Cup half full for Thoresen

By CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency



VANCOUVER — Norwegian forward Patrick Thoresen endured the injury no man wants to experience.

The forward will be hoping to keep Canada from inflicting the hockey equivalent on his country Tuesday afternoon.

The Norwegians, back in the Olympics for the first time since 1994, will be huge underdogs when they face Canada in the first game for both teams.

“To be here and play one of, I think, the top two nations in the world for hockey and do it in Canada is going to be real exciting,” said Thorensen. “We know we’re going to play a really good team with 23 superstars while we have none. The key for us will be the team. We’ve been together for five, six, seven years now, so we know each other really well.

“Hopefully the Canadians didn’t have time enought to get to know each other well yet. That’s maybe our advantage. The rest of the advantages, I think, they have. We’re going to go out there and show them we can play with heart, sacrifice ourselves for each other and at the end of the day, we’ll see what happened.”

Thorensen had his protective cup turned “outside in,” as he put it, when he was hit with a shot in the groin while playing for the Philadelphia Flyers in April, 2008.

“It was painful. It’s nothing I suggest for anybody,” said the 26-year-old, who played 14 games for the Flyers that season and is now playing in the KHL. “At the time, I wish I would have died. It pushed the cup all the way. When I came into the locker-room, the cup was kind of turned inside out, er, outside in.

“I had to go to the hospital for an ultrasound like pregnant people get and then it was just a matter of waiting for the swelling to go down.”

Thorensen has fully recovered, he said, and is ready to help push Norwegian hockey forward.

“Norwegian hockey has taken some steps the last few years, playing better and better in the world championships and we got rewarded with the Olympics. I think this will have a big impact (on Norwegian hockey) because the Olympics are so big. Everybody is watching it.

“If we can have a good result, it good be another step in a good direction.”

The Norwegians are in tough, but after what he’s been through, Thorensen is always going to look at the cup being half full.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

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