Hockey gods and bobs make it Canada's day

Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:38am EST
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By Mary Milliken

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - The Canadian men restored order in their Olympic ice hockey house and headed to the semi-finals after a 7-3 rout of Russia on Wednesday, a day of redemption and medal manna from heaven for the host nation.

In a country where hockey is religion, Canadians rejoiced to be back on the medal track in Winter Games venue Vancouver where maple leaf-clad fans poured into the streets three days after a demoralizing loss to the Americans.

"We actually had doubts, about the game with Russia, but they won, and how," said Mindy Mahil, a fan perched on a fountain waving a large red-and-white flag.

Canada's happiness was compounded minutes later as two of the women's bobsleigh teams took the top two medals, the gold going to Kaillie Humphries in a thrilling final that saw a highly rated German team flip over on the fast ice track.

With a gold that takes Canada to the top of the medal table alongside the United States and Germany, two silvers, a bronze and the big hockey win, Wednesday was Canada's day.

Day 12 of the Winter Games had its notable losers too.

South Korea were disqualified while they were celebrating what they thought was their victory in women's short track 3,000 meters relay.

The gold went to China, while the Koreans' cheers turned to tears and they rushed past reporters without stopping to explain what referees deemed a push in the relay exchange.   Continued...

<p>Ryan Getzlaf of Canada scores a goal past Evgeni Nabokov of Russia during their men's ice hockey play-offs quarterfinals at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics February 24, 2010. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn</p>