Volume 96, Issue 57
Friday, January 10, 2003

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Thank God "I am Canadian"

Manville
Ryan Dixon
Managing Editor

Despite the fact that the season for giving thanks is drawing to a close, like so many students before me, I'm going to have to ask the powers that be for an extension.

After watching Canada's World Junior hockey team electrify the city of Halifax and this entire country, I just have too much to be thankful for.

You see, like any good Canadian boy, I love hockey. However, recently my faith in the great Canadian game was shaken. While my golden Olympic memories of a year ago still give me a warm feeling at night, I have just seen too many examples of painfully spiritless games in the National Hockey League this season, a league which has become more watered down than fountain pop.

Even the most passionate love affairs need a little injection of whatever it was that made you fall in love in the first place from time to time. I got my fix this holiday season watching a team of teenagers play their guts out for our country and I just want to thank them for restoring my faith in our game.

Thank you to every last Canadian player for proving to me that this game can still be played with vigour, intensity and passion.

Thank you Jordin Tootoo for every time you went into a corner with reckless abandon and crushed an opponent so hard the thud echoed from Halifax to Nunavut.

Thank you lads for not being millionaires just yet.

Thank you to Canadian coach Marc Habscheid for not once putting the shackles on this team and forcing them to play a defensive system that would stifle their creativity.

Thank you Marc for encouraging the exuberance of youth.

Thank you to every Canadian hockey mom and dad in the stands who supported their boys, not only throughout this tournament, but for their entire hockey playing life.

Thank you boys for proving to the world the best post-goal celebrations aren't contrived acts of arrogance, but occur when you can't jump high enough or scream loud enough to express your emotion.

Thank you Halifax for only increasing my belief that I better get out to the east coast soon and join the party.

Thank you Team Russia for showing us that, despite our achievements as a hockey nation, we have an adversary that will force us to get better.

Thank you Derek Roy for the best damn hockey hair in the tournament.

Thank you to whoever invented the mute button on my remote control. It came in handy every time TSN commentator Pierre McGuire spoke.

Most of all, thank you Team Canada for proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that, despite some heartbreak, the love affair my country and myself has with this game is worth continuing.

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