After hockey gold for Canada, party is on

ERIN McCLAM

Associated Press Writer

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - In a sport Canada invented, nothing less than gold would do. And when the women's hockey team had it in hand, the joy and champagne overflowed.

The players stormed back onto the ice half an hour after beating the United States 2-0 on Thursday and staged a raucous celebration - smoking cigars and swigging beer and bubbly.

Haley Irwin poured champagne into the mouth of Tessa Bonhomme, gold medals swinging from both their necks. Meghan Agosta and Marie-Philip Poulin posed with goofy grins.

Goalies Charline Labonte and Kim St-Pierre posed at center ice for Poulin, lying on their stomachs with a giant bottle of champagne resting just above the Olympic rings.

Rebecca Johnston actually tried to commandeer the ice-resurfacing machine.

Poulin, who scored both goals for Canada, doesn't turn 19 - legal drinking age in British Columbia - until next month.