It was a heart-pounding, sweat-dropping, crowning night for Canadian hockey fans as their heroes edged Finland 3-2 to win the World Cup of Hockey last night in Toronto. "It was awesome," said Kaz Lipuscek, 30, in his red Team Canada jersey.
"These international games are great because players play with so much heart because they're playing for their country instead of for a paycheque."
True to Canadian hockey tradition, it was one of the grinders, Albertan Shane Doan, who scored the winning goal.
"I think we had the best team in the tournament. Tonight it wasn't our talent that won it. It was our grit. Our heart," said Greg Norman, 35.
As the final seconds ticked off the clock, fans at Mo's Sports Parlour, 5420 Calgary Tr., began chanting "Let's go Canada." They counted down the final seconds in unison.
And when it was over they clapped, whistled and hooted.
Canada was No. 1 again.
"I was proud to be a Canadian and also happy the Finns gave us a good run," said Jason Smith, 26.
He quickly added he was thrilled to see Ryan Smyth and Eric Brewer with the World Cup trophy.
The win signified Canada remains number 1 in the world, said Shawn McIntyre.
"We were dominant in the early years and now all the big markets have taken (the best players) away," said McIntyre, 30.
"This just shows the best players still come from Canada."
Others brimmed with pride, saying Canada had once again restaked its claim to dominance in the hockey world.
"It's our birthright," said Mikaul Maygard, 25.
Elvis Iginla watched his son Jarome skate off with the top prize. "It was a nail-biter," said the elder Iginla.
Elvis planned to give thanks to God last night for the win. And then he took his 14-year-old son, Stephen, to hockey practice.
"The only downside is you watch such great hockey and there's a good possibility we won't see NHL hockey this season," he said.
A year without NHL hockey isn't a pleasant thought for either Iginla.
"I know it's not something he's looking forward to," said Elvis.
But at 27, his son is preparing for the birth of his first child next month.
Doan's uncle had just returned home from work when he turned the television set on at his Halkirk-area ranch, 232 km southeast of Edmonton.
"It was the first thing I saw," said Merle Doan. "It was good to see."