OGDB Final: A nation watches and hopes for gold

Jason Gregor
February 28 2010 11:57AM

Ice Hockey - Men's Semifinal - CAN vs SVK

In case we needed some more incentive for tonight’s game, a win on the ice by Canada will set a new winter Olympic record for most Gold medals in one Olympics: fourteen I guess Own the Podium wasn’t far off after all.

You’ve been captivated the past 15 days by the likes of Alex Bilodeau, Maelle Ricker, Christine Nesbitt, Jon Montgomery, Scott Moir, Tessa Virtue, Ashleigh McIvor, Kaillie Humphries, Heather Moyse, Charles Hamelin (twice), Francois Hamelin, Olivier Jean, Francois-Louis Tremblay, women’s hockey, Mathieu Giroux, Lucas Makowsky, Denny Morrison, Jasey Jay Anderson, Kevin Martin, John Morris, Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert.

Or maybe you shed a tear and felt a great sense of Canadian pride watching Joannie Rochette perform so admirably after her mother’s death en route to a bronze medal, so maybe it is fitting that we get to watch OUR game against the United States.

I don’t believe that hockey has dominated these games, because we’ve witnessed so many other great and inspirational efforts, but it is fitting that today Canada has a chance to win gold in the game we love the most, and finish off the 2010 Olympic Games in style.

Tickets for the game are going for more than a Super Bowl ticket right now. Scalpers, and on-line ticket sites are asking, and getting, four thousand dollars for a ticket.

The Americans can pump their chest all they want about football and baseball being their game, but neither of those sports are in the Olympics, and neither captivates an entire nation like hockey does for Canadians.

THERE IS A “G” an “O” and “D” in GOLD

Before we get any further I think it is fitting, being Sunday and all, that we say a few words. Read them out loud and with some feeling.

Our Father who art in Vancouver, hockey be thy name. Thy will be done, the Gold will be won, on the ice for the men as it was for the women. Give us this day, our hockey wives, and forgive us our penalties as we forgive those who cross check against us. Lead us not into elimination but deliver us to victory. For thine is the Getzlaf, the Toews and the holy Crosby, AMEN...

Reader/listener, Derrick, sent this to me and who knows maybe a little divine intervention can’t hurt.

BREAK DOWN GOLD MEDAL

Even though the States have yet to lose in the tournament I still think Canada is the favourite. Ryan Miller has been spectacular for the USA and he’ll need to do it again if they want to win.

Canada is averaging 40.5 SOG in the tourney, and they had 43 on Miller last Sunday, meanwhile the States have fired an average of 31 shots in their five wins. Miller will be busier than Roberto Luongo and he’ll have to be better to stop Canada from grabbing their record-setting 14th gold.

The PPs are a saw off. Canada has scored on 29.1% of their opportunities while the USA is close at 28.5%. But Canada has a big advantage on the PK, with a tournament best 88.4% efficiency compared to only 76.9% for the States.

The most surprising stat is that these are the two most disciplined teams in the tourney. The States have only been shorthanded 13 times in five games, while Canada has had to kill of 19 penalties in their six games. Both teams have been physical, but neither has run into penalty trouble, excluding the 3rd period last Sunday when Canada took three consecutive penalties.

MILLER OVERHYPED?

It would seem the big advantage the US has is in goal with Ryan Miller. Miller has given up five goals in five games, although his GAA is just below one, because he didn’t play the final eleven minutes v. Finland. And is SV% is a sparkling .952.

But outside of the Canada game has he really been tested.

He faced 15 shots v. the Swiss, 11 v. Norway, 43 v. Canada, then 19 in the quarterfinals against the Swiss, before stopping 18 in the semi-final. He has played well, there is no doubt, but when you consider the bad games we’ve seen from Martin Brodeur, Henrik Lundqvist (Slovakia), Evgeni Nabokov (Canada) and Mikka Kiprusoff in the semis you wonder if it’s Miller’s time to lay an egg?

I hope he plays great and Canada still wins, because then there will be no excuses from south of the border.

HEROS ARE MADE

A big goal in today’s game will make a player famous for years to come. Paul Henderson wasn’t the best player in 1972, but he scored the two most important goals in that series, and he’s famous because of it.

Who will be a star today?

My money is on Ryan Getzlaf. Some questioned if his ankle would allow him to contribute, but those worries have been erased by a clutch performance from Getzlaf. He, along with Corey Perry and Brendan Morrow, has been Canada’s best line the past two games and I expect that to continue today.

Sidney Crosby has been rather quiet the past few games, so you can never count out the Kid, but I have a feeling Getzlaf’s line will be key in Canada’s win.

I haven’t been this excited for a game in years. Even though it was only eight years ago that these two teams met for gold in Salt Lake, this game just seems more hyped and more important. There’s a lot on the line, and I expect the Red and White to come through.

Canada wins 5-3, we set an Olympic record for most gold medals and we show the world this is still OUR game. GO CANADA.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Wanyes bastard child
February 28 2010, 04:08PM
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I'll say it, mad props to the American team!

They played good, made for an exciting game, made for an awesome ending and I for one am happy it went to OT for such an exciting win!

Props America, props!

Oh and... Suck it TLP :P

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#52 Matt Henderson
February 28 2010, 04:11PM
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Even the President of the IOC is giving props to Crosby.

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#53 Heavyd
February 28 2010, 04:16PM
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@jeanshorts

How much ass does he get after this win?

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#54 Justin
February 28 2010, 04:17PM
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I would like to read TLP's American victory parade post right now. We win hockey gold, the most golds ever by any country in a single games, and did I mention America lost?

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#55 jake
February 28 2010, 04:21PM
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The Americans played outstanding. Had an outstanding tournament. Hats off to them.

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#56 Milli
February 28 2010, 04:23PM
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wow!!!! that was awesome!!!! CROSBY!!!!

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#57 The Real Scuba Steve
February 28 2010, 04:25PM
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What a game!

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#58 Dan the Man
February 28 2010, 04:25PM
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So this is that "winning" thing that other people always talk about....it feels pretty damn good.

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#59 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 04:26PM
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baggedmilk wrote:

Can't help but notice that Pouliot isn't playing in this game but Parise is... Weird.

... and Getzlaf, and Richards, and Perry...

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#60 Ender
February 28 2010, 04:28PM
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TLP wrote:

I will first be seeking apologies from the following Oilers/Flames Nation commenters, who foolishly predicted a Canadian win.
1.Ender the Dragon, who said, "If (when) Canada beats the Americans in hockey..." WRONG
2.Phil, who noted, "And besides, all that really matters is the USA will get embarrassed in a few days by the absolutely dominant Canadian squad in mens hockey. Fools are gonna get crushed." RAFALSKI'D
3.GSC, who blabbed, "I just can't stand to see this kind of ethnocentric behavior. There's no reason for it, especially when it looks like USA Hockey will be an afterthought once more in Vancouver." INCORRECT
4.GSC (again), who chattered, "...and the strong possibility that Hockey Canada brings home another gold." DISAPPOINTED
5.Fellow Flames Nation contributor RossCreek, who blathered, "Sorry pal, but the USA battling for a bronze in men's hockey will be as good as it gets for you. Meanwhile, we up here in igloo-land will cherish our GOLD forever." DISCREDITED

What was that you were saying, TLP? Wrong? Incorrect? Discredited? Yes, yes you were. Karma's a bi+ch, ain't it?

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#61 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 04:28PM
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Heavyd wrote:

Hellzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

WHERE'S TLP NOW?

http://twitter.com/twolinepass/status/9796301155

LOLZ. That TLP... such a character.

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#62 Pajamah
February 28 2010, 04:29PM
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Now I know yelling on the internets is strictly forbidden by penalty of castration, but.....

SCORES!!, SCORES!!, SCORES!!, GOLD!!!!!!!!

- my exact (slightly intoxicated) reaction the second Crosby put that in. Oh, and if I could, that font would be approximately 64, not this unenthusiastic 14 times new roman junk

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#63 Shaun Doe
February 28 2010, 04:29PM
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Way to go Canada, tense finish great result. TLP please stand tall for your come-uppins.

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#64 Travis Dakin
February 28 2010, 04:31PM
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BBBBBOOOOONNNNNNEEEEEERRRRRR!!!!!!!!

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#65 Pajamah
February 28 2010, 04:34PM
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Who cares about TLP, this is about this amazing country setting a new record for golds, Joannie Rochette, and Mens and Womens Canadian hockey teams giving us EVERYTHING we could have hoped for.

Olympics are about good will, and as a new Canadian citizen, I have never been prouder of this country, even though its just a sporting event.

How can you not be inspired by the last 16 days...absolutely amazing!

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#66 Pajamah
February 28 2010, 04:35PM
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@ Jason Gregor

"My money is on Ryan Getzlaf. Some questioned if his ankle would allow him to contribute, but those worries have been erased by a clutch performance from Getzlaf. He, along with Corey Perry and Brendan Morrow, has been Canada’s best line the past two games and I expect that to continue today.

Sidney Crosby has been rather quiet the past few games, so you can never count out the Kid, but I have a feeling Getzlaf’s line will be key in Canada’s win."

Spot on JG, thats why you get the big bucks

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#67 TheDiplomat
February 28 2010, 04:35PM
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twolinepass

1. Attention Twitterverse: My account was hacked two weeks ago and I haven't been able to tweet. I hope no one was posting as me in my absence.

This guy IS a classic! Well played sir!

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#68 Crash
February 28 2010, 04:36PM
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In the only head to head gold medal matches vs U.S. teams we owned them...

Womens hockey, mens hockey, the long track mens pursuit were the only head to head matches with the US for gold and they count NOT beat us

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#69 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
February 28 2010, 04:36PM
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bingofuel wrote:

Yeah, it should be. But I'm in kananaskis with no internet. I'll change it up as soon as I have teh internetz

you really are god if you can post to the boards with NO INTERNET ACCESS!!!!!!!!

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#70 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 04:39PM
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WOW...

NOTE: 109 St and Jasper Ave CLOSED in all directions due to major accident, avoid the area! #yeg #yegtraffic

Update: At least 2 pedestrians injured, both with head/neck injuries, one critical #yeg #yegtraffic caused by jaywalking/partygoers

109 St and Jasper Ave is going to be closed for several hours due to severity of injuries #yeg #yegtraffic

as per http://twitter.com/BrentWelch

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#71 Matt Henderson
February 28 2010, 04:40PM
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Visnovsky reprimanded for anti-doping violations. Seems like it isnt as bad as it sounds, but man, can Oilers players please stop screwing up.

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#72 Crash
February 28 2010, 04:42PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Visnovsky reprimanded for anti-doping violations. Seems like it isnt as bad as it sounds, but man, can Oilers players please stop screwing up.

No time for this now...we're in the middle of a celebration here

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#73 GSC
February 28 2010, 04:44PM
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Where's that prick TLP now?

GO CANADA GO.

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#74 Pajamah
February 28 2010, 04:44PM
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Crash wrote:

No time for this now...we're in the middle of a celebration here

Unless Visnovsky is from Mundare,AB, not our concern

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#75 wax for my stick
February 28 2010, 04:45PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

WOW...

NOTE: 109 St and Jasper Ave CLOSED in all directions due to major accident, avoid the area! #yeg #yegtraffic

Update: At least 2 pedestrians injured, both with head/neck injuries, one critical #yeg #yegtraffic caused by jaywalking/partygoers

109 St and Jasper Ave is going to be closed for several hours due to severity of injuries #yeg #yegtraffic

as per http://twitter.com/BrentWelch

f_ck! really? whatever that wont stop me from doing the celey' on whyte ave!!!

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#76 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 04:47PM
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Pajamah wrote:

Unless Visnovsky is from Mundare,AB, not our concern

LOL. You don't know how funny I think Mundare references are. Pure gold, IMO.

Like when all the new CSI's came out, my Dad said "what's next, CSI: Mundare?"

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#77 Crash
February 28 2010, 04:48PM
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Wondering if all those mouthy Americans will be phoning in to Jim Rome tomorrow like they did after last week?..

Gregor is expecting some of us to either get an email read or a phone call through to Rome tomorrow...

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#78 Milli
February 28 2010, 04:50PM
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Oh ya TLP, I guess you guys forgot which game actually mattered!!!

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#79 Moop
February 28 2010, 04:50PM
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Someone needs to find TLP quickly. I want to taste his delicious, delicious tears.

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#80 Pajamah
February 28 2010, 04:50PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

LOL. You don't know how funny I think Mundare references are. Pure gold, IMO.

Like when all the new CSI's came out, my Dad said "what's next, CSI: Mundare?"

Stawnichy's.....mmmmmmm

and if its gold, I demand props!!

I read, and commented on some of your flamesnation stuff, its the least you can do

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#81 Victoria
February 28 2010, 04:54PM
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WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#82 Colin
February 28 2010, 04:58PM
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Moop wrote:

Someone needs to find TLP quickly. I want to taste his delicious, delicious tears.

The sweetest beverage of all-tears of an American hockey fan.

So where's the TLP commuppance thread--he got his fun, where do we get to rub the salt in?

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#83 GSC
February 28 2010, 04:58PM
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I hope no one else had to watch the NBC feed down here in the States.

Ed Olczyk ruined the medal ceremony, wouldn't shut up.

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#84 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 05:02PM
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@Pajamah

Props, indeed.

I grew up 15 min from Mundare, but we always considered that another country, lol. Lamont, stand up! Naw, actually sit down... Lamont sucks, too!

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#85 Matt Henderson
February 28 2010, 05:02PM
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@GSC

NBC sucks. They dropped the ball all Olympics long. No sense in stopping now.

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#86 Harlie
February 28 2010, 05:07PM
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well that was satisfying! Plus I am happy that I bought one of those limited edition Canada jerseys with Crosby number and lettering last night. Awesome finish!!!

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#87 Pajamah
February 28 2010, 05:09PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Props, indeed.

I grew up 15 min from Mundare, but we always considered that another country, lol. Lamont, stand up! Naw, actually sit down... Lamont sucks, too!

Lamont, about 8 years ago, used to do cable installation, had the greatest pizza of my life.

And thats everything good about Lamont.

You wanna talk about nothingtown,AB, I submit Bruderheim,AB for your consideration

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#88 Harlie
February 28 2010, 05:14PM
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@Pajamah

or Josephburg

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#89 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
February 28 2010, 05:15PM
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Pajamah wrote:

Lamont, about 8 years ago, used to do cable installation, had the greatest pizza of my life.

And thats everything good about Lamont.

You wanna talk about nothingtown,AB, I submit Bruderheim,AB for your consideration

i will see your bruderheim and raise you a Millet, AB and a Smokey Lake, AB

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#90 Pajamah
February 28 2010, 05:19PM
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Millet, now there is a town. So small, that even if you're caught above 60km/h on main street, you're out of jurisdiction in about 30 seconds.

I miss being a sales rep, all the Hythe, Beaverlodge, Millet, Westlock, Sedgewick, Killam trips.

Small town AB, get out of your seats!!!

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#91 Pajamah
February 28 2010, 05:20PM
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Oh, and Cherry Grove,AB, just outside of Cold Lake

wore a pink dress shirt to a buddies wedding, just to see how many hillbillies wanted to fight me.....Hilarious!!

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#92 Harlie
February 28 2010, 05:22PM
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@Pajamah

hahah I used to hit the Alberta one horse towns as a Sales Rep too. Was fun and I enjoyed driving down the main streets in the small towns and watching everyone watching me. All of them wondering who the hell I was and what the hell was I doing in their town. haha!

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#93 Crash
February 28 2010, 05:29PM
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As far as small places go, my wife is from Keephills, AB and today is my birthday...what memorable one...

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#94 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 05:32PM
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Pajamah wrote:

Lamont, about 8 years ago, used to do cable installation, had the greatest pizza of my life.

And thats everything good about Lamont.

You wanna talk about nothingtown,AB, I submit Bruderheim,AB for your consideration

Dude, I lived in Bruderheim til I was 5. I had relatives there for another 10+ years. We moved to "the country" in '85 near Chipman, smack-dab in the middle of the Lamont-Tofield-Mundare triangle. The name of the rural community... Ross Creek!

Played minor hockey in Bruderheim, Lamont, Tofield, Vegreville, Ardrossan/Strathcona. Lit Josephburg, Waskatenau, Willingdon and God-knows who else up as a 6 year old just for funzies, lol.

My gf is from Smokey Lake.

You wanna talk buttphuk, AB... I've seen just about everything.

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#95 JackBauer
February 28 2010, 05:38PM
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Isnt that always the sweetest. When a mouthy American has to spout off about a game that doesnt matter, where is he now that his team has lost?

I vow to spam every single one of his articles.

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#96 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 05:40PM
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http://twitter.com/twolinepass/status/9800195354

I'm so glad that hundreds of Canadians' first thoughts were "I can't wait to chirp that guy on the internet who typed mean things about us!"

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#97 Harlie
February 28 2010, 05:42PM
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JackBauer wrote:

Isnt that always the sweetest. When a mouthy American has to spout off about a game that doesnt matter, where is he now that his team has lost?

I vow to spam every single one of his articles.

we want TLP. We WANT TLP. WE WANT TLP!!!

One punch.

Down goes TLPzier. Down goes TLPzier!!!

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#98 Clangger
February 28 2010, 05:49PM
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Ron Wilson's exact quote: "Sometimes, the best team in the tournament doesn't win a gold medal."

Just another arrogant Yankee

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#99 JackBauer
February 28 2010, 05:53PM
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Clangger wrote:

Ron Wilson's exact quote: "Sometimes, the best team in the tournament doesn't win a gold medal."

Just another arrogant Yankee

Its hard to argue that point though. They were absolutly dominant. They had the best record and a case could be made that yes, they were the best team for the first 6 games of this tournament.

If Canada was in the same position of being undefeated going into the gold medal game, and lost, we would be saying the best team lost too.

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#100 Chaz
February 28 2010, 05:55PM
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How does that Crow taste TLP? My guess is he'll be too chicken to show his ugly Yank mug around the Oil Nation to admit how terribly wrong he was....that's okay we know where to find him although visiting Flames Nation makes my skin crawl...

Hope Kipper's melt down in the Semi-Finals doesn't lead to a post-Olympic Salo-esque career meltdown!!

~That would be terrible!~

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