A complete nail-biter, won in sudden-death overtime by a goal scored by our own "Sid the Kid" Crosby (that's him, second from the right) of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. (All of Atlantic Canada claims him as our own. We're chummy like that.)
As of this writing, traffic in downtown Vancouver is totally shut down due to crowds in the street. Yonge and Dundas in Toronto is a mob scene, and traffic is shut down in a large portion of that city too. What I wouldn't give to be on George Street in St. John's right now.
All I can say is, it's a good thing we won this squeaker. I shudder to think of the collective national nervous breakdown that would've followed a loss.
We've had a great games. More gold medals than any single country in a winter Olympics. Many incredible stories from many incredible athletes.
But there can be no doubt about it - this is what mattered. Hockey is our national religion, and we practice it devoutly. They were playing for our national pride. Some said they were playing for our national psyche. There have been thousands of articles and tv stories and blog posts leading up to this game, analyzing it, predicting it, musing on what it means.
The women were under the same pressure, and delivered. (The ONLY women's Olympic hockey team, by the way, whose head coach is a woman.) Tonight, all the pressure in the world was on the men. And they did it, too.
The US team played very well, all Olympics long (hell, they beat us - and deservedly so - in our first match-up, which gave the Canadian team some much-needed time and practice to gel), and happily for them, hockey means very little to the US, so they won't bear too much disappointment. They certainly won't bear the kind of disappointment and angst and soul-searching the Canadian men would have, had they lost.
So I think this one turned out just right.
I started off extremely skeptical about these games, but I've come around. They're still too expensive, too commercialized, and too environmentally irresponsible - but there can be no doubt that these particular games have been the kind of bonding experience that is all too rare and very valuable in a country as huge and diverse as Canada. And that's a good thing.
An update: Roger Ebert just posted this to his Twitter account:
@ebertchicago: Notice: The nation of Canada will resume limited functions in about an hour. Full service is expected by sometime Tuesday.