Every sports fan has a favourite moment in team history, and it’s accompanied by a spine-chilling commentary call. Here are the top ten in Canadian history (and let’s face it, most of them happen on ice).
10. Punch-up in Piestany— “They’ve turned the lights off in the arena, but that isn’t going to solve anything!” Don Wittman exclaimed during the 1987 World Junior Championships when tournament officials turned off arena lights to quell a Canada/Soviet bench-clearing brawl. The game was cancelled and both teams were disqualified.
9. “He’ll play!”—Even non- Canuck fans can get goose bumps listening to Jim Robson’s 1994 Stanley Cup final call as Trevor Linden crawled to the bench in the final moments of Game 6. “He will play, you know he’ll play. He’ll play on crutches! And he will play at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night!” And he played with broken ribs and a busted nose.
8. The Miracle Catch— CBC’s Chris Cuthbert nearly jumped out of his skin calling one of the greatest plays in CFL history. “Milt Stegall! Are you kidding, this is unbelievable! Touchdown Bombers! …there is silence and shock here at Commonwealth. It doesn’t get any more miraculous, or better than that.”
7. “Can. You. Believe it!”— Gord Miller took the words off every Canadian’s tongue watching Jordan Eberle’s heroic game-tying goal in the 2009 World Juniors. “Eberle scores, tie game! Can you believe it!?” Eberle would go on to score the shootout winner and become one of Canada’s most clutch players in tournament history.
6. “He shoots, he scores!”— The legendary Foster Hewitt coined hockey’s most celebrated sentence in 1922, making them the four words hockey fans yearn to hear.
5. “Here comes Bailey, he’s got it!”—“9.84! A world record for Donovan Bailey and a gold medal!” Wittman had less than ten seconds to work with when making his famous 1996 Summer Olympics call, as Donovan Bailey raced in the 100m sprint.
4. 2002 Gold Medal—“Joe Sakic scores! Joe Sakic scores! And that makes it 5–2 Canada! Surely, that’s gotta be it!” And with that, Bob Cole gave the nation permission to celebrate its first Olympic gold medal for men’s hockey in 50 years. “It’s time for Canada to stand up and cheer. Stand up and cheer, everybody!”
3. Touch ’em all, Joe—In the greatest play in Toronto Blue Jays history, Joe Carter belted a walk-off home run to win the 1993 World Series. “Touch ’em all Joe,” announcer Tom Cheek exclaimed as Carter rounded the bases, “you’ll never hit a bigger home run in your life.” And no Blue Jays player has since.
2. The Golden Goal— “Crosby scores! Sidney Crosby, the golden goal!” Cuthbert delivered his iconic call at 12:20 of overtime of the 2010 Olympic gold medal clash, in a game over 80 percent of Canadians tuned in to see.
1. “Henderson scores for Canada!”—Hewitt brought the 1972 Summit Series’ final match from the Soviet Union to living rooms across Canada with his legendary call. One of the greatest moments in Canadian history, Paul Henderson’s winning goal brought a nation together in a time of global tension and uncertainty.