Hockey February 25, 2018


PYEONGCHANG, South Korea –
A journey that officially began in July 2017 with the

announcement

of Hockey Canada’s coaching staff and management group has culminated with
a podium performance as Canada’s Olympic Men’s Hockey Team wins bronze
following a 6-4 win over the Czech Republic on Saturday.

It was Andrew Ebbett (Vernon, B.C./SC Bern, NLA) who
opened the scoring on a power play at 8:57 in the first frame, and within
31 seconds, the score was 2-1 Canada, as captain Chris Kelly (Toronto/Belleville, AHL) tipped in a shot at
9:28 to pull ahead after Martin Ruzicka had tied things up for the Czechs.

Derek Roy (Rockland, Ont./Linköping HC, SHL)
made it 3-1 for Canada before the end of the first period – a score that
would hold until the opening minutes of the third frame, when the teams
combined for six goals in a fast-paced flurry that kept fans on the edge of
their seats. Ebbett and Kelly potted their second goals of the game, and Wojtek Wolski (Toronto/Metallurg Magnitogorsk, KHL) added
the extra buffer, scoring Canada’s sixth and final goal of the game. [Full
game stats and story available at

HockeyCanada.ca

.]

“It’s extremely special. The way we came out and started this game after a
disappointing loss last night, I thought it really showed the character of
the group. We didn’t want [the semifinal loss] to be the defining moment
for our hockey team. We’re a hard-working group,” said Kelly responding to
reporters’ questions on what it means to bring home bronze. “We had so many
great leaders on this team. I was able to play with great players and find
spots tonight [to contribute]; it’s quite the group.”

In preliminary-round action, the Canadians posted a 2-0-1 record, winning
their games against Switzerland and South Korea, and posting a shootout
loss to the Czech Republic. Canada went on to win the quarterfinal over
Finland by a score of 1-0, and they were edged 4-3 by Germany in the
semifinal.

“You’ve got to give a lot of credit to the players. We talked about
representing your country, we talked about being part of the medals for
Canada. [Team Canada has] set a record, and we wanted to be part of that.
It was [about] more than just us. They didn’t come over here just to march
in the Opening Ceremony – they–wanted to do something special,” said head
coach Willie Desjardins (Climax, Sask.) of the team’s performance to ensure
they secured the bronze medal. Desjardins spoke of the inspiration the team
drew from management group member Martin Brodeur’s story about his father’s
Olympic bronze medal that hung on their wall growing up. Brodeur’s father,
Denis, played in the 1956 Olympic Winter Games, backstopping Canada to a
bronze medal in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. “We talked about how special this
one chance [is], and how last night didn’t go the way we wanted, but I
think that’s how their whole career has gone. Some things don’t go the way
they wanted, but they just don’t give up. I’m really proud of our guys
because they battled tonight.”

On January 11, the

25 players

selected to Canada’s Olympic Men’s Hockey Team were announced. The team
gathered in Riga, Latvia, for its pre-competition camp, and blanked both
Latvia and Belarus in pre-tournament action before travelling to South
Korea where they won their final tune-up game against Sweden before
beginning Olympic action.

The players were selected by Canada’s National Men’s Team general manager
Sean Burke (Windsor, Ont./Montreal, NHL), management group member Brodeur
(Montreal/St. Louis, NHL), Hockey Canada’s chief executive officer, Tom
Renney (Cranbrook, B.C.), president and chief operating officer, Scott
Smith (Bathurst, N.B.), and vice-president of hockey operations and
national teams, Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), with input from the coaching
staff – Desjardins and assistant coaches Dave King (Saskatoon, Sask.),
Scott Walker (Cambridge, Ont./Vancouver, NHL), and Craig Woodcroft
(Toronto/Genève-Servette HC, NLA).

For more information on Canada’s National Men’s Team, please visit

HockeyCanada.ca

, or follow through social media on FacebookTwitter, and Twitter.com/HC_Men.



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