Doan, Doan, Doan!

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:02 AM ET

TORONTO -- The last time the kid from Halkirk, Alberta, heard them chant "Doan! Doan! Doan!'' was when the crowd in Edmonton chanted his name at the 1995 NHL entry draft. Then they booed. That was when Glen Sather picked Steve Kelly instead of him. All Doan heard here last night were cheers as he made himself the hero of a 3-2 World Cup of Hockey final win over Finland with a goal early in the third period.

"I'm not exactly sure if I heard the 'Doan! Doan! Doan!' thing out there. But I sure heard them cheer. That's something I'll never forget. It was great. I loved it.

"I just came here to do my job and play a role. I was just happy to be playing with Mario Lemieux, Joe Sakic and Scott Niedermayer. I took every minute in. It was incredible.

"I imagine it was pretty good at home in Halkirk, over at Castor and Stettler ... they are such special places. They're great communities. Hockey is such a Canadian game. It always comes home somewhere.''

Doan wasn't one of those guys who needed time for it to sink in that he'd put his name on the game which left our nation on top of the world in the game we gave the world.

Canada is now Olympic, World Cup and World Champion. If our nation can win the World Junior this year in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Canada will own every global title there is, senior, junior, male and female.

There's going to be a long cold winter without NHL hockey in Canada this year, but you couldn't have managed a much warmer way to go into the lockout, which begins tonight at midnight.

MAKING GRETZ PROUD

It was perfect. A Heartland of Hockey player was the hero. Wayne Gretzky's guy. The only member of his Phoenix Coyotes on Team Canada.

"I'm really happy for Shane,'' said Gretzky. "That's pretty special. I'm really proud of him. From the first day at training camp he came in and didn't have any peaks or any valleys. He was the same every single day. From Day 1 he deserved to be in every single night. Every single shift he played his heart out.''

Gretzky said he'd like to be part of the 2006 Olympic team if there is one with NHL players and if he is he'll enjoy showing the film highlight of Doan scoring the winner for Canada in this one.

"It's a special movie we put together and show the night before the gold medal game,'' said Gretzky. "The next group of guys who will watch that movie will see Shane score that goal.''

Doan said he was inspired by the film.

"I wanted to go out there and play right then,'' he said of leaving the session the night before at the team hotel.

NOW THAT'S COOL

"That's pretty cool to think I'm going to be part of the next one. They showed the Paul Henderson goal in '72, Paul Coffey intercepting and turning it into a two-on-one in that Canada Cup game in Calgary, Lemieux's goal from Gretzky, Jarome Iginla's goal and Sakic's goal from the Olympics, Anson Carter's goal from the World Championships in that game I played in two years ago ...''

There were more heroes than one here. Martin Brodeur played with an injured wrist. Lemieux had a big game. Vincent Lecavalier, like Iginla at the Olympics, was a late add to the team and ended up as the tournament MVP.

It was the first time in the history of these World Cup/Canada Cup September series that Canada has managed to go through unbeaten and untied much less not behind in one game for a single, solitary second.

Canada scored on the first shot of the game when Eric Brewer put a perfect pass on the stick of Mario Lemieux who had the choice of three players driving to the net. He picked Joe Sakic to pull the trigger for the 1-0 lead only 52 seconds into it. But Riku Hall caught Canada running around five minutes later, and a deflection tied it up.

Again, in the second period Scott Niedermayer scored early for Canada when Miikka Kiprusoff gave up a trickler through the five hole. But with one minute left in the period Jarkko Ruutu made moves to make three Canadians look like pylons and tie it up again.

But Canada jumped ahead on yet another early period goal, the winner by Doan, and this time they didn't let the Finns back in.

The only thing wrong with the whole experience was that winner's trophy. A big ash tray, a giant salt shaker or whatever, they must have felt like idiots holding it up.

"There was some comment on the ice about what we should do with it,'' laughed Niedermayer.

Doan shouldn't have many people in line ahead of him if he wants to take it home to Halkirk.


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