By Katie Strang
As part of the select group of American hockey players who have played in three Olympics, Doug Weight can empathize with Team USA’s 3-2 loss to Canada last night in Vancouver.
Watching Sidney Crosby score the game-winner in overtime to secure the gold medal for Canada evoked memories of the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, where Weight and his USA teammates took home silver after a 5-2 loss to their northern neighbors.
“In 2002, it was right after 9/11 and we were a lot like this U.S. team, running on all cylinders. Canada slowly peaked and we ran out of gas,” Weight said. “The emotion in that building must have been unbelievable. I can only imagine.”
Despite the loss, Weight said he was proud of the team’s performance.
“I don’t think a lot of hockey people had them picked, so to do what they did, in the fashion that they did, you could feel it,” said Weight, who watched the game at his house with his wife and Islanders teammates John Tavares and Matt Moulson. “I was on the edge of my seat. It was an unbelievable, entertaining night.”
Trailing 2-1 in the third period, the game took a dramatic turn when American Zach Parise scored with less than 25 seconds in regulation.
“That was sick to see Parise tie it up,” said Rob Schremp, who watched the game with fellow American Kyle Okposo. “We were jumping up and down.”
Okposo, who was a candidate for the Olympic team but missed the cut, said he was happy to see his friend Parise help the US fight back.
“I was really excited. He's a special player and a great person,” Okposo said.
The elation of the Americans was quickly stifled, however, once Crosby delivered his overtime heroics.
“Some things are scripted and Sid is that type of person and player. His career is taking that type of turn,” Weight said.
Witnessing an outstanding tournament for Team USA is a source of pride for Weight, who said he will always feel a connection to USA hockey and cherish his opportunities to wear that jersey.
“There’s nothing like playing for your country. I wouldn’t trade my Stanley Cup [championship] for anything, but it’s about as close a second-place finish as you can have,” Weight said. “It’s amazing each time, the pride you feel. I know what those guys are feeling, it’s such a great experience being an Olympian.”
***Also, in case you were wondering, Weight was not the victim of any outlandish wagers with his tenants and teammates Matt Moulson and John Tavares.
Back in january, Tavares made good on a bet with Weight and was forced to rock a Team USA jersey to practice after an American win at the World Juniors.
"When it came down to it, they didn't pull the trigger," Weight joked. "So no Canadian underwear or jersey for me tomorrow."