Andrew, Gordie & Stuart putting up the "Clan Tartan"
The "Kevin Nicholsons" in the mitts that Em brought... first the front...
...then the back...
The starting line-up included locals Herve Lord, Shawn Matheson, and Graeme Murray (who we are claiming as an Ottawan because he goes to school back home...). Derrick Whitson and, former Carp resident, Ray Grassi rounded out the starting five. It was apparent from early on that Canada would dominate - not to spoil the story, but we got the game we were expecting to see yesterday!
An early goal by Bradley Bowden, was assisted by Todd Nicholson. Sweden scored shortly after that, but Canada would not allow them any more shots on goal for the remainder of the first period. Todd also assisted on the second goal, put in the net by Greg Westlake. Two more goals and the period ended 4-1 Canada with 14 Shots on Goal for Canada to Sweden's 1.
The second period was more of the same; Greg Westlake completed his hat trick, Adam Dixon went on to score his second goal, and Marc Dorion from Bourget, ON found the net on an unassisted goal. Despite being plagued by penalties, Canada maintained a huge 8 - 1 lead at the end of the second period.
The third period, Marc Dorion went ahead with two more goals, one unassisted and one assisted by Todd, to make a perfect three. Benoit St-Amand did a fantastic job in net for Canada, despite Canada having outshot the Swedes 32 to 3 during the game.
Canadian fans were out in full force again - these are the largest crowds that the players have ever played for - the venue has a capacity of 6800. I can still hear cowbells ringing from today's game!!!
On our way out of the arena, a quick photo op with the voice of the Ottawa Senators, radio personality, and latest honorary Nicholson Clan member, Stuntman Stu Schwartz. Sociable!!!
Stuntman Stu (in blue) with the rowdies young & small
Again, the families and friends returned to the hotel for a post-game reception with the players. For this next part, we need to rewind to the Carp Winter Classic that we blogged about back in February. The day before the sledge hockey demo, Todd came to our son Tyler's Atom hockey practice at the Kinburn Sensplex, along with his teammates Adam Dixon and Greg Westlake. I think this was the first time that Tyler had ever met either player. The team mobbed the players for autographs after the practice, and quite a few of them even came out for the event in Carp that week.
Anyone who has ever met our boy Tyler knows that he is very passionate about his hockey, and also that he is not particularly shy. He aspires to be an NHL'er someday - I am convinced that once he has retired from this first career choice, he will be either an NHL Coach or perhaps a colour commentator/play-by-play man. The boy loves his hockey and has had a stick in his hand since before he could walk - much of which is due to having an elite playing Uncle and spending so much time watching hockey. At the Carp event, Tyler gave his new friend, Greg Westlake, a bit of advice, "Greg, putting the puck on the net is always a good play".
Today, Greg's third goal was scored when, under pressure from Sweden, he shot on net from the neutral zone. A weird bounce and in it went to complete the hattrick. When the players arrived at the post-game reception, Greg sought out Tyler and gave him the blade from his hattrick stick, with a note: "Tyler - putting the puck on net is always a good play! Greg Westlake #12"
Greg Westlake #12 and Tyler with the Hattrick Stick
Greg - you're a class act & you have a fan (well, actually a family of four fans) for life!
Jenn & Gordie