Sid the Kid adds to legend

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VANCOUVER — People aren’t likely to remember, years from now, that Sidney Crosby had a disappointing Olympics and an underwhelming gold-medal game.

All they’ll remember is that he scored the winning goal to clinch Canada’s 14th gold medal and set a Winter Games record.

They’ll remember forever that one of Canada’s greatest hockey players scored arguably Canada’s second most important hockey goal to Paul Henderson’s in 1972, Sid the Kid’s marker putting an exclamation point on Vancouver 2010.


Head coach Mike Babcock congratulates Sidney Crosby after winning the gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics Sunday. (ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY)

And, to a lot of people under the age of 40, this will be (ital)The Goal(end ital) for the rest of their lives.

“I dreamed of this moment,” said Crosby, the young supestar who won his first Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins last spring. “To win a gold medal and to score the winner in overtime, it doesn’t get much better than that.”

Given the fact it was at Olympics and in Canada, it was a bigger goal than Pens owner and Crosby’s current landlord Mario Lemieux scored on that pass from Wayne Gretzky to win the 1987 Canada Cup.

It was Jarome Iginla who dug the puck out of the corner, after Crosby himself won a battle on the boards, to get it out to No. 87 who beat USA goalie Ryan Miller to start the delirious coast-to-coast celebrtation.

“All of a sudden, he was yelling for me,” said Iginla. “He was yelling pretty urgently.

“It was awesome to see him get it. After he missed the third-period breakaway, going into the dressing room before overtime was pretty tough on him. But he kept battling.”

Asked what he yelled at Iginla, Crosby laughed at the question.

“Iggy!” he replied.

Iginla put it on his stick, and the rest is history.

“It was a great little pass down low,” explained Crosby. “I just threw it at the net. I didn’t aim it. I just shot it. I didn’t see it go in. I just heard everybody screaming.”

In fact, it was tough to find a member of Team Canada who actually saw it.

“I was having a drink from my water bottle,” said Ryan Getzlaf.

Mike Richards was tightening his skates.

“It was kind of a sharp angle,” said Canadian goaltender Roberto Luongo. “I’ve seen the release before. It’s hard to pick up. I didn’t really see it, either.”

You could have got picky and said it would have been more appropriate if Rick Nash or Jonathan Toews had scored the winning tally because of the massive gold-medal games they both played. But there’s an old saying that big-time players score big-time goals in big-time games. And that was about as big time a goal as you can score.

“Unbelievable,” said Toews. “There’s nothing he can’t do or hasn’t done already. We were saying in the intermission

that someone’s going to be the hero. There’s no coincidence that he was the guy.”

Said Luongo: “I had a feeling Sid would get it. I can’t think of anyone better.”

Perhaps defenceman Chris Pronger summed it up best: “I’m glad he was born a Canadian.”

Crosby had a breakaway from his own zone with 3:14 to go in the game but Patrick Kane chased him down and he didn’t really get the shot off.

“Any guy would have that go through your mind,” he said of sitting there between periods with the game headed to overtime. “It’s not a good feeling at all. You don’t want to have any regrets. The Olympics are every four years and you don’t know if you’ll have this chance ever again.”

Crosby, although he scored the shootout goal to beat Switzerland early in the tournament, admitted it had been a frustrating Olympics for him until Sunday’s overtime.

“The last couple of games, it was tough to find the net. They didn’t seem to want to go in.”

Then one went in. A goal which will live forever in Canadian hockey history.

terry.jones@sunmedia.ca

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