More teddy than bear

Canada edges closer to hockey gold with 7-3 win over Rus­sia

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY JAMES MCCARTEN THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

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.

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