The salutes aren't finished yet for Canada's Junior champions of the World, as they players returned to their respective junior squads with the nation still singing their praises.
In one particular instance, one of the heroes of Canada's victory in Sweden found himself hailed as a role model for the entire First Nations of Canada. Carey Price, Canada's goaltender at the World Juniors was saluted by Canada's First Nations this week after his stellar performance in the tournament.
Price who hails from the Ulkatcho First nation, which is east of Bella Coola on B. C.'s central coast was praised by the Union of B. C. Indian Chiefs for his hard work and the role model he plays for the First Nations youth across Canada.
Which is quite an accomplishment and perhaps just an added little bit of pressure to carry on a young mans shoulders, yet after watching his performance in Sweden last week, we're pretty sure he's up to the challenge.
Prince Rupert, B. C.'s, Daily News covered the saluted to Price in a front page story in Monday's newspaper.
PRICE STIRS UP FIRST NATIONS PRIDE ON THE WAY TO GOLD
B. C. goalie hailed as a role model after his recent heroics in Sweden
By James Vassallo
The Daily News
Monday, January 8, 2007
Pages one and three
With the stellar backstopping of Carey Price, Team Canada brought home the gold yet again on Friday.
While the victory will be cherished across the nation, it’s also being hailed as particularly sweet for aboriginal athletes.
“On behalf of the member communities of the Union of B. C. Indian Chiefs we would like to extend our congratulations to Team Canada on its third consecutive victory at the World Junior Championship in Leksand, Sweden,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B. C. Indian Chiefs. “In particular, we would like to congratulate Carey Price… We share the great pride of the Ulkatcho First nation in Price’s achievements.
Price, who moved to Williams Lake to pursue his hockey career, grew up just two hours east of Bella Coola in Anahim Lake. The goaltender, who was drafted fifth overall by the Montreal Canadiens in 2005, was name Most Valuable Player of the Tournament, selected to the All-Star Team and given the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Best Player Award as goalie.
“Based on his awesome performance, Price has become one of Canada’s leading Aboriginal role models for our youth,” said Grand Chief Phillip. “Price has ably demonstrated hard work, focus and full commitment are the essential elements of achieving one’s dreams. Undoubtedly, the incredible level of support he received from his parents played a significant role in his success. Like many fans, we will watch Price in the years to come and we wish him well.”
The board of directors, staff and members of the Aboriginal Sports and Recreation Association of B. C. (ASRA) also offered their congratulations to Team Canada and Price.
“The 2007 squad has been a very special place amongst the Aboriginal population in British Columbia,” said Adam Olsen, communications coordinator, ASRA. “He will have to brace the awards case when he returns to his home… Price sets an incredible standard for Aboriginal athletes all across Canada.”
Price who narrowly missed representing Canada in last year’s tournament in Vancouver, came back for the 2007 try-outs with a fresh approach and spent ever minute for Canada between the pipes finishing with the tournament’s best goals-against average and save percentage. Team Canada only allowed seven goals throughout the entire tournament and finished unbeaten, extending Canada’s winning streak to 18 games and earning the third gold medal in as many years.
“Netminder Price showed true leadership and skill backing Canada’s third gold medal effort – and winning the MVP and goaltender awards for the tournament, as well as being named to the all star squad,” said Premier Gordon Campbell. “There’s a good chance that the players we cheered on over the past few days will compete for Olympic gold on home ice in 2010.
“The excitement that hockey fans feel for this win is just a taste of the excitement there will be when the world comes to Vancouver and Whistler for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”
Other B. C. players included Cody Franson of Sicamous and Kendal McArdle and Karl Alzner of Burnaby. Canada has won a medal in the past eight World Junior Championships.
The above post first appeared on my A Town Called Podunk blog, my little home in the blogoshphere dedicated to developments at the home office of HockeyNation.