© Josh Pennell photo
The crowd at Bitters Pub and Restaurant rises for the Canadian National Anthem following the Olympic men's victory over Sweden
Tables, glasses and hearts were full at Bitters Pub and Restaurant in St. John’s Sunday morning as Canada swept Sweden 3-0 for the Olympic gold medal.
“They did the deal. It was a heck of a game,” said Nate Wilke, assistant manager of the pub. “It was packed. We couldn’t seat anyone else.”
The only time there was really any empty seats is when the crew rose to cheer for Team Canada when they scored another goal. Jonathan Toews got the scoreboard going in the first period. And Sidney Crosby - or “Sid the Kid” - scored his first and only goal of the men's Olympic hockey tournament during the second.
“People have been criticizing him pretty heavily. Saying he’s not doing enough,” Wilke said after Crosby brought Canada a little closer to the gold medal.
Crosby is still obviously a fan favourite. People at Bitters cheered just a little louder for his goal than the others and also after the game when Crosby had a gold medal placed around his neck.
The offense of the Canadian Olympic men’s team has been getting some criticism overall but once the goal medal was in hand and around neck, there was little left to condemn but how easily Canada seemed to take the gold medal game.
“I think I would have liked it to be a bit closer. Just to be more exciting. I mean the women’s game was ridiculous,” said Megan Lafferty.
The Canadian women’s hockey team also won gold but came back from a 2-0 lead with only a few minutes left in the game against the US and won in overtime.
The comment got Lafferty a few friendly verbal jabs about how Canada is so good they shouldn’t just win, but make sure they do it with suspense.
For others, the victory seemed like a foregone conclusion, either with the aid of hindsight or just the luxury of Canadian confidence.
“They brought a team that was prepared to play. They left some of the old guys at home,” said Marc Mackinnon. “They brought the guys who could play the skating game.”
It wasn’t just Bitters that was full of swooning Canadians. Twitter and Facebook were lit up with pictures from bars around St. John’s - and indeed around Canada - where local and provincial laws were adjusted to allow establishments to open for the early morning game. The biggest debate around the bar didn’t seem to be over who was going to win but whether it was better to not stop from the night before or get up early and start in again.
Canada beat Sweden 3-0 with Chris Kunitz scoring the third goal. It was a dominated game that even Wilke - an american - had to admit to.
“Canada, they’re a step ahead. They’re a step ahead of the rest of the world and they played like it today.”