Loonie luck all the rage

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:55 AM ET

Wayne Gretzky pocketed another lucky loonie, Shane Doan cashed in with the biggest goal of his career and Finland's money goaltender let them down. In what has become tradition after big Canadian victories, a dollar coin was removed from its hiding place, six inches below centre ice at the Air Canada Centre, and presented to Gretzky.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. chairman Larry Tanenbaum had ordered two specially minted loonies from Ottawa, one for Gretzky and a duplicate for Leafs/Team Canada head coach Pat Quinn.

"Who says the Canadian dollar isn't strong?" Gretzky said. "We're getting a lot of mileage out of this."

Quinn said he hoped the coins "add up to a Stanley Cup for the Leafs."

Gretzky was raving about Doan's winning goal, comparing it to other defining Canadian international hockey moments. "It's up there with the goals by Paul Henderson, Mario Lemieux," Gretzky said.

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"We have a tape we play before every game of big goals Canadians have scored. Now kids coming up can watch his."

Doan not only worked the puck away from one of the best Finns, Teemu Selanne, but got it deep to Joe Thornton and then made it back in front for the goal.

"This whole experience has been incredible," said Doan, who plays for Gretzky's Phoenix Coyotes.

This Finnish team came further in the World Cup than any of its predecessors, finishing ahead of Sweden in the European pool, then upsetting the Americans to get here.

Unfortunately, Miikka Kiprusoff picked the worst time to give up goals on the first shot of every period. He had allowed just three even-strength goals all tournament.

"Odd things happened," coach Raimo Summanen said.

"Kipper didn't play his best game but our defence didn't help, either. We made a couple of bad mistakes as a team."

The Cup win was worth $1 million US to Team Canada, half of which will go to the Hockey Canada Foundation for minor hockey development, the rest to charities designated by the NHL Players' Association.


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