Look, I know that Team Canada technically hasn’t won anything yet, and that there is still a chance that this could all end in bitter disappointment (ie: sans medal.) But before the butterflies arrive anew tomorrow morning in anticipation of the semi-final match vs. a not-to-be-overlooked Slovakia squad (a team that has defeated supposed hockey superpowers Russia and Sweden within the past week), I can’t not post about the the awesomeness that was Canada’s victory over the Russians last night.

Perhaps it’s the fact that the teams that I cheer for rarely reach any meaningful level of success, or maybe it’s the fact that Canada hockey seems to be a some sort of great force that binds (most of) us together in ways that little else can. As this past week went on, I could not help but think of a group of people crammed into the 4 South lounge at Tyndale back in 2002, pulling the game in on a set of rabbit ears, cheering without reservation as Canada won Gold in Salt Lake City. There’s not getting around it; when our nation’s very best don the Red and White, I can’t help but get totally invested in each game, hoping upon hope that Canada will indeed prove itself to be the greatest hockey nation on Earth.

Needless to say that I was a bit disheartened after the first few games of this current best-on-best tournament, and I went into last night’s game fearing the worst, but desperately hoping that something good would happen. I figured it would be a battle to the end, and had even predicted a 5-4 Canada W in OT. Not in my wildest dreams could I have predicted what was to come. As each of the seven goals crossed the line, I got up off my chair, threw my hands in the air, and (much to Sophie’s chagrin) yelled out a resounding ‘YES!’ I literally could not believe what I was seeing. All of the talk going into Vancouver about what this group of players was capable of was actually being played out in front of our eyes to the height of anyone’s craziest expectations.

In short, it was awesome.

Sure, it’s still (improbably) possible that this win will be for naught, and Canada finished 4th in this tournament. If that happens, Canadians will no doubt be wholeheartedly disappointed. Having said that, should the unthinkable happen, I will still remember the 24th of February 2010 as a truly great night to be a fan of Canadian hockey.

Hopefully, though, there are two similar games left in the tank, and that this win against Russia will be remembered as one of three defining victories on the path to Olympic Gold.

One final end note: how good is Drew Doughty?

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