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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, February 25, 2018 1:00 am

Canadian players happy with hockey bronze

TERESA M. WALKER | Associated Press

GANGNEUNG, South Korea – The Canadians hugged each other and happily celebrated an Olympic hockey medal that isn't the color they prefer.

At a tournament where the NHL stars stayed away, the Canadians who played at the Pyeongchang Games were just ecstatic not to be going home empty-handed.

Andrew Ebbett, Chris Kelly and Derek Roy each scored in the first period, and Canada took the bronze medal by beating the Czech Republic 6-4 Saturday.

“I'm super proud,” forward Rob Klinkhammer said with the bronze hanging around his neck. “I'm honored to have won a medal at the Olympics. I know it's not what Canada was hoping for, and it's not what we were hoping for ... I'm going to remember this for the rest of my life. I never thought I'd be an Olympian, let alone have a medal. I'm ecstatic right now.”

This was the third bronze for Canada to go along with nine gold medals for the country that created hockey and won the last two men's Olympic titles.

Ebbett and Kelly added a goal apiece in the third, and Wojtek Wolski also scored for Canada. Kevin Poulin made 30 saves in his second start in place of the injured Ben Scrivens.

If not for the NHL choosing to sit out, Ebbett, who last played in the NHL in the 2014-15 season, likely wouldn't have been at the games.

He scored twice and plans to cherish his bronze.

“I can tell my kids and grandkids that I scored in the Olympic Games and got a bronze medal,” Ebbett said. “It's pretty cool.”