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Team USA Hockey – Patrick Kane Having Time Of Life At Olympics!

Winning Hockey Gold Would Just Put Exclamation Point On Young Blackhawk’s Experience.

Having snowboarder Shaun White call to hang out made Patrick Kane feel like a cool dude. Rubbing shoulders with good-luck charm Vince Vaughn in a Team USA jersey left an impression. And nothing created a more lasting memory for Kane than eating lunch alongside boyhood hero Jaromir Jagr of the Czech team in the Olympic Village cafeteria.

But as he reflected on the significance of the biggest hockey game of his life when Team USA plays Canada in Sunday's Olympic final, no personal interaction meant more than the one Kane initiated Saturday.

"I hadn't talked to my grandpa (Donald Kane) in a while, so I called him this morning in Buffalo to see how he's doing and how he's liking the games,'' Kane told the Tribune in an interview Saturday. "He's 83, a big baseball guy, but one of those people I've always looked up to. You get this close to the gold, you really do start to think about people who have supported you. My grandpa, my parents, my sisters … you want to thank them for sacrificing so much to get me here.''

He is 60 minutes away from being the youngest player on only the third U.S. hockey team to win gold, NBC's dream matchup that could replace the 1980 "Miracle on Ice'' as the highest-rated hockey game ever. Here is marketing nirvana for the Blackhawks with Kane going against teammates Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook of Team Canada, all of whom will share a chartered flight to New York at 10 a.m. Monday to prepare for Tuesday night's game against the Islanders.

Here is a moment in Olympic history that finds Kane unwittingly at the center of some delicious drama after his two-goal outburst in 2:23 on Friday against Finland.

After Canada beat Slovakia 3-2 later to advance to the final, someone mentioned to Canadian goaltender Roberto Luongo that Kane was looking forward to facing him. When they met May 11 in a Hawks-Canucks playoff game in which Kane scored three goals in four shots to send the Hawks into the Western Conference finals with a 7-5 victory.

In the memory of many Hawks fans, that's also filed away as The Game That Made Luongo Cry.

"If he has a book (on me), good for him," Luongo snapped to reporters Friday night when Kane was brought up.

Asked Saturday his thoughts about Luongo's reaction, Kane chuckled over the phone. Just as Kane believed his pregame comments that Finland goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff didn't respond well to traffic in front of the net were misinterpreted as trash talk, he figured something about his take on Luongo was lost in translation.

"I've had some success on (Luongo), but at the same time he's a goalie you're not going to beat too many times one-on-one,'' Kane said. "He's great. The biggest thing is to get traffic on him like any other goalie and shoot for rebounds because he'll kick the puck out wide to the boards. If you get a guy going wide and shoot off his pads, you have a chance.''

Quietly, Kane and his teammates always believed Team USA had a chance to play for the gold, even if many experts predicted a Canada-Russia final. Chris Chelios, on leave from the Wolves to watch Team USA in Vancouver, thinks that confidence has helped the Americans go 5-0 almost as much as goaltender Ryan Miller.

"The U.S. team has that swagger and they're fearless,'' said Chelios, a four-time Olympian. "They're very quiet, and ‘young' may be the best word to describe them. This is a humble group.''

Kane didn't need to be humbled, but Team USA general manager Brian Burke publicly challenging unnamed players to start delivering results to match their reputations sounded familiar. The voice inside Kane's head was saying the same thing.

"I came in here to score goals and produce points, and through the first four games, I wasn't living up to that as much as I'd like,'' Kane said. "It wasn't Brian Burke needing to say it. I felt personally that I had to get to another level, and I thought (Friday) I did.''

He also came close to getting into his first fight when Finnish forward Olli Jokinen jabbed Kane with his stick and put him in a headlock during a scrum.

"That was weird,'' Kane said. "He came after me after the whistle. It was like he was going to fight me so I couldn't play the gold medal game. I was like, ‘OK, I'm not going to fight you and miss that.' ''

No, the rare chance to win a gold medal for Team USA is what made Chelios, a multiple Stanley Cup winner, call Sunday's opportunity "bigger than the Stanley Cup because the whole country is watching you and you're representing the USA and not just a team.''

Caught up in the moment, Kane might not argue. But he would add that asking to choose whether winning a gold medal or the Cup means more to him is like asking his mom and dad to pick their favorite child.

"That's a tough question,'' he said. "Right now it seems bigger than the Stanley Cup, especially when you look at it. … How many times has the U.S. hockey team won gold?''

During the Canada-Slovakia semifinal, Kane's parents asked him which team he wanted to play. Instinctively, he said it didn't matter. The Kanes will forgive their son for fibbing.

"The way it probably should be is Canada-U.S., the two best teams," Kane said. "They beat us on our soil last time (2002 in Salt Lake City), so we can get them back on their soil this time.

"I can't even imagine dreaming up this experience, let alone having it come tomorrow. You take this moment very seriously.''

All of North America agrees.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/olympics/ct-spt-0228-haugh-patrick-kane-blackhawks20100227,0,4306862.column


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Added: Feb-28-2010 
By: smyle
In:
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Tags: Team USA, Hockey, Patrick Kane, Olympics
Views: 9728 | Comments: 30 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • Let's go Kane....hat trick today would be great!

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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  • BTW I love my Canadian brothers (my grandfather was one) but I'm straight pulling for the USA. : ) Gonna be a good one.

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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  • USA USA USA...love you Canada but ur gettn ur arse spanked today

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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  • The other night when Canada played Slovakia the wheels started to come off in third period so if they dont re-group for today team USA might be going home with the gold,all respect for Canada though.

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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  • This ought to be a great game. I note that North American hockey has just been dominant during this Olympics.

    GO USA!!!

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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  • May the best team win . Fair and square . Now ...that being said ...GO USA!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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  • This reminds me of this one time I was watching WWF back in the day. I think it was the hometown hero Brett Hart vs Sgt Slaughter in Calgary so Brett has the mic and says to the Sarge, "we got a word for you up here eh"..."and that word is HOSER!" and then the crowd went wild chanting HOSER! HOSER! HOSER! and I loled my ass off. Good luck Canada! :D

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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  • Yes u beat us last game shots on net where 45 canada 23 usa.Simply put you got lucky.I expect canada to win by 3 or 4 goals

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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  • Goal!!!

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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  • Congradulations to the Canadian Olympic hockey team ! Nice GOLD ! Hat's off to ya ! Enjoy !

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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  • Damn, what a game, just as expected. Possibly one of the best games ever.
    Congrats Canada...Great Games Too!
    See ya in Sochi...

    PS..We did win gold at the junior nationals this year, so we have some up and coming young ones to look forward too in 4 years.

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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  • ^meant to say "not" playing on the big ice..

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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  • Why did they put the game on so early? At 3:15pm ET? They should have scheduled the game for tonight. I'm thinking they wanted to avoid any riot situations at night when Canada wins the gold.

    In any case, we're walking away from the Olympics with the most gold medals, while the yanks are walking away with the most bronze.

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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    • We also won the most silver medals also. We also will break the record for the most medals by any nation ever. Canada also did great in these Olympics and should be proud. If it were to win gold in the hockey game, it would break the record for the most gold set by Norway and Russia, currently you are tied.
      Just like you guys predicted Canada would win the most medals, which was totally underestimating the strength of the other countries, you guys also seem to overestimate your hockey team.
      I More..

      Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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    • The closing ceremonies are tonight, thats why the game is this afternoon.

      Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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    • I'm worried, not cocky, and personally wouldn't spend 2 seconds bragging about "most gold medals" or anything like that.

      Because.... wait for it...



      here it comes...


























      Because...


      I AM CANADIAN!


      LOL
      ;)

      Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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    • lol, yep, I would be shocked if I saw a Canadian being cocky, lol...

      But I will expect it after the games close because, after all, you guys threw a great party. Had it not been for the sad death at the beginning and the inclement weather, these games would likely be rated as the best ever and may still be. It was a great job and a great performance by the canucks.
      Of course, we still win the most medals, no matter what happens today.

      USA 6 CANADA 4

      oops, that's my American side being More..

      Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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    • 4-2 for Canada.

      last goal an empty-netter on pulled goalie in last minute of game.

      Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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  • As I said yesterday on another upload, a gold medal match is not the same as a round robin match, you yanks have much to learn about hockey....

    good luck

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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  • Shit ...nice 2nd goal.

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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  • GOAL !!! USA ! Canada 2 , USA !

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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  • ^ USA 1 ^

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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  • ......

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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  • WTF ????? Is this rigged ? Just kidding .. great game Canada and USA ..we're going to overtime !!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted Feb-28-2010 By 

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