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Islanders' Gordon, Streit excited about return to Olympics

Scott Gordon and Mark Streit didn't have much time to wallow in the Islanders' 4-3 loss to Ottawa last night.

The Islanders' two Olympians had to hustle to make a 9:45 Vancouver-bound flight out of JFK Airport after the game.

"No overtime," Streit joked before the game. "Got to get a win in 60.''

Gordon, who will be behind the bench as one of Team USA's assistant coaches, and Streit, who will serve as captain of the Swiss team, both expressed their excitement about the upcoming tournament.

"The experience itself is second to none. It's not just the actual competition, but it's the passion around it," said Gordon, who was a goaltender for the 1992 U.S. team in Albertville, France.

"From the painted faces, the flags waving and the U.S.A. chants, it's a different level of enthusiasm from the crowd that, unless you experience it, you don't know any better."

Gordon, who backed up Ray LeBlanc, played 17 minutes and gave up two goals in a 6-1 loss to Czechoslovakia 18 years ago.

This also won't be Streit's first go-round at the Olympics.

He was captain of the Swiss team in Salt Lake City in 2002 and again in Turin, Italy, in 2006, when the team advanced to the quarterfinals in a performance Streit said, "put Swiss hockey on the map."

"It's going to be really sudden. We play, then I fly and six hours later, I'm at the Olympics. It's kind of a drastic change," Streit said. "Obviously, I'm really, really excited. It's going to happen fast, so I'm going to try to enjoy it as much as possible."

Neither Gordon nor Streit has had much time to become wrapped up in all the excitement, given the importance of the team's push before the two-week break.

After snapping a seven-game losing streak Tuesday, the Isles split two games out of four leading up to the recess. Gordon said he hopes the respite will be helpful to his players when they return.

"Mentally, with what the guys had to go through this year, with the travel and amount of games in a short period of time without a lot of practice time, has made it hard,'' he said, "and I think everyone will benefit from it."

New York Sports