World OutGames: Hockey

Photo Credit: Andrew Delaware
Anthony Kanjer, a 29-year-old real estate agent from Vancouver, is the goalie for the Vancouver Cutting Edges. We had the pleasure of speaking with this ecstatic young player as he came off the ice from their victory over Vermont.

You just claimed victory in a very exciting semi-final match against the Vermont Pioneers. What was the highlight of the game for you?
The highlight was definitely when we tied it up 2-2, it was a bit of a weak second goal that we gave up, but we managed to come back and tie it up. Once we tied it up I knew that we were going to win, because the momentum was in our favor at that point, and I knew we would carry it through.

What was important for you in this game? When you went into the game, what were you thinking?
I just wanted to keep my guys in it. The main thing was to just to stay sharp, because I knew that my guys would get the majority of the chances. The tough thing when playing on such a good team is that it is tough to stay focused. I wasn't getting as much work as [the Vermont goalie], so it is easy to get a little rusty out there. So that was really my main focus, to make that first save, because my team did a really good job of making sure I saw the puck as much as possible. I just kept focusing on the puck, and saying over and over to myself, "next save is a great save," and "watch for the shot, watch for the shot," over and over, no matter what.

How did you prepare before coming here to get yourself ready for the OutGames?
We played right through the summer, and we also had the dry land training every Friday night. One of the big differences you'll notice is that other teams are able to keep up with us through the first and second periods, but in the third periods we just dominate because we are so much better conditioned than the other teams, and I think that really comes through in the third period. I've had barely any shots to take in the last five minutes of each game, and I think that's a really critical thing. So we were well prepared.

Last night, we were in bed by 10:30, only a glass of wine with dinner, icing our bruises and getting ready for today. We're going to party after tomorrow's gold medal match, but no sooner.

Note: The Vancouver Cutting Edges' strategy paid off. They took the gold medal match versus the Montreal Dragons by a score of 5-3. True to Anthony's predictions, they skated a shut-out third period, scoring 2 goals on Montreal to bring home the gold.