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Hockey Canada's Lucky Seven
Canadian Press
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WC.032.04
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September 15, 2004
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TORONTO (CP)- Mario Lemieux gave the World Cup trophy over to Ryan Smyth as Team Canada skated around the Air Canada Centre ice in celebration.

It was fitting scene: Canada's captain handing off to Captain Canada.

Smyth was among a special group of seven players who will have been on top the world twice in 2004 - the IIHF men's champions in Prague in May and then the NHL's World Cup champions on Tuesday night.

"It's really unique for sure,' said Smyth, a cut under his right eye and a bottle of champagne if his right hand. ``Winning never becomes old.'

Smyth and Edmonton Oilers teammate Eric Brewer know all about winning. They're the only two players to have won Olympic gold in 2002, back-to-back IIHF gold in 20, and now the World Cup.

"Ryan and I have been really fortunate to have been in good situations and been on top four times now,' said Brewer, who had an outstanding World Cup. ``It's quite rewarding. It's just awesome.'

Dany Heatley, Roberto Luongo, Brenden Morrow, Jay Bouwmeester and Scott Niedermayer complete the Lucky Seven who won world titles four months apart this year.

"We've had success at the world championships but this is totally different, it's a whole other level,' said Bouwmeester, only 20, but a major part of this team. ``It's the biggest thrill in my career.'

For Luongo, 25, it's a championship after winning back-to-back IIHF world titles.
"Another great feeling,' he said. ``It's really indescribable. First winning back-to-back world titles in Europe and now this. And to play in the semifinal game here made it that much more special.'

Niedermayer may take the cake when it comes to winning. The World Cup title added to resume that already included the Stanley Cup, the Memorial Cup, world junior gold, Olympic gold and IIHF men's gold.

"I've been lucky, seriously, because it's a team game,' he said. ``You need the right players, the right coaching staff and a bit of luck and for whatever reason I've had it many times.'

And winning in Prague was just as special for him.
"To be able to win both four months apart is great, it's really hard to believe,' he said.


For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4557
abrin@hockeycanada.ca

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4564
fdupont@hockeycanada.ca

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
kgoodrich@hockeycanada.ca

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