In this file photo, Hayley Wickenheiser (C) of Canada is congratulated by teammates after scoring her team's eighth goal during the ice hockey women's preliminary game between Canada and Sweden on day 6 of the 2010 Winter Olympics at UBC Thunderbird Arena in Vancouver, Canada.
Photograph by: Harry How , Getty Images
VANCOUVER — Hayley Wickenheiser is calling Clara Hughes’ shot.
“I think she’s going to win,” the Canadian women’s hockey star said Saturday when asked about how her speed-skating buddy was going to do defending her 5,000 metres Olympics title on Wednesday. “I think she’s in a great position.
“I’ll call her shot for her. She’ll laugh, but I know she’s ready and I know she can handle it. I think she’s going to win.”
They travel in the same circles, so it only makes sense that they’re friends.
This is the fourth Winter Olympics for Wickenheiser, 31, and third for Hughes, 37. And while Hughes also represented Canada in the Summer Olympics, highlighted by her winning cycling bronze in both the road race and time trial at the 1996 Atlanta Games, many forget that Wickenheiser has doubled up, too, competing in softball at the 2000 Sydney Games.
“We’ve done some cycling in the summer and sometimes we just meet for coffee and talk,” said Wickenheiser. “I think I just have a similar mindset about sport. We work with similar people.
“We go back and forth with different things with each other. It’s great to have somebody to bounce things off of from another sport.
“She gave me a Joseph Campbell book before the Games started. It’s full of motivational quotes and different philosophical things about perspective and just dealing with life in general.”
On Saturday, much of what Wickenheiser was dealing with was a practice session after two days off the ice. Canada has another skate Sunday and then takes on Finland in a semifinal game Monday at Canada Hockey Place.
They haven’t played a game since thumping the Swedes 13-1 on Wednesday.
“It’s great to be at the Olympics . . . I wish I could be at the Olympics forever,” Wickenheiser said when asked if it was too long between games here. “I don’t really mind.”
She is tied for second in tournament scoring with 11 points, including two goals, in three games. Canadian winger Meghan Agosta leads the scoring chart with 12 points, including eight goals.
Agosta is already tied with former Canadian star Danielle Goyette for most goals in a single Olympic tournament. Goyette had eight in Nagano 1998 and bagged 15 goals in her three Olympics.
Thanks to her second goal of this tournament, Wickenheiser moved past Goyotte in all-time goals. The veteran national team player, who lives near Goyette in Calgary, said that they talk hockey frequently.
She has even heard from Goyotte this week, since she passed her friend in the record books.
“We had a good laugh about it,” said Wickenheiser, held the Olympic all-time mark for points coming into Vancouver and has since upped it to 46, including the 16 goals.
The Americans face the Swedes in the early semifinal Monday at Canada Hockey Place, with the gold-medal showdown slated for Thursday.
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