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May 17, 2003 - Gold-medal win inspires Doan
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Gold-medal win inspires Doan

Bob McManaman
The
Arizona Republic
May. 17, 2003
12:00 AM

 

Shane Doan remembers the first hockey jersey he ever wore. It's impossible to forget, considering he almost never took it off.

"It was an old
Team
Canada
jersey with the big maple leaf on the front," the Coyotes forward said. "I loved it so much, I wore it until it was five sizes too small. I still have at home someplace."

He finally can toss it in the trash.

Doan upgraded his jersey collection considerably on Sunday, when he helped
Canada capture the gold medal at the World Championships in Helsinki, Finland.

"I've got the real thing now," Doan said. "I've got a real Team
Canada
jersey, from a gold-medal team I was part of, and I had all the guys sign it. What a dream."

Doan tied for fifth among the Canadians in scoring and, during the third period of the finals against
Sweden, he pumped in the game-tying goal before Canada
prevailed 3-2 in four-on-four overtime on Anson Carter's game winner.

"The Stanley Cup is what you gear your life around as a hockey player, but to represent your country and win at the international level is a pretty awesome feeling, too," Doan said.

"It reassures you that you can win, and it's been a while since I've won anything. It's just nice to be able to shake somebody's hand at the end and tell them, 'Tough luck. You did a good job, but we beat you.' I've been on the receiving end of that too many times."

With 569 career NHL games, Doan has the second-longest tenure among active Coyotes players, behind Teppo Numminen (1,098 games). Neither has won a Stanley Cup playoff series.

Doan's victory in
Finland may, in some small way, help change that.

"I don't know if it makes you any more hungry," he said. "After getting knocked out (of the playoff race this season), you better be hungry, period. It's not fun when you're not having the team success you're hoping to have.

"But when you win something big like this, it lets you enjoy the game and it puts a little different light on your summer and preparation for next season. It was a great experience for me in a lot of different ways."

Doan played a pivotal role as a checking winger on
Canada's grind line alongside Detroit's Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby. They helped neutralize Sweden's Peter Forsberg and, as a penalty-killing unit, were part of a short-handed staff that allowed only one power play goal in the tournament as Canada went 8-0-1.

"Kirk and Kris and I were teasing each other during the entire tournament," Doan said. "You know, we don't necessarily see eye to eye during the regular season. But we really got to know each other and had a great time.

"I don't want to find a reason not to hate those guys, though. I really enjoy hating them. When we left, Kirk came over and said he wanted to say he was sorry. I said, 'For what?' He said, 'For next year, when I'm sure at some point we're going to be wanting to kill each other.' "

Doan would have taken plenty of grief from the two Red Wings had he failed to bury his third-period shot against the Swedes. Doan threw the puck in deep.
Edmonton's Shawn Horcoff dug it out and sent it back to the slot as Doan fought for position.

"As soon as we looked at each other's eyes, we knew what the other was thinking and it worked out perfectly," said Doan, who finished with four goals and six points. "He made an unbelievable pass and I just tried to get some wood on it."

The Coyotes also were represented by goalie Sean Burke and center Krys Kolanos.

Meanwhile, the Coyotes' trio of Ladislav Nagy, Branko Radivojevic and Radoslav Suchy earned a bronze medal for their native
Slovakia.

"We've got bragging rights on them," Doan said, laughing. "They got their cute, little bronze medal, and that's OK. It just doesn't compare to the gold."

Or to a brand new Team
Canada jersey that finally fits.