TRENTINO, Italy – Bedeque native Gardiner MacDougall describes winning Canada’s fourth Winter Universiade men’s hockey title as an “unbelievable feeling.”
© Photo courtesy of Team Canada/FISU
Bedeque native and head coach Gardiner MacDougall celebrates Canada’s gold-medal victory in the Winter Universiade men’s hockey competition with Éric Faille and an unidentified player following a 6-2 victory over Kazakhstan in Canazei, Italy, on Saturday afternoon.
Team captain Chris Culligan from the University of New Brunswick had two goals and an assist as Canada dominated Kazakhstan 6-2 in the gold-medal game played in Canazei, Italy, on Saturday afternoon.
The team of all-stars from the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference represented Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), and wrapped up the biennial tournament with a 5-1 (won-lost) overall mark. That included a 2-1 win over two-time champion Russia in Friday’s semifinals.
The only blemish on Canada’s record was a 4-2 round-robin loss to Kazakhstan on Dec. 14.
“What can you say?,” asked MacDougall, who is head coach of the UNB Varsity Reds and was an assistant coach with the 2007 Canadian gold medal-winning squad. “We had a slogan BIW, and the guys figured it out as we went on our journey – be the best in the world.
“How often do you become the best in the world in anything you do? In this case, this is a Canadian passion – hockey. The guys should be very, very proud.”
The AUS is regarded as the most competitive league in Canada, and its representatives did not disappoint on the international stage.
“AUS coaches should be very proud of their players that represented our conference, CIS and the country,” said MacDougall. “To add to that, it’s a special time of year, it’s Christmas.
“December is synonymous in Canada for international hockey, and hopefully we can set the trend for the world juniors and the Olympics because we have 28 proud Canadians here in Italy that’s for sure.”
Strong UPEI presence
Along with MacDougall, there was a strong UPEI Panthers’ presence on Team Canada. Panthers head coach Forbie MacPherson was an assistant coach while UPEI players Wayne Savage, Matthew Maione, Alex Wall and Chris DeSousa wore the red and white uniforms for Team Canada.
Maione, who is from Unionville, Ont., made it 3-1 at 7:16 as his long-range shot was deflected to the back of the net. That goal gave the Canadians a 3-1 lead after Kazakhstan opened the scoring 14 seconds into the contest.
“What can you say? We had a slogan BIW, and the guys figured it out as we went on our journey – be the best in the world. How often do you become the best in the world in anything you do? In this case, this is a Canadian passion – hockey. The guys should be very, very proud.” Team Canada head coach and Bedeque native Gardiner MacDougall
“Biggest win I have been a part of,” commented Maione.
Nick MacNeil, Mike Cazzola and Josh Day also scored for Canada, which held period leads of 3-1 and 5-1.
Goaltender Anthony Peters turned aside 19 shots for his fourth win in as many starts for Canada.
Team Canada results for
Winter Universiade men’s hockey:
Dec. 10: Canada 12 vs. Japan 1.
Dec. 13: Canada 11 vs. Ukraine 0.
Dec. 15: Kazakhstan 4 vs. Canada 2.
Dec. 18: Canada 6 vs. Slovakia 0 (quarter-final).
Dec. 20: Canada 2 vs. Russia 1 (semifinal).
Dec. 21: Canada 6 vs. Kazakhstan 2 (final).
hockey team notes:
. . . Nick MacNeil of Creignish, N.S., finished third in tournament scoring with 10 points, including seven goals. Moncton forward Éric Faille also tallied 10 points, including five goals, during the six-game event.
. . . In three appearances at the tournament, AUS all-stars have now claimed two gold (2013, 2007) and one silver (2001).
. . . The Canadian men’s triumph came 24 hours after Canada’s 5-0 win over Russia in the women’s hockey gold-medal final.
. . . The entire Canadian women’s hockey team, led by head coach Howie Draper from the University of Alberta, was among the many Canadians in the crowd for the men’s final.
. . . Team Canada’s website is http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/winter/2013/index.