(not caught on film: Mr E Man almost peeing himself laughing when I walked into that guy, me explaining to that guy that I was making a video for a Swedish friend who'd bet $20 on the outcome of this game, and then that guy laughing and saying "good luck to your friend!")
Chall, I really did feel bad by the end... we all expected a much closer game. By the third period we were rooting for Sweden to get a goal (when they did, they got a good cheer from the whole crowd - the Swedish fans hadn't stopped cheering all game), and the one guy behind us who was attempting to trash talk and mock the Swedes shut up PDQ when no-one else joined in.
As the Swedish head coach said after the game,
"Canada is the powerhouse of women's hockey. They have a coaching staff that is unbelievably good. They have worked with their players since the first of August to achieve another level of women's hockey and it happens every fourth year. Our team is much better than it was in Torino, but unfortunately Canada hasn't stopped developing".
This situation, with Canada and the US so dominant over the rest of the field, really isn't good for the game. I hope the other teams get a chance to catch up over the next four years and make the preliminary rounds a bit more interesting in Sochi.
On the other hand, it is fantastic to see how much support the women's game gets in Canada. I'd been to a couple of women's team games in England (football and field hockey), and expected the crowd in Vancouver to be a similar mix of women, children, and school groups - but really, the makeup of the crowd was very similar to the one at the men's game the day before. There were lots of groups of men (including two guys in full body fluffy bunny outfits, with a sign saying "Canadian puck bunnies"), and the level of support (including chanting, flag waving, sign making, face & body painting, clapping, stomping, and celebrating) was just the same. And there was such a demand for tickets that the semis and medal games will be in the much larger GM / Canada Hockey Place.
Chall, I will hold you to your bet... but would you mind directing the $20 to my fundraising efforts rather than to me? The fundraising campaign is not going quite as well as the Canadian women's quest for gold!
Thanks for playing, and I hope you are taking comfort in the strong showing so far by Sweden's male hockey players!