Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/03/12 at 12:32 PM ET
from James Bradshaw and Dawn Walton of the Globe and Mail,
The appetite for World Junior hockey action has grown even more insatiable with the elimination rounds under way and Canada’s first do-or-die test looming Tuesday night.
Overall ticket sales in host cities Edmonton and Calgary could approach 600,000 by the time the tournament wraps on Jan. 5. Fans have been so fervent that 10,000 of them turned up at 11 a.m. on Monday to watch Switzerland edge Denmark in a relegation game. Some have even helped clean up Calgary’s Scotiabank Saddledome after arena staff and volunteers struggled with the short turnaround between games.
“Tell me, what is that?” said tournament co-chair Jim Peplinski. “It’s about all of the good things that come from [seeing] a sport performed properly. That translates into picking friggin’ garbage up.”
To Mr. Peplinski, the infectious enthusiasm suggests Canadians have embraced the tournament not only as an exercise in national pride, but as a purer expression of high-level hockey played by athletes with a measure of innocence still intact.
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