Rivalry spills over from slopes to ice

ERIC FRANCIS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

LAKE LOUISE -- What's the best way to celebrate a World Cup win in your hometown?

Jan Hudec's first choice was to suit up for a pond hockey game, but he may have to settle for a parade in his honour.

"I don't know if I'm worthy of a parade," beamed the former Banff resident when told the town's mayor, John Stutz, wants to honour Hudec's downhill win here Saturday with a street celebration. "John's son Paul is a skier and good friend of mine, and he's always been a supporter of ski racing, and he's a great mayor. It would be awesome."

Following Saturday's race, Hudec said he hoped to head out to the glass-like rink on Lake Louise for a pond hockey game between the Canadians and Americans. And while he ran out of time, he fully intends to renew the on-ice rivalry in Beaver Creek, Colo., next week.

"We're allowed to play hockey if we finish top 30," said Hudec of a match that occurs at most World Cup stops.

"We have some good battles against the U.S., but like in the Olympics, we always end up winning," added Erik Guay.

A handful of coaches and players from each team tote their hockey sticks and skates all over Europe for the post-race games that offer up weekly bragging rights.

"We get several games in -- we're like the Mighty Ducks with stuff taped to our legs," said American Steven Nyman.


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