two goals from Brendan Morrison and one each from Kirk Maltby, Simon Gagne, Rick Nash and Ryan Smyth. It's difficult because Canada is a country that doesn't like running up the score."

Well, not anymore.

It didn't seem to bother the Sudbury Wolves much when they set the world championship record by beating Denmark 47-0 in 1949 with every member of the team recording at least a hattrick and one player, Jim Russell, scoring eight by himself.

It could have easily have hit double figures here last night. But thanks to the heroic effort in goal by Glavic, it didn't.

It was a better story this way.


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