Olympic experience impresses Peters family
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
The Canadian men’s hockey team now has a bye into the quarterfinals and the experience continues to impress Blyth’s Peters family.
Justin Peters, the third goalie on the team, says the experience has been unlike any he has seen in his years of playing professional hockey in a variety of leagues all over the world.
“The game versus Korea was the most amazing atmosphere I’ve ever seen at a hockey game; 15,000 people on the edge of their seats,” Peters said in an e-mail to The Citizen. “They were amazing. It was awesome to be a part of it.”
The Canadians began their journey last week with a decisive win over Switzerland, but then ran into trouble with a shootout loss against the Czech Republic.
“In game one we beat the Swiss. It was a great way to start the tournament. We came out of the gates hard, got up early and never looked back,” Peters said. “Game two against the Czechs was a really good game, evenly-played.”
In the team’s third game, the Canadians played against South Korea, which is anchored by Clinton native, goalie Matt Dalton. Although Canada won 4-0, Dalton made 45 saves and thoroughly impressed.
“Matt Dalton stood on his head. He really kept Korea in that game,” Peters said. “After the game we were able to grab a picture with him and his family. Awesome moment. I’m really proud of Matt and his journey to get here.”
With the qualifying round bye, the team had Sunday off, so Justin and his parents, Jeff and Janice took in a number of events. Justin was in the stands to see gold medal winners Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue skate and then the Peterses headed to watch ski jumping together.
On Tuesday, the team was on the ice again practising for its next game.
Jeff and Janice landed in South Korea to be with Justin on Feb. 15. In an e-mail to The Citizen, Jeff said that while the language barrier has proven to be difficult to overcome in South Korea, everyone has been very welcoming and friendly to them.
Jeff said that the family has been treated very well once South Koreans find out that they are connected with the Canadian hockey system.
In an interaction with one group of people, Jeff said that he and Janice were told that Canada is the best country in the world and since their son plays for that country, they’re to be treated like “big shots”.
He says the experience has been great and watching the Canadian team in action, as well as other various sports, has been incredible.
The Canadians were scheduled to play again on Wednesday, skipping through the qualifying round due to their seeding. They were set to play the winner of the game between South Korea and Finland at 7:10 a.m. Wednesday morning.
For more information on the team, visit hockeycanada.ca.