February 23, 2006
Early exit 'an awful feeling'
BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

TURIN -- Joe Sakic stood there, his eye bruised and jaw broken, and couldn't come up with answers for what had gone so horribly wrong.

"Nobody came into this tournament with higher expectations of ourselves than we did," said Sakic. "Why couldn't this team score? I don't know why we weren't able to put the puck in the net.

"I don't know how to explain it -- except to say that it's an awful feeling. Everybody is down because we wanted a lot more."

"This is a huge disappointment," defenceman Chris Pronger said. "We were the defending gold-medal champions and you want to repeat and have that feeling again. But everybody was gunning for us. At the same time, we need to work (as a team) and I think at times we kind of steered away from that."

There was no joy in the fact Canada played its best game of the tournament the day it bowed out. The players likely won't even be around for the weekend as the charter is arranged back to Canada.

"Everybody knows that we came here to win a gold medal and everybody in that room is disappointed right now," defenceman Adam Foote said.

"All these games are kind of final. There is no room for error as soon as you get on the ice."