Thursday, 18 September 2014, 5:38 am

Canada goes for gold at Sochi Games

Canada’s goalie Roberto Luongo defends the net against Richard Zednik of Slovakia in 2010. Canadian Olympic Committee By KRYSTA PUTMAN
Staff Writer
The wait is over for hockey fans across Canada. On Jan. 7, Canadian Olympic hockey team Executive Director Steve Yzerman announced the roster in Toronto.
The team is filled with players who won Olympic gold in 2010 including returning forwards Jonathan Toews, Patrice Bergeron, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, and a few others.
On defence, Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith and Shea Weber will once again defend the blue line. Goalie Roberto Luongo has aspirations to remain the starter but will battle with the Montreal Canadiens’ Carey Price, who is taking the Olympic stage for the first time.
The National Hockey League has also lent some of its star players including Steve Stamkos, John Tavares, Matt Duchene and P.K. Subban, all of whom are also making the cut for the first time. One Canadian player has more points than Claude Giroux (179) over the last three seasons and yet was not asked to return to the team.
“Those questions are for Team Canada,” Giroux told reporters. “I’m the hockey player. I was there to put my product out and play the best I could and I didn’t make it. You gotta move forward.” Giroux said he was disappointed, but not angry at not making the team. “It’s tough today, but we have a game and I have to put it behind me.”
Logan Coture was another not asked to return. However, Coture was gracious in his rejection releasing this statement via Twitter.
“Tough couple days. Thanks for all the kind words. [I’m] proud to have even been in consideration. Can’t wait to get back on the ice.”
Twenty-year-old Landscape Technician student Brett McBurney isn’t so sure about the choices that were made for the defence lineup.
“Defence-wise I would have chosen Seabrook over Hamhuis or Vlasic in a heartbeat. Keiths on the team, so why wouldn’t you choose his lifelong partner on defence with him? I could see the reasoning why not picking Letang as his defence isn’t stellar and offensively I think the forwards have that covered.”
The choice in goalies was also important to McBurney. “For goaltending, well, I hope Luongo doesn’t start. He’s been inconsistent the past year. I would definitely have considered Josh Harding over Smith just for the fact that he is having an amazing season, although I think he recently got injured, which could be the reasoning.”
Although some fans are not happy with the lineup choices, one hockey fan is supporting the roster.
“It will be interesting to see how a guy like Chris Kunitz pans out,” says Joey Lavoie, a 24-year-old Broadcasting student. “He was obviously chosen because of his chemistry with Sid the Kid.
“Having a linemate that knows Crosby’s game inside and out might prove more valuable than including a ‘better’ player like Claude Giroux or Marty St. Louis. It’s a risk that the selection committee took and it might end up being the right decision.”
The action will start on Feb. 13 with Canada facing off against Norway followed by Austria the following day. Then on Feb. 16 for the group stage final, Canada will take on Finland. The quarterfinals will be on Feb. 19, with semifinals on Feb. 21. The game that decides it all will be held on Feb. 23.

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