Only three Tri-City athletes are representing Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics — all competing in men's hockey.
And all have arrived in Beijing hoping to bring the country back to the top of the podium after settling for bronze in 2018.
Coquitlam's Ben Street and Port Moody's Adam Tambellini will lace up for the first time on Thursday (Feb. 10) when Canada faces Germany in its opening match.
Kent Johnson, also of Port Moody, is listed on the taxi squad for the maple leafs. He could get a call to play on international ice should a player get injured or can't participate for other reasons.
With NHL players not competing in a second straight Olympics, Street, Tambellini and Johnson are hoping to win gold for Canada for the first time since 2014.
All three participated in a training camp in Davos, Switzerland prior to travelling to China.
There are 12 countries in the men's hockey tournament split into three groups of four for preliminary play.
With a 16-hour time difference between the Tri-Cities and Beijing, local hockey fans will have a couple of early morning wake-up calls if they wish to catch the action.
Canada's schedule — along with the Pacific time puck-drops — are as follows:
- vs. Germany = Feb. 10 at 5:10 a.m.
- vs. United States = Feb. 11 at 8:10 p.m.
- vs. China = Feb. 13 at 5:10 a.m.
If the Canadians are in the top four after the preliminary stage, they'll receive an automatic ticket to the quarter-finals.
If they finish outside that bracket, they'll play in a qualification playoff circuit on Feb. 15 for the final four spots in the medal round starting the next day.
Street's only major international competition with Canada was in 2004 at the World U-17 Hockey Challenge, where he amassed six points in as many games en route to a silver medal.
He took part in the 2021 Channel One Cup in preparation for Beijing 2022, finishing third with Canada.
At 34 years of age, he's the fifth oldest player on the roster. His 35th birthday is Sunday (Feb. 13).
We are 6⃣ days away from the start of the men's hockey tournament at #Beijing2022!— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) February 4, 2022
Before the puck drops, get to know 🇨🇦's Men's Olympic Team.
🍁 Adam Cracknell
🍁 Ben Street
🍁 @3ricODell pic.twitter.com/TZdWU4NITO
Tambellini has suited up in seven games with Canada, including four in 2019 when he helped a national team comprised of players toiling in Europe claim the Spengler Cup in Switzerland.
The 27-year-old product will be the second Tambellini family member to don the maple leaf at an Olympics 34 years after his father, Steve, took the ice at Calgary 1988.
Johnson, if he gets a chance to play, will skate with Canada on international ice for the third time in his short career.
The 19-year-old player scored one goal in two games at the 2022 World Junior Championships in Edmonton before the tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also played for Team Canada West at the 2019 World Junior 'A' Challenge in Dawson Creek, B.C., where he recorded two points in four games.
CANADA MEDAL UPDATE
As of this publication (Feb. 7), Canada currently has the second most medals at the 2022 Olympics with six.
That's one gold, one silver and four bronze.
Max Parrot won the country's first gold in Beijing on Monday in men's snowboard slopestyle, where teammate Mark McMorris also won bronze.
Speed skater Kim Boutin added a bronze medal in the women's 500 m overnight, and Canada's ski jumpers made history with a bronze in the mixed team event.
Canada's women's hockey team is 3–0 in their respective tournament after a dominant 6–1 victory over the Russian Olympic Committee.
They take on the United States in their final round-robin tilt tonight at 8:10 p.m. Pacific time.
FINAL | @Emerance_M made her Olympic debut in 🥅 and @natspooner5, @nursey16 and @SarahFillier91 added to their tournament-leading point totals in Sunday's 6-1 win over ROC.— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) February 7, 2022
📊 https://t.co/649O4l9eDH#TeamCanada | #Beijing2022 pic.twitter.com/NshDp8Z7JT