Wednesday, August 25, 2004


Canada: This time, it�s about Revenge!

With the upcoming World Cup slowly rolling into fruition, it's time to focus on the great North American rivalry.

(The Czech version of this article can be found here, at

1996 was a sad year for Canadian hockey.

1996 is when Canada had its game, its tournament, and its innocence stolen by the evil Americans.

Oh, Canada has won Olympic and World Champion gold medals since 1996, but the painful memories still haunt Canadian hockey fans. The desire for revenge still burns.

It�s 2004, and we will get our revenge!


From 1976 to 1991, the summer tournament which saw the world�s best hockey players compete for their countries was called the Canada Cup; It was Canada�s tournament to share with the world.

All of the games were played in North America, as Canada was the natural host of its own tournament. The championship trophy was in the shape of a half-maple leaf, symbolizing that the champion was winning a �piece of Canada�.

As hockey was Canada�s game, it was only natural that Canada would dominate a tournament of its own name. Apart from the debacle against the USSR in 1981, Canada won every other Canada Cup tournament (4 of 5 overall). Canada beat the evil Communist Russians (1984 & 1986), the mysterious Czechoslovakians (1976), and the imperialist Americans (1991).

There was no doubt about it: Hockey was CANADA�s game.

Then came 1996, and everything changed. Our game would be taken away from us.

First, the tournament changed its name to the more generic and politically correct �World Cup�. Then, it was decided that games would be played in Europe as well.

They also changed the championship trophy. Instead of a beautiful silver Maple Leaf, the champions were presented a trophy that looked more like a miniature model of a high-rise building. Who the hell would be proud to carry that thing around?

Canada was no longer the host of its own game. Although the final game was played in Canada, there was hardly anything �Canadian� about the tournament any longer.


All of these changes were hard for Canadians to swallow. We have seen NHL teams move from Canada to the US (Winnipeg and Quebec), and have not had a Stanley Cup winner from Canada since Montreal won it in 1993.

More and more, �our� game was being taken away from us.

Thus, when Canada made it into the best-of-three finals in the 1996 Canada Cup to face the capitalistic Americans, Canadians viewed it as a chance to reclaim a little bit of our game.

Game 1 (Canada wins 4-3 in OT, Philadelphia)> � Playing in hostile enemy territory, where the American fans booed the Canadian national anthem, the Canadians managed to sneak out with an overtime win, thanks to Steve Yzerman.

Game 2 (USA wins 5-2, Montreal) � After Game 1, the Canadians returned to a very friendly crowd of over 21,000 people at the Bell Centre in Montreal. The Canadian fans were confident that the home team would be able to beat the Americans and reclaim their glory.

Unfortunately, the USA played its best game of the entire tournament, whipping the Canadians like a professional dominatrix.

"Unbelievable!" Team USA forward Keith Tkachuk said of the huge victory. "To beat Canada in Montreal is something I never expected."


Canada was worried. The Americans were looking strong, especially goaltender Mike Richter. The Americans had beaten the Canadians on their home turf, and they were now playing with great confidence.

The Canadians, on the other hand, were facing health issues: Mark Messier missed game 2 with influenza; Rob Blake missed Game 2 with an infected right elbow; and superstar Wayne Gretzky was playing with a hurt leg after a collision with Gary Suter in Game 1.

Canada wasn�t ready to give up its� reign as the king of hockey, and the USA, who had not won an international gold medal since 1980, was tired of always losing.

�Five years ago we were down one game (in the finals) and we lost," said Pat LaFontaine, recalling the 1991 Canada Cup, won by Canada. "We remember that.�

"Like coach Wilson said: 'We've been sitting in the back of the bus for a long time. It sure would be nice to sit up front."

All of this nervous energy, anticipation, and intrigue set up a memorable Game 3 in Montreal.

"Each team has one hand on the World Cup," Team USA coach Ron Wilson said. "It will be a slugfest to get the other hand on it."

Game 3 (USA wins 5-2, Montreal)

12:50 into the 3rd period, bruising defenseman Adam Foote gave Canada a 2-1 lead.

With the Canadians clearly outshooting and outplaying the Americans, it looked inevitable that Canada would win and maintain it�s fascist rule over the hockey landscape.

Then IT happened.

It is a moment in time that most Canadians will refuse to acknowledge, nor admit to remembering.

With 3 minutes and 18 seconds remaining in the 3rd period, the great traitor Brett Hull deflected a puck with a high stuck for the apparent tying goal.

Yes, the same Brett Hull that was born and raised in Canada, and defected to the USA.

The �goal� never should have counted, and it was only thanks to the interference of an American-born NHL Vice-President that the goal was allowed. Hull�s stick was clearly higher than the crossbar, and even a blind, drunk homeless man could tell that it shouldn�t have been a goal.

No matter, the game was tied 2-2 and Team Canada deflated like a punctured tire.

The floodgates opened, and the Americans scored 3 more goals in the final 3 minutes in front of a stunned crowd in Montreal. First Amonte, then Hatcher, than just to rub salt in the wound, Adam Deadmarsh, another traitor that defected from Canada to the US, scored the final goal to seal the victory.

The loss was like a kick to the balls, a punch to the gut, or having your favourite pair of shoes eaten by your neighbour�s stupid dog.

From utter rapture to stinging defeat, the bastards from the US took the �World� Cup right from our hands with an illegal goal, and fled back to the US like thieves in the night.


With apologies to Slovakia, Czechia, Sweden, Russia, Germany, and Finland...Canada doesn�t care about you guys. We know you are great countries, make great beer and vodka, and are nice places to go on a vacation, but there wouldn�t be much fun in meeting you in the finals.

We want the USA, and we want revenge.

We want our game back!

Jes, I think Brett Hull's purpose in life is to score illegal goals. So don't feel too bad. It's like Lex Luthor came in, stole your wife and your car, and is cruising around town making out with her with no Superman to stop him.

I'm American and I don't really care much for the squad USA Hockey has put together. Too many geezers out on the ice instead of new talent. UAS won't win with the squad they've put together; why not try something new that might have a chance of working?

Me, personally, I'm pulling for the Czechs. King Koun and Zidlicky all the way baby!

The hatred for Brett Hull is certainly understandable. However, I attended all the games in Philadelphia, and you forget to mention that Stevie Y's overtime goal was blatantly offsides. If anything, it was just karma, what comes around, goes around.
Hmm, well one of these days, the evil karma is going to absolute crush Brett Hull.

Jason is right...Brett is great with illegal goals in big games. It really fits his persona well...
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