Even in a loss, Team Canada goaltender Michael DiPietro was outstanding in net again on Wednesday.
With his team being outshot and hanging on to a 1-0 lead in Wednesday’s quarter-final against Finland at the World Juniors, fans showed their appreciation for the Amherstburg, Ontario native.
After some great clutch saves by the 19-year-old Vancouver Canucks draft pick, the crowd at Rogers Arena began chanting his name.
It was a beautiful moment.
As boisterous chants of “Di-Pi-etro” filled the arena, the goaltender’s stepmom (his birth mother passed away when he was five years old) was overcome with emotion.
Check out the full video here:
You think there’s pressure on the players in the World Juniors? It may be more nerve wracking for their parents, as this feature illustrates:
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) December 26, 2018
DiPietro stopped 32 of 34 shots in the game, and didn’t have a chance to stop either goal that beat him. The first was a fluke goal off a skate in front of him, while the overtime goal took a deflection off his teammate’s stick.
He was named Player of the Game for Canada for a second consecutive game, and once again, he heard the love from the Vancouver crowd.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) January 3, 2019
DiPietro was touched by the show of support from the crowd, but was still bitterly disappointed by the crushing loss.
“To lose like that it’s a tough pill to swallow and I’m at a loss for words right now,” DiPietro told reporters after the game. “It’s definitely not how I pictured this tournament going and it’s really disappointing.
“It’s nice to hear and special to hear, but I entered this tournament not for my own personal gain, it was for the team and the country. Winning is way more important than any accolade a person can get. We have a family inside our [dressing] room. Although it was cool to hear, it’s definitely not the outcome [we wanted].”
DiPietro finishes the tournament with a .952 save percentage and 1.23 goals against average, allowing just five goals in four games.