Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Canadians celebrate men's hockey win

Men blow novelty horns as crowds celebrate on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver after Canada's victory Sunday.
Men blow novelty horns as crowds celebrate on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver after Canada's victory Sunday.
  • Canadians celebrate Olympic gold-medal win in men's ice hockey
  • Win caps off historic Olympics for host nation just hours before closing ceremonies
  • Witness to jubilation: Canadians "clanging cowbells and screaming like madmen"
  • In host city of Vancouver and in Toronto, happy throngs pour into streets

Vancouver, British Columbia (CNN) -- Thousands of Canadians turned the streets of Vancouver into rivers of red on Sunday in jubilant celebration of the country's Olympic gold-medal win in men's ice hockey.

Canada defeated the United States 3-2 in overtime, with national hero Sidney Crosby scoring the winning goal in the hard-fought game.

The win capped off a historic Winter Olympics for the host nation just hours before the closing ceremonies. The country took home a record 14 gold medals -- the most in Winter Olympics history.

Fans spilled out of the exits at Canada Hockey Place after the medal ceremony, "clanging cowbells and screaming like madmen," according to Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn.

"I'll remember this day for the rest of my life as will all Canadians who are here tonight," one fan at a Vancouver viewing told CNN affiliate CTV in Canada.

Watch fans celebrate in a sea of red and white

Police told liquor stores in Vancouver to close early at 2 p.m. -- about an hour before the game ended -- ahead of the celebrations. Lines of people were seen at one store 30 minutes before the game even started.

Video: Canadians celebrate
  • 2010 Winter Olympics
  • Canada
  • Vancouver
  • Hockey

In Toronto, officials were forced to close down streets due to swelling masses of revelers waving Canadian flags and standing shoulder-to-shoulder in some of the city's main intersections, video showed. And in downtown Vancouver, people swamped the city's main Robson Square.

Strangers high-fived each other in the street and fans were seen jumping onto cars, hugging each other, singing the country's national anthem and chanting "Ole!" and "This is our game."

The celebrations were the culmination of a Winter Games that got off to a rocky start, with warmer-than-usual weather that forced delays in some early contests, and the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili during a training run hours before the opening ceremony.

The feeling of celebration and resiliency was being carried into the night's closing ceremonies. Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette -- whose mother died of a heart attack just days before her bronze-medal-winning performances -- was set to carry the nation's flag before thousands in attendance at BC Place.

CNN's Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
Games' legacy: Canadian resiliency
With the Winter Games set to close Sunday night, you can almost hear the Canadian officials saying, "We told you everything would work out."
Ten things that went wrong
Even before competition began, the Games faced criticism over weather and a fatal crash. The accidents, mistakes and embarrassments kept coming.
Quitting the Games
Tom de la Hunty took Dutch bobsledder Edwin van Calker to the track one last time Tuesday and asked his driver if he could do it.
SI: Schedule and results
Get the latest results from the Games and check out the schedule to see when your favorite sport will be played
Medals and athletes
More than 2,600 athletes from 82 countries are expected to participate in the Games. See which countries are winning medals and how many athletes they sent to Vancouver.
Send us your Olympic stories
Send us your videos and photos of Olympic excitement from around the world, and let us know how you are following the action.