Stan Butler's Diary

DAY NINE, MOSCOW - Jan. 3, 2001
Post Game Report vs. Finland (Semifinal)

This isn't an easy one to write. The toughest thing to take is that we had the chances - we just weren't able to find a way to get the puck past their goalie. You can philosophize about it all you want, but it's really pretty simple. We needed to score and we didn't. But, I want to stress, not for lack of effort. Every guy gave it all he had and, in the end, that's all I can ask as a coach.

And let's give some credit to the Finns. Their goalie played a great game. He was frustrating our guys on scrambles and on point blank shots. He's got a great glove hand that took a couple away from us as well.

We'll regroup and be there for the bronze medal game - I can promise you that on behalf of all of us here. Going home with any colour of medal at this tournament is an accomplishment. Sure, we come to win gold. That's the Canadian way in hockey and that's a big reason why we're better at it. We come to finish first and if we don't we're disappointed. Disappointed maybe, but still very proud.

We put such big expectations on these players every year at this tournament. Let's not forget that they're 17, 18 and 19 years old for crying out loud. There were 22 guys with tears in their eyes after that game who gave up being at home for Christmas to work their tails off for three weeks and represent their country. I just hope people remember that when they want to criticize or critique our performance here.

My head is held high. I did my best and so did every player on our team. What we need right now is support. Leave the second guessing for another time.

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