More teddy than bear
Canada edges closer to hockey gold with 7-3 win over Russia
VANCOUVER — You can keep the podium, America. Canada won The Game.
All the hand-wringing and worry became a distant memory Wednesday as a polished Team Canada devastated Russia’s defence and neutralized its top scorers, summarily dispatching the hockey superpower 7-3 from the Olympic men’s hockey tournament.
Corey Perry scored twice for Canada, while Ryan Getzlaf, Dan Boyle, Rick Nash, Brenden Morrow and Shea Weber all added singles. Dmitri Kalinin, Maxim Afinogenov and Sergei Gonchar replied for Russia.
The win had a particularly vengeful flavour for Team Canada, which was eliminated by Russia 20 in the quarter-finals four years ago in Turin, Italy — a stinging loss that prompted a lot of soulsearching at home.
It was also the first Canadian win over Russia in an Olympic matchup since 1960, when Team Canada beat what was then the Soviet Union at Squaw Valley, Calif.
It wasn’t Canada’s only triumphant moment of the day, either.
Canadians have finished 1-2 in the Olympic women’s bobsled.
Canada has never won an Olympic medal in women’s bobsled. Now they have two.
Kaillie Humphries of Calgary and Heather Moyse of Summerside, P.E.I., drove Canada 1 to the gold in the final run, edging teammates Helen Upperton of Calgary and Shelley-Ann Brown of Pickering, Ont., in the Canada 2 sled. Humphries’ winning time was three minutes 32.28 seconds over the four runs. Upperton’s time was 3:33.13.
The USA 2 sled, with Erin Pac and Elana Mayes aboard, won bronze in 3:33.40.
At the Richmond Olympic Oval, Clara Hughes jogged a final victory lap, the Maple Leaf on her back like Superman’s cape, as Canada’s flagbearer ended a sparkling speedskating career with an Olympic bronze medal in the women’s 5,000 metres.
Hughes, from Glen Sutton, Que., blistered the ice, only to watch helplessly as her track record was surpassed by winner Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic and Germany’s Stephanie Beckert.
Kristina Groves of Ottawa was sixth and Cindy Klassen of Winnipeg came 12th.
“That was one of the best races I’ve ever done, and it was the best race I’ve ever done at the Olympics, including the one I won four years ago,” Hughes said afterward.
The third-place finish gave Hughes, 37, her sixth Olympic medal, including two as a speed-skater in Turin, Italy, in 2006, one in Salt Lake City in 2002 and two as a cyclist in the Summer Games in Atlanta in 1996.
She’s the only Canadian athlete to ever claim multiple medals at both the Winter and Summer Games.
In the women’s 3,000-metre relay, just moments before the hockey game ended, Canada’s four-skater team of Jessica Gregg, Kalyna Roberge, Marianne St-Gelais and Tania Vicent finished third — but still won silver after the Koreans were disqualified for a rules violation.
In the Callaghan Valley, Canada’s cross-country skiing men were left decimated after a relay race in which they were touted as medal contenders left them instead with a disappointing seventh-place finish and a lot of unanswered questions.
On the slopes of Whistler, weather woes were playing havoc with the final alpine skiing events as the second run of the women’s giant slalom race was postponed because of a thick fog that covered the course, reducing visibility to dangerous lows.
A giant slalom has two runs. The person with the best combined time wins.
Austria’s Elisabeth Goergl had the fastest time in the first run, while U.S. star Lindsey Vonn crashed out. The top Canadian was Shona Rubens of Canmore, Alta., in 22nd.
The only Canadian to ever win a giant-slalom Olympic medal was Nancy Greene, who won gold in 1968. The best women’s result since was a fourth by Laurie Kreiner at the 1972 Sapporo Games.