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Guest Editorial with Joyce Walter

Canada’s play renews excitement about hockey

Canadian hockey fans were rightfully glued to their seats during the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship event held in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Despite a surprising first game loss to Czechia, Canada rebounded in stunning fashion and held on with tenacity to win the second world junior hockey gold medal in less than a year.

The win means Canadians have another reason to be proud - once again a sporting event has brought a country together for the love of a game. If by chance the Canadians had lost the gold medal game, the headlines would have cried “Canada settles for silver” or maybe even “Canada gives away world title.”

Of course we all want to win the top prize, but that does not mean a team has to be ashamed when the gold is elusive — as long as players did their best, didn’t cheat or play with questionable tactics and didn’t give up until the final buzzer sounded. A cliche, maybe, but still true.

Moose Jaw fans had at least two notable reasons to take an interest in the holiday season hockey games: Martin Rysavy of the Moose Jaw Warriors was playing for Czechia, and Connor Bedard, a member of the Regina Pats was the leading star for Canada. Warriors’ fans had watched Bedard and knew his capabilities, but must have been somewhat in awe of how successfully he showcased his talents.

Television commentators were awash with excitement over Bedard’s exploits, occasionally admitting that sometimes the talents of other players were being ignored.

Bedard himself, in an interview after the gold medal game, declined to talk about his own achievements, talking instead about “the team,” noting it was a team effort of players, coaches, family and fans that ultimately won the gold. In sports vernacular, a classy act from someone who has every reason to be full of himself but isn’t.

And so with gold in hand, junior hockey players return to their home teams where one hopes the fans will attend in record numbers to watch those games with revived excitement for the game. 

With so much enthusiasm generated by Canada’s performance, there shouldn’t be empty seats in those arenas. All those young men deserve to hear fans cheering loud and long. There’s many games left in this season of “the good ol’ hockey game.”

Joyce Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication. 


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